By Keith Idec

Promoter Kalle Sauerland has confirmed that the World Boxing Super Series’ bantamweight tournament likely will include a “Monster.”

Sauerland told Sky Sports for a story posted to the British network’s website Thursday that Naoya Inoue has agreed to participate in the World Boxing Super Series’ 118-pound tournament if he defeats Jamie McDonnell on May 25.

The undefeated Japanese star will make his bantamweight debut against McConnell when they fight for the British boxer’s WBA’s world 118-pound championship two weeks from Friday at Ota City General Gymnasium in Tokyo.

Sauerland also said McDonnell (29-2-1, 13 KOs, 1 NC) would be part of the WBSS field if he pulls off what would be a huge upset against Inoue (15-0, 13 KOs). The 25-year-old Inoue is a former WBC light flyweight and WBO super flyweight champion who is generally regarded as one of the best boxers in the sport.

“It’s great to kick things off with three champions already signed up,” Sauerland told Sky Sports. “The overall concept of the product is to have the best against the best, so we are in a great place. McDonnell versus Inoue is a cracking fight and the winner is a natural to go in this tournament.

“There’s certainly a space in the tournament for the winner and we’re very close with Inoue. We’ve agreed to terms with him, so Inoue is agreed. With McDonnell, we will speak to him and his team after the title clash on May 25. We will just have to see after their fight, but I’m hopeful that the winner goes in.”

The stacked WBSS bantamweight tournament, scheduled to begin in September, also will include WBA “super” bantamweight champ Ryan Burnett (19-0, 9 KOs), newly crowned IBF champ Emmanuel Rodriguez (18-0, 12 KOs) and WBO champ Zolani Tete (27-3, 21 KOs).

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.