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Josh Taylor vs. Ivan Baranchyk possible for Glasgow, Scotland


By Mike Smith: Josh Taylor moved forward to the semifinals of the world Boxing Super Series light welterweight tournament with a controversial 7th round knockout victory over Ryan Martin last Saturday night, and he’ll now be facing Ivan Baranchyk (19-0, 12 KOs) next.

WBSS organizer Kalle Sauerland said the Barancyk vs. Taylor fight could take place in Glasgow, Scotland, which is where last Saturday’s fight took place. There’s also a chance the Taylor-Baranchyk fight could take place in the United States, Russia or Saudi Arabia. However, the fact that Sauerland mentioned Glasgow FIRST as a place of interest for the Taylor vs. Baranchyk fight.

The World Boxing Super Series light welterweight tournament is down to these two fights for the semifinals:

Josh Taylor vs. Ivan Baranchyk

Regis Prograis vs. Kiryl Relikh

The winner of those two fights are expected to be Taylor and Prograis (23-0, 19 KOs. However, you can’t rule out an upset or two. Prograis looked like nothing special in winning his quarterfinal fight in the WBSS tournament in beating former WBO 135 lb champion Terry Flanagan (33-2, 13 KOs) on October 27 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Prograis was throwing single shots most of the fight, and treading Flanagan like a knockout threat despite his low KO percentage. While some boxing fans surmised that Prograis didn’t throw punches in order to carry the British fighter to make it interesting for the fans at the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, that proved not to be the case. Prograis admired later that he was uncomfortable with Flanagan’s style, and that made him hesitant to throw punches. If Prograis fights the same way against Taylor, then he’ll lose the fight to him by a lopsided decision.

Baranchyk has the power, size, youth and power to beat Taylor. If Baranchyk throws 1000 punches like he was on track to do against his quarterfinal opponent in the WBSS tournament in Anthony Yigit, it’s going to be hard for Taylor to win without controversial scoring or a lightning quick stoppage of his opponent like we saw with his win over Ryan Martin. In the case of Taylor’s fight with Martin, he fouled him first with a punch to the back of the head that led to the fight being stopped. The Scottish referee Victor Loughlin jumped in too fast in stopping the fight. He should have given Martin a timeout to recover from the rabbit punch by Taylor.

Either way, it’s going to be a grueling fight for Taylor against Baranchyk. He might not win. If Taylor does win the fight, he’s likely going to come out of the Baranchyk fight worn down in a major way from all the shots he’s going to get hit with by the Russian fighter. Again, that would only be the case if there isn’t a fast stoppage like we saw in the Martin fight. If Taylor hits Baranchyk with a few shots and the referee lassos the Russian fighter to stop the fight, then it won’t be a punishing fight for the Scottish fighter. The referee needs to let the fighters fight, and not ruin the contest like we saw in the Taylor-Martin fight. That goes for the referee doing a better job of policing the fouling by taking points off from fighters for throwing rabbit punches instead of rewarding the fighter that threw them by stopping the contest moments after.

“Ivan Baranchyk is the IBF light welterweight champion. It’s a huge fight,” Kalle Sauerland said to IFL TV about a fight between Josh Taylor and Ivan Baranchyk in the semifinal of the World Boxing Super Series. “Glasgow, the States, and Saudi,” Sauerland said when asked where he”ll stage the Taylor vs. Baranchyk fight.

Taylor (14-0, 12 KOs) had his way with the over-matched Martin (22-1, 12 KOs) in stopping him in the 7th round at 2:21 at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. Taylor did what most boxing fans and experts thought he was going to do in stopping Martin. The American fighter didn’t belong in the WBSS tournament. This was pointed out ahead of time by a lot of people, and it was born out.

Up until Taylor took Martin out with a rabbit punch in the 7th, he didn’t find too much success going upstairs with his shots. Most of Taylor’s shots that were getting through the airtight guard of Martin were the ones that landed to his midsection. Even those shots were frequently blocked. Taylor had success with those shots more often because Martin wasn’t throwing anything back at him. This allowed Taylor to carefully pick spots that he normally wouldn’t be able to do if he were fighting someone that was throwing punches back at him. Martin was still in the fight at the time of the stoppage. He should have been allowed to continue fighting.

For Taylor, this was the second consecutive controversial fight in his hometown in Glasgow. In Taylor’s previous fight against Viktor Postol last June, he was given a 12 round unanimous decision. While there’s little disagreement that Taylor deserve the victory, there was huge disagreement from the fans over the scoring of the fight. Most fans saw Taylor winning by two points at the most. The judges scored it 117-110, 118-110 and 119-108. Boxing News 24 had Taylor winning 7 rounds to 5. The fight was very close. The fact that the fight took place in Taylor’s hometown of Glasgow, Scotland gave the indication to some fans that he was given wide scores because he was the A-side fighter competing at home.

Given the recent history, it’s going to be risky for Baranchyk if he has to go to Scotland to fight Taylor rather than fighting him in a neutral venue like the United States or Saudi Arabia. The Taylor vs. Baranchyk fight should take place in a neutral spot, but it likely won’t.

“It was an easy fight. I never got got into second gear,” Josh Taylor said to IFL TV. “I was expecting a hard fight. I hit him with a sharp jab in the 1st, and I saw in his eyes that he was in shock with the speed and power that was in it. Later in the fight, I caught him with a good body shot and he winced. I thought I’m hurting him straightaway. He was kind of hesitating. I was catching him with good body shots and hurting him. I thought, ‘easy fight,’” Taylor said.

Martin was hesitating to throw punches from the moment the fight started. It wasn’t because of the shots that Taylor was throwing. Martin looked like he didn’t want to be there. His trainer Abel Sanchez should have recognized that early on and pulled him out of the fight. Some guys aren’t meant to fight against world class opposition. Sanchez tried to encourage Martin to throw punches, but it was no use. He didn’t want to fight. Sanchez had given an indication before the fight that Martin didn’t have the fighting mentality to be in the game by saying he lacked meanness.

The winner of the World Boxing Super Series 140 lb tournament will face WBC light welterweight champion Jose Ramirez in a unification fight. Before that fight, Ramirez is expected to pick up the WBO title in facing the winner of the Maurice Hooker vs. Alex Saucedo fight.

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