|Josh Taylor & Ryan Martin and Ryan Burnett & Nonito Donaire are ready for their Ali Trophy Quarter-Finals at The SSE Hydro on Saturday in Glasgow.
“This is a great opportunity,” said 118 lb quarter-finalist Donaire (38-5, 24 KOs), a former four-weight world ruler.
“The WBSS has been a great opportunity to create this enormous desire and inspiration. I’m never shy when it comes down to fighting. I’m just grateful to be in the ring with a great man.”
It is not the first time Donaire is facing a fighter from Northern Ireland. Last year at featherweight the Filipino-American lost via unanimous decision to Belfast boxer Carl Frampton:
“There are definitely similarities,” said Donaire of Burnett and Frampton.
“Belfast guys have big balls. They’ve got big balls. They’re there to fight, and that’s something I like. As you know from the history of me in this game, I’ve always come to fight the best out there, and that’s why I’m in this tournament. That’s what you will get, the best of me!”
26-year-old Burnett (19-9, 9 KOs) paid respect to his nine year older, legendary opponent.
“I think everyone has things you can exploit but there’s not much with Nonito. He is an incredible fighter,” said Burnett. “We all dream of these moments of fighting the best and becoming the best in the world. The World Boxing Super Series is making this come true. Not just for the boxers but for the fans. This is what the world needs.”
140 lb quarter-finalist, 25-year-old Ryan Martin (22-0, 12 KOs), talked about the magnitude of the quest for the Muhammad Ali Trophy.
“It doesn’t bring any added pressure it just brings more glory to the win. Fighting for the Ali Trophy, that’s huge. He means such big things both in and outside of the sport of boxing so I’m just grateful to be a part of this and have the chance to fight in his honour.”
27-year-old Josh Taylor (13-0, 11 KOs) is looking forward to fight in front of a familiar crowd in Glasgow for the third time at The Hydro.
“I’m good. I’m nice and relaxed,” said Taylor.
“Delighted to be back in Glasgow. The Hydro is now my home. Every performance I’m having there, I’m getting stronger and the fans are getting bigger and bigger, and noisier. They believe in me, and there is absolutely no way there is anybody who’s going to beat me in there anytime, and especially on Saturday. I’m feeling confident.
“I don’t feel any pressure. I actually love these big events. I love the big nights. I love the big occasions. When the big occasions arrive, I turn up. I love it. I thrive under the big lights.“
“It’s great to be in Scotland,” said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer.
“We are super excited to bring the lights to Glasgow. Week in week out I sit up here with the most talented athletes. Gladiators of the business. On Saturday, we have a doubleheader. A stacked card. I wouldn’t be exaggerating when I look at the quality and the depth to say it’s the best card Scotland has seen for many many years.
“If you look at what the super series is trying to do and what we are doing, it’s bringing the best versus the best. No BS. This is about the real thing. It’s about finding out who the best is in the weight classes.
“We found out the best super middleweight was Callum Smith. We found out the best cruiserweight was Aleksandr Usyk. This season the guys up here are going to show us who is the best bantamweight and best super lightweight in the world.
“We expect 6,000 in the arena on Saturday. We’re going to have a great atmosphere. I’ve been here a few times for the football and I’m sure the roof will be raised!”
On the line Saturday in Glasgow:
Fans at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow will be treated to a spectacular doubleheader featuring two Ali Trophy Quarter-Final contests as Scottish Super-Lightweight star Josh Taylor takes on the undefeated American Ryan Martin.
Meanwhile, Northern Ireland’s WBA World Champion Ryan Burnett meets former four-weight World Champion, Filipino-American Nonito Donaire in a Bantamweight Quarter Final.
The quarter-finals are available in UK on all WBSS platforms; YouTube, Facebook and WorldBoxingSuperSeries.com. Burnett-Donaire starts 9 pm, Taylor-Martin 10 pm.
Ali Trophy Quarter-Finals:
1. October 7th, Yokohama Arena, Yokohama, Japan – Ali Trophy Quarter-Finals
Naoya Inoue (Japan) beat Juan Carlos Payano (Dominican Republic) – KO 1:10 of the first round
WBA ‘Regular’ Bantamweight Championship
Kiryl Relikh (Belarus) beat Eduard Troyanovsky (Russia) – UD 115-113 (x3)
WBA Super-Lightweight Championship
2. October 13th, Ekaterinburg Expo, Ekaterinburg, Russia – Ali Trophy Quarter-Finals
Zolani Tete (South Africa) beat Mikhail Aloyan (Russia) – UD 114-111, 114-111 & 114-11
WBO Bantamweight World Championship
Andrew Tabiti (USA) beat Ruslan Fayfer (Russia) – UD 116-11, 115-112 & 114-11
3. October 20th, CFE Arena, Orlando, USA – Ali Trophy Quarter-Finals
Emmanuel Rodriguez (Puerto Rico) beat Jason Moloney (Australia) – SD
IBF Bantamweight Championship
Yunier Dorticos (Cuba) beat Mateusz Masternak (Poland) – UD
4. October 27th, U.N.O. Lakefront Arena, New Orleans, USA – Ali Trophy Quarter-Finals
Regis Prograis (United States) beat Terry Flanagan (England) – UD
‘Interim’ WBC Super-Lightweight Title
Ivan Baranchyk (Belarus) beat Anthony Yigit (Sweden) – TKO7
Vacant IBF Super-Lightweight Championship
5. November 3rd, SSE Hydro, Glasgow, Scotland – Ali Trophy Quarter-Finals
Ryan Burnett (Northern Ireland) vs Nonito Donaire (Philippines)
WBA ‘Unified’ Bantamweight Championship
Josh Taylor (Scotland) vs Ryan Martin (United States)
WBC Super-Lightweight Silver Title
6. November 10th, UIC Pavilion in Chicago, USA – Ali Trophy Quarter-Finals
Mairis Briedis vs. Noel Mikaelian
Krzysztof Glowacki vs. Maksim Vlasov
Season II divisions and Ali Trophy quarter-final match-ups:
Ryan Burnett (Northern Ireland) vs. Nonito Donaire (Philippines)
WBA ‘Unified’ World Championship and WBC Diamond Title
Zolani Tete (South Africa) vs. Mikhail Aloyan (Russia) – Tete W UD
WBO World Championship
Naoya Inoue (Japan) vs. Juan Carlos Payano (Dominican Republic) – Inoue W KO1
WBA ‘Regular’ World Championship
Emmanuel Rodriguez (Puerto Rico) vs. Jason Moloney (Australia) – Rodriguez W SD
IBF World Championship
Regis Prograis (United States) vs. Terry Flanagan (England)
WBC Diamond Title
Josh Taylor (Scotland) vs. Ryan Martin (United States)
WBC Silver Title
Kiryl Relikh (Belarus) vs. Eduard Troyanovsky (Russia) – Relikh W UD12
WBA World Championship
Ivan Baranchyk (Belarus) vs. Anthony Yigit (Sweden)
IBF World Championship
Mairis Briedis (Latvia) vs. Noel Mikaelian (Germany)
Yunier Dorticos (Cuba) vs. Mateusz Masternak (Poland) – Dorticos W UD
Krzysztof Glowacki (Poland) vs. Maksim Vlasov (Russia)
Ruslan Fayfer (Russia) vs. Andrew Tabiti (United States) – Tabiti W UD