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Dublin: 8°C Wednesday 27 January 2021

World Boxing Super Series semis, including Josh Taylor/'Monster' Inoue doubleheader, to air on Sky

The concept has been a massive hit with boxing fans, and now has a TV home which can bring it to a mainstream audience.

Scottish sensation Josh Taylor's WBSS semi-final and world title fight will be shown live on Sky.
Scottish sensation Josh Taylor's WBSS semi-final and world title fight will be shown live on Sky.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

THE SEMI-FINALS of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) will air on Sky Sports in Ireland and the UK, promoters Kalle Sauerland and Eddie Hearn have confirmed.

All three semi-final doubleheaders, including that involving popular Scottish sensation Josh Taylor and Japanese ‘Monster’ Naoya Inoue in respective scraps in Glasgow on 18 May, will be shown live and exclusively on Sky.

The first pair of semis takes place this Saturday from Louisiana as Nonito Donaire — who beat Ireland’s Ryan Burnett via injury in the quarters — battles Zolani Tete with the WBA and WBO bantamweight belts on the line, while Regis Prograis challenges Kiryl Relikh for the WBA light-welterweight world title.

Then, it’s onto Glasgow on 18 May as Josh Taylor bids to become the latest Scottish world champion and book his place in the final with either Prograis or Relikh.

Taylor faces IBF champion Ivan Baranchyk on home soil, but the card is made all the more enticing for its also featuring ‘The Monster’ Naoya Inoue who faces Manny Rodriguez in a fight-of-the-year contender for the IBF title and a place in the bantamweight showpiece.

The cruiserweight semis will be staged in Latvia on 15 June as former world champions Mairis Briedis and Krzysztof Glowacki collide in the last four, and ex-WBA champion Yunier Dorticos faces unbeaten America Andrew Tabiti for a spot in the final.

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“The WBSS is delighted to be working with Sky Sports and Matchroom Boxing to bring our sensational semi-finals to as many UK fans as possible,” said Kalle Sauerland, chief boxing officer of Comosa, the organiser of the WBSS. “Boxing fans can look forward to colossal nights of boxing. Supreme athletes in the bantamweight, super-lightweight and cruiserweight divisions are putting everything on the line for a place in the finals of the WBSS where the Ali Trophy awaits the winners,” added Sauerland.

Adam Smith, head of Sky Sports Boxing, said: “I’ve admired the talent of Josh Taylor for a while and I’ll look forward to another red-hot atmosphere in Glasgow as Taylor bids to become the latest in a line of proud Scottish world champions.

“It’s wonderful to add the World Boxing Super Series semi-finals to our stacked Sky Sports schedule for the summer.

“The fearsome Naoya Inoue and four-weight champion Nonito Donaire also bring star quality to a tournament featuring world title fights, former champions, and unbeaten contenders, starting this Saturday on Sky Sports.”

“I’m delighted to bring these fight nights to Sky Sports and particularly pleased to air the big 18 May card from Glasgow,” added Hearn. “It’s a massive chance for Josh Taylor to become world champion and the fight between pound-for-pound star Inoue and Rodriguez is a cracker.”

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