The Blanchardstown-born Sydney-based light welterweight has floated the possibility of taking a ‘wildcard’ slot for the upcoming second season of the mega-money eight-man single-elimination tournament.
Yesterday Belfast’s WBA champ Ryan Burnett – along with IBF and WBO titlists Manny Rodriguez and Zolani Tete – was confirmed for the bantamweight portion of the tournament. Two further weights, one of which is widely reported to be Foley’s light welterweight, will be announced over the coming weeks.
Six light welters have already been confirmed by major media outlets such as Ring Magazine and ESPN, and Foley [15(8)-2(0)] has said that he “would f*cking love it” if he got the call to fill one of the two remaining slots.
Rumour has it MY WEIGHT is 1 of the weights. Like & comment if you want to see me in this as much as i would fucking love it #Wildcard #140lb #bestvsbest #letsroll #superstylin #wba6 #wbo15 Regrann from @sauerlandbros – CONFIRMED: BIGGER is BETTER!! #WBSS Season II will feature 24 Boxers in THREE Weight Classes – Draw Gala in July….first bell Quarter Finals in September#AliTrophy – #regrann
The six names currently set to compete are WBA champ Kiryl Relikh [22(19)-2(0)], WBA mandatory and former IBF champ Eduard Troyanovsky [27(24)-1(1)], upcoming IBF vacant title combatants Anthony Yigit [21(7)-0-1] and Ivan Baranchyk [18(11)-0], Regis Prograis [21(18)-0], and Ryan Martin [22(12)-0].
There will be a draft gala in Monaco where the four to-be-confirmed seeds will pick their opponents for the quarter-finals in September – however the Relikh-Troyanovsky and Yigit-Baranchyk matches are already set. Prograis is likely to be a seed but who the final seeded fighter ill be is unclear.
The 140lbs division is one in flux – and therefore perfect for the WBSS format. Undisputed champ Terence Crawford has moved up top welter, fragmenting the belts while superstar Mikey Garcia has moved back down to lightweight, leaving the division wide open for a new star to come through.
Other names that have been suggested for the final two slots include he winner of the vacant WBO title fight between Terry Flanagan and Maurice Hooker as well as the victor from the upcoming Josh Taylor v Viktor Postol WBC final eliminator – although the winner here would likely move in-line for WBC champion Jose Ramirez whose promotional outfit, Top Rank, have chosen not to enter in the WBSS.
While some may view it as far-fetched, Foley is close enough to the top of the ladder to be considered a viable option for the WBSS. The Dubliner is #6 with the WBA, #15 with the WBO, and #30 with the WBC – not to mention he is based in Australia which could bode well considering the tournament’s desire to be as geographically spread out as possible.
Going to slightly more impartial, if imperfect, rankings, Foley is #33 on the computerised BoxRec.com light welterweight list.
Above him on the unofficial rankings website then there are the likes of Crawford and Garcia who have both changed weight, the undependable Adrien Broner, five of the six reported fighters that will enter the WBSS, three fighters coming off losses, and WBC champ Ramirez and Irish-American Danny O’Connor who are set to fight this Summer.
Martin, who has only recently stepped up to lightweight is the fighter ranked below Foley with BoxRec, as is upcoming world title contestant Hooker.
29-year-old Foley is currently at the beginnings of camp, returning after a career-best win over Canadian slickster Steven Wilcox in March which saw him unify the WBA Oceania and WBA-NABA rankings titles and move to #6 with the body.
In recent weeks the charismatic puncher has stated his desire to face an Irish rival as well as his openness to participating on the mooted DDP Promotions ‘Emerald Exiles’ bill in Dublin, however, no doubt, an unlikely entry to the WBSS, where there is a reported $4,000,000 on offer for the winner, would trump this.