WBA world champion Burnett [18(9)-0] has entered the second season of the fresh, lucrative,and exciting tournament alongside fellow world champions Manny Rodriguez (IBF) and Zolani Tete (WBO) and was joined in the knockout competition by Japanese knockout artist and new favourite Naoya Inoue [16(14)-0] this week.
Four more fighters will be confirmed in the coming weeks, with the winner of the vacant WBC title fight between Nordine Oubaali [14(11)-0] and Tassana Sanpattan [46(31)-0] as well as Aussie Jason Moloney [17(14)-0] being suggested.
Regardless of who rounds out the competition, there is no doubt that the best bantamweights in the world will duke it out for the Muhammad Ali trophy and a reported top prize of $4,000,000 and, such is the degree of talent involved, the winner will emerge as a pound for pound star.
The 80-3 combined record of the top four seeds makes for mouthwatering reading and with so much talent on display it’s hard to predict a winner. South African Tete [27(21)-3(1)-1] was perhaps an early favourite – although many viewed Puerto Rican Rodriguez [18(12)-0] as a dark horse – but Inoue snatched that slot after ‘The Monster’ fittingly destroyed Jamie McDonnell over the weekend.
Burnett’s coach Booth admits its a talent-filled field and one that will test his charge. However, he is adamant that is the case for each and every participant and rather than enter the tournament worried about what other fighters bring to the ring they partake excited at the opportunities that will present themselves.
“This tournament is the toughest challenge that all the participants will have faced in their careers,” said Adam Booth who also trains Mick Conlan and was in the corner when Andy Lee won his world title.
“Each of them will be the best they have faced. I don’t see any as threats, they are all challenges to overcome,’ the Dark Lord continued in an interview with BoxingScene.
“The WBSS is a great addition to the boxing world and I honestly think that the bantamweights will be the best yet.”