Scottish superstar Josh Taylor wins IBF title and advances to face Regis Prograis in the WBSS final, after outscoring Ivan Baranchyk
Josh Taylor solidified his status as Scottish boxing’s standard-bearer as the 2012 Olympian won his first professional world title in just his 15th paid bout, wresting the IBF super-lightweight belt from dogged Belarussian Ivan Baranchyk at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow. A significant bonus for the Prestonpans star was the place he secured in the World Boxing Super Series final, against WBA king Regis Prograis, who was an interested ringside observer.
Taylor took a hard-fought unanimous decision at 117-109 and 115-111 twice. The scores did not reflect the tough nature of this battle.The first four rounds resembled a violent chess match, a tactical duel, before the fight exploded into life from the fifth.
That round saw Baranchyk pile on the pressure, landing plenty and both finished the session cut, while Taylor’s nose bled. This was the closest Ivan came to fulfilling a pre-fight promise to beat Taylor up.
Any momentum the champion had built was quickly quashed in the next, as Taylor found some sharpness and venom to score two knockdowns. The first came from a beautiful counter right hook, then the follow-up barrage, topped by a left over top, felled Ivan again. It was a nightmare round for the Freddie Roach-trained man.
Baranchyk fought back hard in the seventh, targeting the body, and clearly won the last, but Taylor dictated the pace in between, mostly landing the cleaner shots as both men tired.
In victory, Taylor becomes trainer Shane McGuigan’s first world champion he has mentored from the start of his pro career. Now for Prograis vs Taylor and what a mouthwatering prospect that is.