Rodriguez might just be the best in the bantamweight WBSS line-up
THE World Boxing Super Series’ (WBSS) bantamweight tournament rolls on this Saturday (October 20) at the CFE Arena in Orlando, Florida, when Emmanuel Rodriguez, 18-0 (12), defends his IBF world title against mandatory challenger Jason Moloney, 17-0 (14).
Rodriguez, 26, was fancied to lift the WBSS tournament trophy before Naoya Inoue announced himself as a bantamweight to be feared with chilling knockouts of Jamie Mcdonnell and Juan Carlos Payano. However, against Paul Butler in May, Rodriguez was so smooth, so composed, so spiteful, and seemed to possess the antidote to any of the styles he’d potentially come up against.
If he can put these attributes to use against Moloney - and expect him to - there could be a number of people leaving the Inoue bandwagon and getting back on the gifted Puerto Rican’s.
It’s not only the WBSS bantamweights who get some shine in Orlando this weekend. The cruiserweights, too, will look to pick up where season one left off when Yunier Dorticos, 22-1 (21), the beaten semi-finalist of the first season, battles Mateusz Masternak, 41-4 (28), in a quarter-final matchup.
Cuban Dorticos, a boxer who can punch, ultimately succumbed to Murat Gassiev in his first run at WBSS cruiserweight glory, but certainly did his reputation no harm during the fight. He matched Gassiev every step of the way before the Russian’s power and strength brought an end to proceedings in the 12th round.
Masternak, on the other hand, has won five fights on the spin since losing to Tony Bellew in 2015 and comes off a sixth-round victory against Youri Kayembre Kalenga, a man it took Dorticos 10 rounds to stop. Even so, Dorticos can take the decision.