The troubled World Boxing Super Series, hobbled by financial issues that caused a variety of late payments to fighters with some bonus payments missed altogether in the quarterfinals, is attempting to carry on with the semifinal rounds in its three second-season tournaments.
On Wednesday, Comosa AG, which owns the tournaments, announced that the cruiserweight semifinal between former world titleholder Mairis Briedis (25-1, 18 KOs), of Latvia, and interim titlist Krzysztof Glowacki (31-1, 19 KOs), of Poland, will take place on June 15 (DAZN) at the Arena Riga in Riga, Latvia.
In the quarterfinals, on Nov. 11 in Chicago, No. 1 seed Briedis, 34, scored a controversial decision over Germany's Noel Mikaelian, and No. 3 Glowacki, 32, claimed a vacant interim title by unanimous decision over Russia's Maksim Vlasov.
"I can't wait for the opportunity to get to the final," Briedis said. "We are going to have another boxing celebration in Latvia that will be watched by the whole world and give me a second chance in front of my people to achieve what I missed the first season."
Briedis advanced to the first-season semifinals also but lost a majority decision in a world title unification fight at the Arena Riga to eventual tournament and undisputed world champion Oleksandr Usyk in January 2018. Glowacki has won five fights in a row since losing a world title by decision in Poland to Usyk in September 2016.
"I can't wait to get in the ring in Riga," Glowacki said. "I'm confident I'll beat Mairis on June 15 and move on and win the WBSS tournament and the Muhammad Ali Trophy [which is awarded to the winner]."
Briedis and Glowacki are due to meet face-to-face at a news conference in Riga.
The other cruiserweight semifinal is supposed to match former titleholder Yunier Dorticos (23-1, 21 KOs), who also participated in the first season, against Andrew Tabiti (17-0, 13 KOs), but no site or date has been announced yet.
The semifinals in the three eight-man tournaments were supposed to take place between January and March, but financial issues have delayed the scheduling of the fights.
The World Boxing Super Series announced one of the semifinals in the junior welterweight tournament, world titleholder Ivan Baranchyk against Josh Taylor, on Jan. 31, saying the bout was scheduled to take place on May 18 at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland -- Taylor's home country.
However, the day before that announcement, Baranchyk's manager, Dave McWater, told ESPN that Baranchyk, who won a vacant belt against Anthony Yigit in the quarterfinals in October, had withdrawn from the tournament over financial issues and a lack of communication from tournament officials. The two sides have talked since to see if they can work things out, but so far they have not.
The other junior welterweight semifinal between world titleholder Kiryl Relikh and Regis Prograis is also in jeopardy because Prograis is also considering withdrawing over similar issues, Sam Katkovski of Churchwell Management, which manages Prograis, told ESPN on Wednesday.
Katkovski said Prograis is still owed a portion of money from his quarterfinal victory and they are also concerned about being paid for the semifinals as well as how long it will take to finish a tournament that was supposed to last less than a year.
"They are stalling Regis' career at a time when there are a lot of significant opportunities out there for him," Katkovski said.
McWater and Katkovski both said tournament officials refused to put the money for the next round into an escrow account to assure payment.
"We are having more discussion to see if they can put our concerns at ease," Katkovski said. "We want to figure out a solution. We don't want to withdraw from the tournament. Regis wants to fight for the belts. If everything is put to ease in our mind, fine, but there are still financial issues surrounding the tournament and there are delays. Regis was supposed to fight his seminal [in February]. That's a concern. If they have the money like they say they do, put it in the [escrow] account."
At the time of Baranchyk's withdraw, a Comosa AG spokesperson told ESPN that its "contracts are watertight and any failure to meet them will be met with the very hardest of consequences. This applies to all fighters and also to promoters, managers and agents alike."
No dates or sites have yet been announced for the bantamweight semifinals, which are due to match Zolani Tete and Nonito Donaire in a world title unification fight and titlist Emmanuel Rodriguez against secondary titlist Naoya Inoue.