Josh Taylor already predicting win over Ivan Baranchyk
By Scott Gilfoid: Fresh off his 7th round knockout victory over Ryan Martin (22-1, 12 KOs) last Saturday night in the World Boxing Super Series quarterfinals in Glasgow, Scotland, WBC Silver light welterweight champion Josh Taylor (14-0, 12 KOs) is already predicting a victory over undefeated IBF 140 lb champion Ivan Baranchyk (19-0, 12 KOs) in the semifinal of the WBSS tourney in early 2019.
There are a lot of boxing fans that aren’t feeling nearly as confident about Taylor beating a talent like Baranchyk after the way he performed against Martin last Saturday night at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow. It’s not that the 27-year-old Taylor looked bad. It’s more of a case of him failing to look as good as the hard-hitting Russian knockout artist Baranchyk did in his quarterfinal victory in the WBSS light welterweight tournament over Anthony Yigit on October 27 at the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Even fewer boxing fans are giving Taylor much chance of beating interim WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis (23-0, 19 KOs), who easily beat former WBO lightweight champion Terry Flanagan (33-2, 13 KOs) in their quarterfinal fight in the WBSS tourney on October 27 at the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans. Prograis won the Yigit fight by the scores 117-110, 118-109 and 119-108.
“In my next fight, I’m going to be a world champion,” Taylor said to IFL TV. “I have no doubt about it, especially after that performance right there. I was never in 2nd gear. When I perform like that, there’s nobody that can stop me in the tournament. The trophy absolutely has my name on it,” Taylor said.
Taylor, 27, and Baranchyk will be meeting up in the semifinal of the World Boxing Super Series 140 lb tournament in early 2019. Although the location of the Taylor vs. Baranchyk still hasn’t been revealed, it’s likely that the match will take place in Glasgow as well. That might make things difficult for Baranchyk to get the victory unless he comes out on fire, intent on not letting the judges score the fight, and on his guard for any potential rabbit punches that Taylor might accidentally land like he did against Ryan Martin in the 7th round. It would be better for the boxing fan if the Taylor vs. Baranchyk fight were to take place in a neutral venue like Saudi Arabia like we saw with the George Groves vs. Callum Smith fight in the super middleweight final of the World Boxing Super Series tournament last September. However, it’s likely that the Taylor-Baranchyk fight will take place where it can make the most amount of money in terms of ticket sales. Right now, one would have to believe that Glasgow would be the place where the Taylor vs. Baranchyk can make more revenue. Baranchyk isn’t a star yet in the United States. That could change in the near future if Baranchyk wins the WBSS tournament and continues to shine in future. Already many boxing fans are comparing Baranchyk with a young former middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin in terms of his fighting style and the excitement he brings to the table for his fights.
“He looks strong, really strong, but I think I have the beating of him, especially after that performance right there,” Taylor said of Ivan Baranchyk.
Baranchyk looked more powerful than Taylor in his win over Yigit last month, and he was clearly the busier fighter. Baranchyk reminded this writer of a young Aaron Pryor with the way that he was throwing nonstop punches against Yigit. Baranchyk has so much power that it didn’t matter that he was throwing so many shots. Baranchyk’s heavy hands enabled him to wear Yigit down, and eventually cause the stoppage of the fight due to swelling of the Swedish fighter’s left eye after the 7th round. With as many hard shots that Baranchyk was landing, something was going to give with Yigit. You could tell that he was going to
“I don’t think I’m going to be surprised at what he brings. I’m going to focus on Baranchyk, and after that, I’ll focus on [Regis] Prograis as well,” Taylor said.
Taylor needs to focus on the task in front of him in concentrating on the young, powerful and dare I say talented 25-year-old Baranchyk. In case Taylor doesn’t fixate on the Russian dynamo Baranchyk, he’s going to lose badly to him in the semifinal. Baranchyk hits harder, throws more punches, and looks to be the more rugged than Taylor. Baranchyk, 5’8″, isn’t as tall as the 5’10” Taylor, but he’s not going to be dwarfed by him when he gets inside the ring on the night. Two inches of height advantage isn’t enough for Taylor to stand on the outside and peck away at Baranchyk all night long. As we observed last Saturday night, Taylor likes to fight at medium to close range to do most of his work, which means he’s going to be in punching range at all times against Baranchyk. Ivan is capable of throwing over 1000 punches on any given night. He’s basically a modern day Aaron Pryor, and he’s going to be difficult for anyone in the World Boxing Super Series tournament to defeat, especially someone that is economical with their shots and easy to hit like Josh Taylor. On paper, the only guy that is remaining in the tournament that could give Baranchyk problems is Prograis. The only reason Prograis has an advantage over Baranchyk is his tremendous punching power. Prograis hits so hard that he might be able to take out Baranchyk with one of his big shots. Taylor isn’t the same way. He looks too weak to be able to hurt Baranchyk with anything he can throw unless he lands a rabbit shot like he did against Ryan Martin last Saturday. I mean, if Taylor is allowed to get away with throwing punches to the back of Baranchyk in the semifinal, then the fight will come down to whether the referee is willing to enforce the rules or not. Aside from that, Baranchyk would need to figure out a strategy to defeat the punches to the back of the head from Taylor. Hopefully, we don’t see a street fight without rules on the night, as it would be a bad look for the World Boxing Super Series tournament. It would be in Baranchyk’s promoter’s best interest to take a close look at the officiating for the Taylor fight to make sure a quality referee is selected that is good at enforces the rules.