The “Jose Sulaiman World Invitational,” a partnership between the WBC and Evander Holyfield’s The Real Deal Boxing that put out a call for eight welterweights earlier this winter, now has its roster. The tournament begins on April 27th and will feature:
Felix Diaz (19-2, 9 KO)
Chris Van Heerden (25-2-1, 12 KO)
Fredrick Lawson (26-1, 21 KO)
Radzhab Butaev (8-0, 6 KO)
Brad Solomon (27-1, 9 KO)
Timo Schwarzkopf (18-1, 10 KO)
Derrieck Cuevas (16-0-1, 13 KO)
Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (13-1-1, 6 KO)
The WBC has also tabbed Mauricio Pintor (20-3-1, 13 KO), Paddy Gallagher (13-3, 8 KO), Sergiy Lubkovich (7-0, 6 KO), and Francisco Santana (26-6-1, 12 KO) as alternates.
The brackets will be decided by popular demand. You can vote on the first-round matchups until February 26th on Holyfield’s website.
Diaz looks like the favorite on paper, but it seems to be a fairly competitive lineup, even if they are one step short of the truly elite. Now the real question is whether the WBSS has heralded a new era of successful tournaments or if we’ll get a classic Super Six-style implosion.