Josh Taylor vs. Ryan Martin & Ryan Burnett vs. Nonito Donaire on Nov.3 in Glasgow, Scotland
By Scott Gilfoid: It’s now official for November 3 that Josh Taylor will face unbeaten Ryan Martin, and WBC Super World bantamweight champion Ryan Burnett will be defending against former four division world champion Nonito Donaire at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. Taylor and Martin will be scrapping it out in the quarterfinals of the World Boxing Super Series light welterweight tournament, whereas Donaire and Burnett will be fighting in the quarterfinals of the WBSS bantamweight tournament.
Donaire is fighting at 118 for the first time in seven years since 2011 when he defeated Omar Andres Narvaez by a 12 round unanimous decision. There’s major question marks about whether Donaire can get back down to 118 to make weight for the Burnett fight. If Donaire does make weight, will he have anything in the tank to win a younger fighter like Burnett? Donaire is almost 10 years older than the 26-year-old Burnett at 35, and that’s going to put him in position where he could lose. Donaire is the stronger, more experienced and dare I say the far more talented fighter than Burnett, but the age and the weight might get to him in this fight.
Taylor (13-0, 11 KOs) and Burnett (19-0, 9 KOs) are expected to win those fights, but don’t be surprised if they both wind up losing to their talented opponents. World Boxing Association ‘Super World’ bantamweight champion Burnett, 26, is a very beatable guy, who clearly is the weak link among the four 118 pound champions. Burnett (19-0, 9 KOs) recently gave up his IBF bantamweight title after the International Boxing Federation ordered him to defend against the highly talented Emmanuel Rodriguez. Burnett must not have wanted any part of the unbeaten 26-year-old Emmanuel Rodriguez (18-0, 12 KOs), because shortly after that, he vacated his IBF title rather than face him. Rodriguez comes from Puerto Rico, and he’s seen as the next star from that country. Rodriguez will be defending his IBF title on October 20 against Jason Maloney (17-0, 14 KOs) in the WBSS bantamweight tournament.
This is a good card. Hopefully, we don’t see a couple of robberies on the night because Taylor and Burnett are fighting in the UK, and we saw some crazy scoring in Josh’s last fight in Glasgow against Viktor Postol in June of this year in Glasgow, Scotland. Taylor appeared to barely win the fight over Postol, and yet the judges scored it 117-110, 118-110 and 119-109 for Josh. Boxing News 24 had Taylor edging the fight by 2 points over the 34-year-old Postol. The performance by Taylor suggests that he may end up losing to the 25-year-old Martin, who is bigger, stronger, faster and younger than him. If Taylor doesn’t get beaten by Martin, he’s going to have a Dickens trying to get past World Boxing Council interim light welterweight champion Regis Prograis (22-0, 19 KOs), who will be facing former WBO lightweight champion Terry Flanagan (33-1, 13 KOs) in his quarterfinal match in the WBSS light welterweight tournament on October 27 at the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana. Prograis, 29, is the No.1 seed in the tournament. The organizers have set the WBSS tournament up to where Prograis and Taylor have a good chance of meeting in the WBSS final if they win their quarterfinal and semifinals matches.
– Josh Taylor vs. Ryan Martin – Taylor fought in the 2012 Olympics, but was eliminated in his second fight of the competition by Domenico Valentino of Italy by a 15-10 score. Taylor won his first fight of the games in beating Robson Conceicao of Brazil by a 13-9 score. Since turning pro, Taylor has been matched carefully against an old Miguel Vazquez, Postol, Winston Campos, Ohara Davies, Warren Joubert, Alfonso Olvera and Dave Ryan. Martin, who goes by the nickname, ‘Blue Chip, has looked sensational in beating Briedis Prescott, Luis Eduardo Florez, Fancisco Rojo, Marcos Jimenz, Bryant Cruz and Yardley Armenta Cruz. Martin hasn’t fought good opposition, but he’s looked impressive in winning those fights.
– Ryan Burnett vs. Nonito Donaire This is a tough fight for Burnett, who isn’t much of a puncher and hasn’t fought the quality opposition yet during his career. Burnett won the WBA bantamweight title in beating Zhanat Zhakiyanov by a 12 round unanimous decision last October in a unification fight. Burnett used a strategy of mauling and holding to neutralize Zhakiyanov’s superior punching power and offense to win an ugly 12 round decision. Zhakiyanov still appeared to do enough to deserve the victory, but the fight took place in Burnett’s home country in Belfast, Northern Ireland, so it’s not surprising that he was given the win. It was a terrible fight to watch though due to Burnett’s nonstop holding. It was 12 rounds of stalling on Burnett’s part and pure gaming of the system. A good referee would have taken points off and disqualified Burnett for his constant holding and wrestling, but the referee that worked the fight didn’t do a thing to address the holding. The fight reminded me of watching an old basketball game on Youtube before the introduction of the 24-second shot clock. One team was passing the ball nonstop and just stalling out the game and not even trying to win in a traditional sense. Burnett did the same thing with Zhakiyanov in stalling out the rounds. The referee Howard John Foster just stood and watched the mauling by Burnett without doing anything about it. Hopefully, Burnett doesn’t use the same tactic against the soon to be 36-year-old Donaire. That would be a real tragedy if Burnett looks to hold his way to an ugly win over Donaire on November 3, because it would be bad for the boxing public that come to see the fight live at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow. Donaire is coming off of a 12 round unanimous decision loss to interim WBO featherweight champion Carl Frampton last April in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Despite losing the fight by a set of wide scores, Donaire looked very good and gave Frampton major problems. The judges scored the fight for Frampton by the scores 117-111, 117-111 and 117-111. I had Frampton winning by a 115-113 score. I mean, Frampton won the fight, but just barely. It was not a great performance by him.
Hopefully the November 3 card has quality scoring done by the judges, as it would be a huge buzz-kill if the boxing public sees the type of scoring that they witnessed in Josh Taylor’s fight with Postol and Burnett’s match against Zhakiyanov. With the Taylor vs. Martin and Burnett vs. Donaire fights being shown worldwide, it’s important that the judges score the fight in a logical manner that makes sense to the boxing fans. The fights will be televised on DAZN in the U.S, so the American boxing fans can see for themselves who the better fighters are.