Where are they now? Every past WBSS tournament winner, including Oleksandr Usyk and Josh Taylor

WBSS tournaments have crowned the number one fighter in their weight class. As expected, there are some heavy hitters on this list…

For those who are not aware, the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) is a tournament set up to pit eight of the best fighters in a weight division against one another in a single-elimination format.

The eventual winner would scoop up all of the world titles on offer in the tournament and they would also have the honour of winning the Muhammad Ali trophy.

Boxing is often hampered by politics between rival promoters, but the WBSS is a great way to get around this to make the best fights on offer in each division.

Fans have been treated to some cracking match-ups along the way. The first women's WBSS is up next as eight super featherweights will do battle in the sixth edition of the competition.

The victor will join a list of illustrious names that were crowned the top dog in their division between 2018 and 2020. Starting with many people's pound-for-pound number one, here is what the past winners are up to now…

Oleksandr Usyk - cruiserweight (2018)

The Ukrainian beat Krzysztof Glowacki to become WBO cruiserweight champion prior to the first WBSS tournament.

He showed his superiority over the division as he bested Murat Gassiev via unanimous decision in the final. In doing so, he became the holder of the IBF, WBA (Super), WBC, WBO and The Ring world titles.

Usyk defended his belts once as the undisputed champion in a thriller at the Manchester Arena against Tony Bellew.

The Olympic gold medallist has gone on to make waves as a heavyweight. Last year, he dominated Anthony Joshua at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to snatch away the Brit's IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO world titles, becoming a two-weight world champion in the process.

The 35-year-old is rightly recognised as one of the best fighters of the modern era and he can enhance his reputation even further on August 20 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

This controversial state will play host to Usyk's rematch against Joshua. It is hoped that the winner will face Tyson Fury next, when he inevitably decides to come out of retirement.

Callum Smith - super middleweight (2018)

Just two months after Usyk won the first WBSS, Callum Smith defeated fellow Brit George Groves in the final of the super middleweight tournament.

Groves was struggling with his shoulder at the time of the final, and he was the slightly older man. Smith made his height and reach advantage count against Groves, who was stopped in the seventh.

Smith picked up a disputed points win over John Ryder before Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez handed him his first career defeat at the end of 2020.

The Liverpool-born fighter took time away from the ring prior to his stoppage win over Lenin Castillo on the AJ-Usyk undercard last September.

Smith is set to be back in action in August, once again on Joshua's undercard. The WBC have ordered a light heavyweight world title eliminator between him and European champion Mathieu Bauderlique.

The winner will be in line for a shot against the fearsome Artur Beterbiev. The Russian is coming off a devastating victory over Joe Smith Jr and he will defend his IBF, WBC and WBO titles against Anthony Yarde later this year.

Smith will have to put in the performance of his life if he is going to defeat Beterbiev, who is one of the most dangerous fighters in the sport today.

Josh Taylor - super lightweight (2019)

'The Tartan Tornado' set out to become an undisputed world champion when he turned pro, and he did so in just 18 bouts. A points win over Regis Prograis earned him the Ali Trophy.

Then in May 2021, he beat the respected Jose Ramirez to become the first Briton to hold all major world titles at once during the four-belt era.

Only eight male boxers have achieved this feat, with Taylor following the likes of Usyk, Terence Crawford and Bernard Hopkins.

Prior to Taylor's homecoming fight in Glasgow earlier this year against Jack Catterall, his pro career had gone perfectly. Though against Catterall, he was extremely fortunate to escape with all of his belts.

The supposedly inferior Catterall put in a stellar performance as he left Taylor battered and bruised over twelve rounds. But to the shock of the boxing world, Taylor won unjustly on points to hang onto his belts with his tail between his legs.

Taylor's public image has gone down the toilet in recent months, with him persisting that he was the rightful winner against Catterall.

Thankfully, he is pursuing the Catterall rematch. He has vacated his WBC title to dodge a mandatory defence against Jose Zepeda to do so. Credit to Taylor, a second clash versus Catterall is the fight everyone wants and it should be a belter.

Naoya Inoue - bantamweight (2019)

Inoue - who is aptly known as 'The Monster' - has established himself as one of the major must-watch attractions in boxing.

Recognised as a lethal knockout artist, 20 of his 23 victories as a pro have come via stoppage.

His third fight that went the distance was against Nonito Donaire in the final of the bantamweight WBSS in 2019.

Donaire, a four-weight champion, is a tough customer in his own right. The two greats delivered as a barnstormer, which Inoue won via unanimous decision.

Inoue's punch power is freakish, though against Donaire he showed his heart as he overcame a fractured orbital bone and broken nose mid-fight to come out on top.

The Japanese hard-hitter had previously held world titles at junior bantamweight and light flyweight.

Inoue has fought regularly of late and back in June, he rematched Donaire with three of the four world titles at bantamweight on the line.

Donaire was aged 39 by this time and he had more than enough hard battles mixed into his 48-fight career.

It did not help him that he came against Inoue when he was arguably at his peak. Donaire was dropped at the end of the first round and he was stopped in decisive fashion during the second.

Inoue has sent his respected foe into retirement and he is now chasing an undisputed fight against WBO champion Paul Butler.

With the 'Baby Faced Assassin' being English, Inoue could be about to fight for only the second time on British shores. What a treat it will be for fans as well, especially that they can see his strange-but-brilliant ring walk in person.

Mairis Briedis - cruiserweight (2020)

The fifth WBSS climaxed in Munich, Germany in September 2020 and it was the second cruiserweight edition of the tournament.

Briedis was beaten by Usyk in the semi-finals the first time around, but he went all the way two years ago.

The respected Latvian got the better of Yuniel Dorticos - who was also beaten in the penultimate round of the first WBSS - in the final.

The impact of Covid-19 meant that the bout was held behind-closed-doors. So fans did not the pleasure of watching Briedis at his precise best, defeating Dorticos via majority decision.

This victory made Briedis a three-time cruiserweight champion and he has carried the flag for boxing in Latvia.

Unfortunately, Briedis has made a fool of himself over the past year. He has taken the questionable decision to target Jake Paul - even getting a tattoo of the YouTuber in the process.

This was while fans were calling for him to pursue a unification against Lawrence Okolie.

The 37-year-old's lack of focus may have hampered him in his last fight, as he defended his belt against Jai Opetaia in Queensland, Australia on July 2.

Opetaia was Briedis' mandatory though this was his first time competing at world level.

The Australian thrived in front of his home crowd, however. He had a fast start to go ahead on the cards. This left Briedis with too much to do in the latter stages, as he was beaten in shocking fashion on points.

In hindsight, Briedis pestering Paul for a fight in the months leading up to a world title defence may not have been the best idea.

READ MORE: Foolish Mairis Briedis looking desperate as he obsesses over YouTuber Jake Paul...

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