The World Boxing Super Series announced Friday that its second season of eight-man single-elimination tournaments will kick off Oct. 7 at the Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan, where secondary bantamweight world titlist Naoya Inoue will face former titlist Juan Carlos Payano in the quarterfinals of the 118-pound tournament in a previously announced pairing.
In addition to Inoue-Payano, the card will also include the junior welterweight quarterfinal fight between world titleholder Kiryl Relikh and mandatory challenger and former titlist Eduard Troyanovsky.
During its first season, there were two World Boxing Super Series tournaments, in the cruiserweight and super middleweight divisions, with each tournament fight headlining its own card.
However, because the second season has three tournaments, at bantamweight, junior welterweight and another one at cruiserweight, each card will include at least two quarterfinal bouts on consecutive Saturdays through the quarterfinal round.
“We will be doing doubleheaders this time on the quarterfinals,” said promoter Kalle Sauerland, the chief boxing officer of tournament owner Comosa AG. “You will be seeing action from not always the same weight class on the same night, but you will always get doubleheaders. So 12 fights, six weeks, all over the world — Asia, U.S., U.K., Europe. We can’t wait.”
Inoue (16-0, 14 KOs), 25, of Japan, who has won world titles in three weight classes, will be making his first bantamweight defense when he faces Payano (20-1, 9 KOs), 34, a southpaw from the Dominican Republic.
Relikh (22-2, 19 KOs), 28, of Belarus, will also be making his first defense when he meets Troyanovsky (27-1, 24 KOs), 38, of Russia. There is a previously announced third world title fight on the card — junior flyweight titlist Ken Shiro (13-0, 7 KOs), 26, of Japan, making his fourth defense against former titlist Milan Melindo (37-3, 13 KOs), 30, of the Philippines — that is not part of the World Boxing Super Series.
There will be additional quarterfinal bouts taking place Oct. 13, Oct. 20, Oct. 27, Nov. 3 and Nov. 10. The specific locations and fights, all of which will be streamed live in the United States on DAZN, are to be announced. The Oct. 27 date is slated to be headlined by the junior welterweight quarterfinal fight between Regis Prograis (22-0, 19 KOs) and former lightweight world titlist Terry Flanagan (33-1, 13 KOs), of England, in Prograis’ hometown of New Orleans.