Burnett-Donaire, Inoue-Payano For WBSS Bantamweight Tourney

By Keith Idec

Top-seeded Ryan Burnett picked unseeded Nonito Donaire as his opponent Friday for the World Boxing Super Series’ bantamweight tournament.

Burnett made his selection as part of the of the WBSS “Draft Gala” at Rossiya Theatre in Moscow. Northern Ireland’s Burnett (19-0, 9 KOs) will defend his WBA “super” bantamweight title against Donaire (38-5, 24 KOs), a former four-division champion from San Leandro, California.

Second-seeded Naoya Inoue then chose unseeded Juan Carlos Payano as his foe in the quarterfinals. Japan’s Inoue (16-0, 14 KOs) is set to defend the WBA’s world bantamweight championship against the Dominican Republic’s Payano (20-1, 9 KOs).


Once Burnett selected Donaire and Inoue chose Payano, Zolani Tete (27-3, 21 KOs) was left to pick comparatively inexperienced Mikhail Aloyan (4-0) as his opponent because the fourth 118-pound quarterfinal was predetermined due to a mandated championship match. South Africa’s Tete and Russia’s Aloyan will fight for Tete’s WBO bantamweight championship.

The fourth WBSS bantamweight quarterfinal will match IBF champ Emmanuel Rodriguez (18-0, 12 KOs) against Jason Moloney (17-0, 14 KOs). Australia’s Moloney is the mandatory challenger for the title owned by Puerto Rico’s Rodriguez.

The dates and venues for the World Boxing Super Series’ 118-pound tournament haven’t been announced.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Chrismart on 07-20-2018

🍽️ Ryan Burnett had dinner with Nonito Donaire tonight after selecting him as his WBSS quarter-final opponent. The pair will face off in September/October.[📸 @FilipinoFlash]— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) July 20, 2018

Comment by _Rexy_ on 07-20-2018

[QUOTE=SniXSniPe;18954206]Dropping from 126 to 118. That's crazy. He didn't look great, but that was against a much bigger man. I'm thinking he has a better chance at knocking out and beating Burnett. In fact, I'm calling it for an upset…

Comment by chico malo loc on 07-20-2018

[QUOTE=FinitoxDinamita;18954101]Lol Burnett picking Donaire thinking it’s the easy way out. Wsup with fighters getting to choose opponents though? Im looking for Donaire to knock this punkass Burnett out[/QUOTE]why so much hate? Instead of giving Burnett props for choosing your undeserving…

Comment by SniXSniPe on 07-20-2018

[QUOTE=_Rexy_;18954182]Donaire dropping down to a weight class he hasn't fought in in over 5 years...[/QUOTE] Dropping from 126 to 118. That's crazy. He didn't look great, but that was against a much bigger man. I'm thinking he has a better…

Comment by _Rexy_ on 07-20-2018

Donaire dropping down to a weight class he hasn't fought in in over 5 years...

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