JOSH TAYLOR has made weight for his first world title challenge. But it took some time to get there.
IBF super-lightweight champion Ivan Baranchyk made weight at the first attempt, coming in at 139½lbs. In great shape and fine spirits, the man from Belarus roared enthusiastically.
Taylor was initially just over the limit, by 0.2lbs according the announcer. (The weights being announced in kilos rather than pounds might have led to confusion, as the Scotsman thought he had made weight until he was later informed otherwise).
Wild eyed, Taylor pressed his forehead into Baranchyk at their face off. The champion though looked perfectly at ease, simply smiling back.
Their World Boxing Super Series semi-final will still take place at the Hydro in Glasgow tomorrow (May 18), a WBSS spokesman confirmed Taylor did subsequently make the weight.
As it’s for an IBF title there will be a check weigh in tomorrow morning, with neither allowed to exceed the limit by more than 10lbs.
The two fighters should be set though for a tremendous encounter. Taylor is a skilled southpaw, with composed defence who can attack viciously. Baranchyk applies aggressive pressure and although this will be his first fight with trainer Freddie Roach the two could well prove to be a well-matched pair.
The show is the best in Britain so far with year with fearsome Japanese bantamweight Naoya Inoue fighting IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez in another World Boxing Super Series semi-final on the same bill. Both made weight, coming in at 117¾lbs.