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Naoya Inoue officially joins World Boxing Super Series bantamweight tournament

The roster now numbers seven

Jamie McDonnell v Naoya Inoue - WBA Bantamweight Title Bout Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images
Patrick Stumberg is a freelance writer for SB Nation, first joining the network in 2011 before linking up with Bad Left Hook in 2015.

As expected, Japanese prodigy Naoya Inoue has entered the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight tournament, becoming the fourth world champion to do so and the seventh fighter overall.

Inoue (16-0, 14 KO) has been terrorizing the lower weight classes since his debut, winning titles at light flyweight, super flyweight, and most recently bantamweight after an absolute thrashing of Jamie McDonnell. He’ll be the favorite coming in, but there are definitely people in this field who could push him harder than anyone before.

The current field is now:

Naoya Inoue
Emmanuel Rodriguez
Ryan Burnett
Zolani Tete
Jason Moloney
Nonito Donaire
Juan Carlos Payano

That’s the entirety of BoxRec’s bantamweight top 5, their #8 in Payano, and a multi-division champion in Donaire. Stacked to the rafters.

So far, the only announced fight is Rodriguez vs. Moloney. As far as the final member of the roster, Nordine Oubaali was supposed to fight Petch Sor Chitpattana for the vacant WBC belt last month, but the fight was delayed because of issues with the television host, so it’s unlikely we’ll get to see a full unification within the span of the tournament.

The other top bantamweight would be the winner of the upcoming eliminator between Takuma Inoue and Mark John Yap, but that’s not until September and I’m not sure potentially putting two brothers in the same tournament is the best course of action.

Worked for Warrior, though.

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