The World Boxing Super Series Is Redefining Weight Classes

    When former Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer left the fold of Oscar de la Hoya and Bernard Hopkins’ company, his non-compete clause kept him silent for a while. However, when he announced his return with Ringstar Boxing and the World Boxing Super Series, little did we know that he and his consortium of partners were going to change the game for the sport’s most underserved weight classes.

    The World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) is a first of its kind annual boxing tournament that has brought together fighters like Chris Eubanks, George Groves, Yunier Dorticos, Oleksandr Usyk, and more to compete at venues around the world.  

    The opening bell sounded for the first fight of the inaugural season in September 2017, and a total of 16 elite boxers from two weight classes, Cruiserweight and Super Middleweight, have been battling it out on fourteen separate fight nights in a bracket-style elimination tournament.

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    The winner in each division will be crowned in May 2018, and so far the events has created quite a buzz. This weekend will add to the fervor as Yunier Dorticos puts his WBA Cruiserweight title on the line against Murat Gassiev, holder of the IBF title, in Sochi, Russia. The winner will face Oleksandr Usyk, who recently defeated Maris Breidis in the Semi-Finals to retain his WBO title and gained the coveted green WBC belt in the process. 

    WBSS The Day After – Eubank vs Yildirim

    Uploaded by World Boxing Super Series on 2017-10-10.

    Although the majority of the events have mainly taken place overseas in Europe with only one event happening in the States thus far, the series has reinvigorated the division. 

    Each weight class features eight boxers competing in an annual knockout competition with the champion from each weight class taking the Muhammad Ali Trophy and sharing a total prize fund of $50 million. The winner of each tournament will receive $10 million, cementing this as an opportunity of a lifetime.

    WBSS Countdown – Usyk vs Huck

    Uploaded by World Boxing Super Series on 2017-10-10.

    The tournament will finish with two finals in May. As another bonus, the cruiserweight division is expected to crown its first undisputed champion since 2006. The current weight limit for the division is 200 pounds and while many heavyweight champions, like Rocky Marciano and Joe Louis, weighed around 190 pounds in their career, during the 1970’s is when it became fairly standard that heavyweight boxers weighed 220 pounds or more. 

    It was felt by many boxing authorities that asking men weighing between 176 pounds and 190 pounds to fight these larger men was unfair and the division was first enacted by the WBC in 1979.

    Since then, it has mainly acted as the little brother to the heavyweight division’s prowess, even with Evander Holyfield unifying the WBA, WBC, and IBF titles to reach undisputed status in 1988 before turning heavyweight. 

    Since then other notable champions in the division have been Bobby Czyz, Virgil Hill, James Toney, and David Haye. Yet the division has been relatively quiet during the era of the welterweights, middleweights and the resurgence of the heavyweight division.

    Gassiev vs Dorticos: Weigh-In

    WBSS presents the official weigh-in for Gassiev vs Dorticos, the second Cruiserweight semi-final for the Ali Trophy. The fight will take place on the 3rd February 2018 from The Bolshoy Ice Dome in Sochi, Russia. Connect with WBSS online and on social: Website: https://worldboxingsuperseries.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/WBSuperSeries Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WBSuperSeries/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/WBSuperSeries/

    Like the Super Six World Boxing Classic made stars out of Andre Ward, Carl Froch, and Andre Dirrell, the World Boxing Super Series is doing the same and shining light on the other divisions in boxing.

    Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. RhettĀ hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.