By Jake Donovan

There still remains two more semifinals bouts in season two of World Boxing Super Series, but a three-continent search is already under way to secure venues for the forthcoming finals in three weight divisions later this year.

The outcome of the June 15 cruiserweight semifinals doubleheader in Riga, Latvia will determine where event handlers chooses to host the finals round for that weight division. As for the bantamweight and super lightweight finals, there exists a good ideal of where those fights can land.

A May 18 doubleheader in Glasgow, Scotland helped wrap up round two action in the 118- and 140-pound divisions. Local hero Josh Taylor stormed into the WBSS finals—claiming his first major title in the process—following a 12-round win over previously unbeaten Ivan Baranchyk. The bout was his second straight in Glasgow, with the area ruled out for his finals clash versus fellow unbeaten titlist Regis Prograis.

It is also unlikely that Prograis will get a third straight home game, with both of his tournament appearances being staged in his home state of Louisiana. The unbeaten rising star scored a 12-round win over Terry Flanagan in New Orleans last October, followed by his first title win via 6th round knockout of Kiryl Relikh this past April in Lafayette, La.

As both boxers have received two local appearances, their finals bout will land in somewhat of a neutral venue. The regional edge could be with Taylor, as preliminary whispers calls for the 140-pound championship round to land in London or elsewhere in the United Kingdom.

The bantamweight finals appears to be destined for two regions—the southern California area or the Far East.

Naoya Inoue and Nonito Donaire have scored stoppage wins in their four combined tournament appearances. Inoue stormed into the finals with a two-round destruction of previously unbeaten Emmanuel Rodriguez this past May in Glasgow, becoming a three-division titlist in the process.

The win came seven months after needing just 70 seconds to knock out former bantamweight titlist Juan Carlos Payano in the opening leg of WBSS Season two which took place in Inoue’s native Japan.

His finals appearance could land there as well, although Donaire’s handlers are on the hunt to bring the fight to the United States. The Fil-Am star scored a 4th round injury stoppage of previously unbeaten bantamweight titlist Ryan Burnett last November in Glasgow, followed by a 6th round stoppage of tournament alternate Stephon Young, whom replaced an injured 118-pound title claimant Zolani Tete on just three days notice this past April in Lafayette.’s Steve Kim recently reported that Donaire’s promoter, Richard Schaefer of Ringstar Sports is eyeing autumn dates at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. for the WBSS bantamweight finals.

It could prove to be an exercise in futility, however, as heavy rumors have swirled of Inoue hosting the fight at the 45,000-seat Kyocera Osaka Dome in Osaka, Japan. The baseball stadium has hosted just one other major boxing event, coming 20 years ago when wildly popular all-action slugger and local hero Joichiro Tatsuyoshi sought to become a three-time bantamweight titlist.

The event was also designed to attempt to avenge a title fight loss to Thailand’s Veeraphol Sahaprom, against whom Tatsuyoshi was stopped in the 6th round of a Dec. 1998 shootout. He was already too far in his career to turn back the clock in the Aug. 1999 rematch, suffering a one-sided 7th round knockout in his last ever title fight. 

As much won’t be of concern for Inoue, as the 26-year old from Yokohoma is in the heart of his prime and considered among the very best boxers in the world today. His superstar status in Japan has WBSS brass confident his finals clash with Donaire—who enjoys a rabid following in Philippines—could easily fill up the 45,000 seat baseball stadium.

The two established finals matchups are eyed to land early-to-mid autumn. The cruiserweight finals will likely occur towards year’s end. Vying for the final two spots: former titlists Mairis Breidis (Season One semifinalist) and Krzysztof Glowacki collide in the main event in Briedis’ Riga hometown; and Yunier Dorticos—also a former titist and Season One semifinalist—colliding with unbeaten rising contender Andrew Tabiit in the co-feature.   

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox