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Final two names added to WBSS 140lb tournament


By Jeff Aranow: Promoter Lou DiBella has revealed the final two names to World Boxing Super Series light welterweight tournament, and those names are Ryan Martin and former WBO 135lb champion Terry Flanagan. Those two should make it interesting, but neither of them are viewed as potential winners of the WBSS 140 lb. tournament.

DiBella believes that Prograis, 29, is one of the major talents in the tournament. If he wins the tournament, he’ll come out of it as a rich fighter.

As of today, the final eight-main list for the WBSS light welterweight tournament is as follows:

– Regis Prograis

– Ivan Baranchyk

– Kiryl Relikh

– Anthony Yigit

– Josh Taylor

– Eduard Troyanovsky

– Ryan Martin

– Terry Flanagan

There are a lot of weak fighters in this eight-man WBSS 140lb tournament. I’d much rather see these guys as the eight-fighter list:

– Sergey Lipinets

– Viktor Postol

– Jose Ramirez

– Regis Prograis

– Ryan Martin

– Josh Taylor

– Ivan Baranchyk

– Kiryl Relikh

The boxing fans would love to see Prograis vs. Josh Taylor in the finals of the WBSS tournament, but it’s likely they’ll meet early on in quarterfinals. Taylor is a good fighter, but he’s not in the class of Prograis and he’ll surely be eliminated.

Terry Flanagan (33-1, 13 KOs) is a bit of an odd choice to be added to the WBSS 140lb tournament, because he lost his last fight to Maurice Hooker on June 9 in Manchester, England. The 29-year-old Flanagan took a lot of heavy shots in the fight, and he looked bad throughout. Flanagan would be better off resting and not entering the WBSS tournament, because his chances of winning are slim. Flanagan arguably shouldn’t be allowed in the tournament just based on his loss to Hooker. Having Flanagan enter the WBSS tournament off the back of a loss to Hook, looks bad in my view. Considering how Flanagan looked against Hooker, I don’t think he should be allowed in the WBSS tournament.

”I don’t think Velasco has the boxing ability or the pedigree of Regis,” DiBella said to Montero Boxing. ”He’s a big dude. The guy can fight a little bit, of course. He’s a big dude. He has nothing to lose. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t a little bit nervous, because we have a contract with the World Boxing Super Series. Three fights in one year. It’s very enticing. There’s a lot of money. If you go in with a fighter that can be knocked out in the first round, then you have to be very careful about it, because you can control opponents and levels of opposition much better in the free market place than you can in the tournament. You’ve got eight guys because you believe they’re competitive and top notch guys. There are some very good fighters in the tournament. [Ivan] Baranchyk is a very good fighter. [Kiryl] Relikh is a good fighter. [Josh] Taylor is an exciting fighter,” DiBella said.

Prograis’ defense of his interim WBC light welterweight title tonight against Juan Jose Velasco is going to be a mismatch. DiBella is obviously trying to promote the fight by not telling it like it is, because Prograis going to smash the obscure 5’9” Velasco. He’s a little bit taller than the 5’8” Prograis, but that’s not going to change the outcome of the fight. It’s still a mismatch, and it’ll be lucky if it goes past the third round. It’ll depend on how much punishment Velasco is able to take. Boxing fans can watch the Prograis vs. Velasco fight tonight on ESPN tonight.

”Terry Flanagan is the eighth guy in the tournament,” DiBella said. ”Ryan Martin [is also in the tournament]. Regis wants unification matches. The [Jose] Ramirez bout couldn’t be made right now. In this tournament, there’s going to be the IBF belt. In this tournament there’s going to be the WBA belt. So, Regis can walk out of this tournament theoretically with the Diamond belt, the WBA belt and the IBF belt. The real WBA champion right now is Relikh, and he’s in the tournament.”

Prograis can leave the tournament as the new star in the light welterweight tournament if he wins the WBSS light welterweight tourney. Prograis would have the IBF and WBA belts. That would make him the guy to beat at 140. Prograis still might find it hard to get WBC champion Jose Ramirez to fight him unless the World Boxing Council orders the fight. With Prograis’ interim WBC light welterweight title, he’s in the position to get a fight against Ramirez once the WBSS tournament ends, but it will likely require that the WBC orders the fight. I don’t see Ramirez’s promoters at Top Rank willingly letting him fight Prograis. If Alex Saucedo beats WBO light welterweight champion Maurice Hooker to win that fight, then that’s another title that Prograis will likely have a hard time getting his hands on. Top Rank will look to match Saucedo against Ramirez in a unification fight if the WBO belt is won by their fighter Saucedo. Ramirez vs. Saucedo is a given. Prograis isn’t a Top Rank fighter, so he may be frozen out.

”Some of the fights are going to be in the States,” DiBella said. ”Internationally the tournament is huge. So if Regis wins the tournament, he’s a worldwide phenomenon. The money and the opportunity is too great to pass up. He wants frequency. He wants to be an active champion. If he wins the tournament, he’s going to be a wealthy you man. Regis can hit you with a left or a right and take you out with either hand in awkward situations. Regis goes in there with the intention of hurting his opponents. His counters are lethal. He goes in there with the intention of ending the fight before 12 rounds,” DiBella said.

Prograis won’t be a star in the U.S if he wins the WBSS tournament because the fights won’t be televised in the U.S. They’ll be shown in Europe. The tournament will be big in Europe, but not in the U.S because there are no plans for it to be shown on TV over there.

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