WBSS: Ryan Burnett one of three bantamweight world champions in World Boxing Super Series
By Tim Hobbs
Last Updated: 09/05/18 4:25pm
Ryan Burnett is the latest world champion to join the World Boxing Super Series tournament.
The WBA 'Super' bantamweight world champion will be joined by WBO holder Zolani Tete and recently crowned IBF holder Emmanuel Rodriguez in the second series of the knockout tournament.
Burnett, the former unified world champion, will follow super-middleweight counterpart, George Groves, who was the No 1 seed in the inaugural tournament and still has to face Callum Smith for the coveted Muhammad Ali Trophy.
World Boxing Super Series will confirm the delayed final between Groves and Smith and the cruiserweight version between Oleksandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev "in the next 10 days", said Comosa's Chief Boxing Officer, Kalle Sauerland.
The organisers are also adding two more weight classes to their second series and will announce those in the "coming weeks".
The bantamweight tournament will follow the same format as initial events with eight fighters in the knockout competition. The draw will be made at the end of July with the first fights taking place in September.
Burnett is the only confirmed contender to have held two world titles at 118lbs. He won the IBF bantamweight title in only his 17th professional fight, beating Lee Haskins last June.
The Belfast man added the WBA 'Super' belt when he won the unification clash against Zhanat Zhakiyanov on points in October, only to vacate the IBF title.
Rodriguez battled Paul Butler for the vacant IBF belt on the Tony Bellew-David Haye undercard at The O2 on Saturday, with the Puerto Rican putting the Liverpudlian down twice in the first round before securing a unanimous points win.
Burnett defended his sole WBA title with a unanimous decision victory over Yonfrez Parejo in Cardiff at the end of March.
"I have always wanted to be a world champion and to unify the titles against the best opposition out there," he said.
"Now the World Boxing Super Series allows me to continue my dream against the other champions in the bantamweight division."