Ivan Baranchyk 139.5 vs Josh Taylor 140.2
Emmanuel Rodriguez 117.7 vs Naoya Inoue 117.7
On May 18 at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland The Ring 118-pound championship is confirmed to be on the line for Japan’s Naoya Inoue and Puerto Rico’s Emmanuel Rodriguez.
Boxing magazine The Ring has awarded world championships in professional Boxing within each weight class from its foundation in 1922. Naoya Inoue is currently rated No. 1 and Emmanuel Rodriguez No. 3 on The Ring’s 118-pound ranking and are now set to battle for the famous belt.
“I think it is worthy,” said The Ring Editor-in-Chief, Doug Fischer. “Inoue and Rodriguez have earned their positions in our rankings – Inoue with back-to-back first-round KOs against top-10 contenders Jamie McDonnell and Juan Carlos Payano; Rodriguez with back-to-back decisions over top-10 contenders Paul Butler and Jason Moloney. Rodriguez also has a 10-round victory over former two-time title challenger Alberto Guevara (2016).”
It is not the first time the prestige of The Ring belt is part of the World Boxing Super Series.
In July, pound-for-pound star Aleksandr Usyk won the inaugural Muhammad Ali Trophy and collected The Ring cruiserweight championship in Moscow, Russia. Two months later, Callum Smith won the super middleweight tournament and picked up The Ring 168-pound championship in Jeddah, SAudi Arabia.
Rodriguez – “I have been waiting for this moment my entire life”
Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue faces Emmanuel Rodriguez on May 18 for the Puerto Rican’s IBF strap in their 118lb Ali Trophy semi-final.
The SSE Hydro will be rocking as the IBF bantamweight title bout takes place the same night as Scotland’s Josh Taylor takes on Belarus’ IBF World champion Ivan Baranchyk in a semi-final of the 168lb division of the World Boxing Super Series.
‘Monster’ Inoue (17-0, 15KOs) advanced to the semi-final on October 10 in Yokohama, Japan making a mind-blowing statement when he knocked out former champ, Juan Carlos Payano from the Dominican Republic, with an electrifying jab-cross only 70 seconds into the first round.
On October 20 in Orlando, USA Puerto Rico’s Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12KOs) retained the IBF title with a twelve round split decision over previously undefeated Jason Moloney from Australia. The scores were 115-113 for Moloney and two times 115-113 for Rodriguez after a high-intensive back-and-forth battle.
Both Inoue and Rodriguez have credible reasons for entering the semi-final stage with poise and self-assurance.
“My destiny is to win the prestigious Ali Trophy and prove I am the best bantamweight in the world,” said Inoue. “I cannot wait to box in the United Kingdom in front of their loud fans and I will show them a ‘Monster’ performance!”
“I have been waiting for this moment my entire life,” said Rodriguez. “I always wanted to fight the best, and now I am fighting a boxer considered the best by the Boxing reporters and fans. That’s great motivation for me, my team, and Puerto Rico, We got this.
“I am going to get the victory. Puerto Rico will shine in Scotland and I am confident of going all the way and take home the Ali Trophy.”
“Two unbeaten World Champions, two sublime athletes, are putting everything on the line for a place in the final of the World Boxing Super Series where the Ali Trophy awaits the winner. It doesn’t get bigger than this.”
Tickets for the hotly-anticipated semi-finals on May 18 in Glasgow will soon go on sale. Fans are encouraged to sign-up for Ticket Alerts to receive an email reminder when tickets can be purchased.
Fans in the U.S. and Canada can watch the Ali Trophy semi-finals LIVE, exclusively on DAZN.