Edinburgh born Josh Taylor will be challenging for the Belarusian Ivan Baranchyk’s IBF Super lightweight crown while putting his own WBC Silver Super lightweight title up for grabs, but more importantly, this bout is a semi-final of the WBSS Super-lightweights tournament.
The prize for the winner of this fight is a match against WBA Super Super-lightweight champion Regis Prograis in the WBSS final later this year.
Boxing tipsters believe that Taylor and Prograis will be the last men standing when the final comes around in November or December, a mouth-watering thought for sure.
The 28-year-old Taylor needs to focus seriously on Baranchyk (19-0 12Ko’s), because the manner of his win over Sweden’s Anthony Yigit in New Orleans last October for the vacant IBF title deserves some respect.
Using a non-stop attack, Baranchyk landed enough of his heavy punches to close the left eye of the 27-year-old Swede and force the ringside doctor to order the fight to be halted. Yigit never stopped countering Baranchyk’s punches but just got caught by too many.
Yigit is a quality performer having won the vacant EBU title in the UK against battle-hardened Lenny Daws in 2017 and then defending against Spain’s experienced Sandor Martin at home in Sweden. He then returned to England to defend against tough Joe Hughes at the Leicester Arena.
The Baranchyk vs Yigit fight was a battle of unbeaten prospects and fought on fairly even terms until the eye injury became a deciding factor. Baranchyk will come to Glasgow with confidence, he has after all just beaten a good boxer with a previously untarnished record.
In Josh Taylor, Baranchyk meets one of the top prospects in world boxing even though he has only fought 14 times in the professional ranks. It is the level of opposition that Taylor has faced in that short career that impresses knowledgeable fans and media alike.
Taylor’s June 2018 win over former WBC champion Victor Postal announced to the boxing world that the resident of a small fishing town called Prestonpans just east of Edinburgh was ready and willing to fight the elite in the 140lb division. Postal, who has scored 2 good wins since the defeat knew by the end of the 12 rounds that he had met a quality operator, there was no argument over the unanimous decision. The only other defeat on Postal’s 31-2-0 ledger was to P4P top 10 listee Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford in a unification bout.
Taylor then entered the WBSS tournament quarter-final and met unbeaten American Ryan Martin at the Scot’s home from home SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow. Martin was dispatched in 7 rounds in a display that suggested that the 26-year-old from Ohio was over-awed by the occasion.
Baranchyk will not be overawed I am sure and will bring his A game with him. Having recently switched head trainer to Freddie Roach will add another dimension to his game and Taylor must produce the sort of boxing he did against Postal to secure the win and move on to that match against Prograis.
This could be the hardest test Taylor has faced to date but he should get the ‘W’ with a hard fought decision.