Two weight classes, 16 fighters, 14 nights of boxing: the World Boxing Super Series, starting this September and running through to May 2018, selects sixteen top-level fighters at super-middleweight and cruiserweight and pits them against each other in a bracket-style elimination tournament.
With a total prize pool of US$50 million up for grabs, the series has attracted some of the best fighters at the two weight classes, including a handful of world champions. The names have been finalized and the draft has been drawn; who’s going to emerge on top?
ODDS TO WIN WORLD BOXING SUPER SERIES
- Callum Smith: 7/4
- George Groves: 5/2
- Chris Eubank Jr: 3/1
- Avni Yildirim: 20/1
- Juergen Braehmer: 20/1
Three names stand out here: British champ Callum Smith (22-0, 17 KOs), WBA champ George Groves (26-3, 19 KOs), and IBO champ Chris Eubank Jr (25-1, 19 KOs).
The Eubanks have received a lot of flak over the years, but Jr’s status as one of the top super-middleweights is undeniable. Since his loss to Billy Joe Saunders in 2014, he has won seven straight fights, most recently defeating former two-weight champ Arthur Abraham.
After three unsuccessful attempts at a world title, George Groves finally got his hands on the WBA belt after defeating Fedor Chudinov in May. If he manages to win the Super Series, he could walk away as the unified world champion.
The favorite, by a very narrow margin, is the undefeated Callum Smith. The Englishman is still waiting for a shot at a world title, and this is finally his chance to land one. He’s still largely untested but has shown an enormous amount of potential.
- Oleksandr Usyk: 1/1
- Murat Gassiev: 9/2
- Mairis Briedis: 6/1
- Yunier Dorticos: 10/1
- Dmitry Kudryashov: 20/1
WBO champ Oleksandr Usyk (12-0, 10 KOs) is the clear favorite to take the cruiserweight bracket. The Olympic gold medalist is arguably the best boxer in the division and has yet to be truly tested since turning professional.
The undefeated Murat Gassiev (24-0, 17 KOs) is Usyk’s biggest threat in the Super Series. The IBF champ narrowly defeated Denis Lebedev for the world title late last year and has yet to make a title defense. He’s demonstrated enormous knockout power, but Usyk is the more technically adept fighter by far.
WBC champ Mairis Briedis (22-0, 18 KOs) has an outside chance. A talented boxer with a high ring IQ, Briedis has the potential to upset the entire bracket.