SCOTLAND’S Josh Taylor secured a world title, and a place in the final of the World Boxing Super Series, with a unanimous decision win over IBF super-lightweight champion Ivan Baranchyk at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow on Saturday.
The champion from Belarus was relentless, pressing Taylor with hard salvos of hooks during the opening third of their fight. It was a close contest to start with but Taylor made a savage breakthrough at the halfway stage.
In the sixth round a fantastically placed southpaw right hook toppled Baranchyk, sending him down to the canvas. Taylor maintained the assault when the champion rose. A left uppercut backed up a right hook. He dashed a cross through to drop Baranchyk a second time.
The man from Belarus refused to yield, coming back busily. He found moments when he caught Taylor in a corner or on the ropes, unleashing hefty hooks with either hand. Taylor did let shots through, having to withstand some punishing punches. But he used his slicker footwork to manoeuvre Baranchyk out of position and pick his moments to press forward. They fell on one another in the last round standing toe-to-toe for a thrilling finale. But Taylor had secured a unanimous decision victory, 117-109 and 115-111 on two cards.
“A dream come true, And the new. I’m over the moon. I’m over the moon,” Taylor beamed afterwards.
“I took more risks than I should have,” he reflected. “I took more punches than I should have. I could have made that a lot more comfortable for myself… Easy peasey.
“I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. I’ve dreamed of this moment for so long.”
He will box the USA’s Regis Prograis in a unification for the American’s WBA world title and Taylor’s new IBF crown in the final of the World Boxing Super Series. Prograis was ringside to see Taylor’s impressive victory over Baranchyk. “Excellent fight, excellent atmosphere. It was a hell of a fight,” Prograis said.
“They put on a show. The best fighting the best, that’s what the World Boxing Super series is all about.”
On the undercard Naoya Inoue monstered Emmanuel Rodriguez in another World Boxing Super Series semi-final. Read more here.