WBSS: Baranchyk vs Taylor Preview
By Matthew Dean
Following months of “will they, won’t they?”, Josh Taylor (14-0-0. 12KOs) will at last be staring across a ring at much vaunted opponent Ivan “the Beast” Baranchyk (19-0-0. 12KOs).
This Saturday in Glasgow, these two boxers will collide in what promises to make a more than decent semi-final of the World Boxing Super Series.
Baranchyk was according to various sources, in and out of the competition due to wrangling about payments. He may have been stripped of his IBF belt, had he decided not to fight against the Scot but all appears to have been set square just in time. Taylor is just happy to be fighting his Belarusian foe and stated:
“I’m glad Baranchyk is coming Glasgow to fight,” and “Can’t wait to rip the belt off you and send you homeward to think again.”
This fight will be contested for the WBC silver title and the IBF world super lightweight title. The winner will meet Regis Prograis in the final.
These are in my perspective two fights which Taylor can win, two fights which in my opinion Taylor will win. He is that good and most importantly getting better.
Sometimes you watch a fighter as they begin to make real progress in a division and you see something special. That talent is being fully nurtured and expertly developed to world class level by Shane McGuigan, guided further by his father and former champion Barry McGuigan.
An Olympian from the 2012 Olympics, Taylor is 28 and undefeated. He can box and he can punch, 12 stoppages from 14 are testament to his power, yet he is not a one punch KO artist. Taylor’s likes to wear down his opponent then sensing that they are hurt, he pounces on them with flurries of hurtful blows like a big cat savaging an already wounded prey.
However, this is going to be a hard fight as Baranchyk is a far from easy opponent.
Baranchyk is also a decent puncher, and undefeated. Twelve out of nineteen opponents have failed to see the final bell but his is a different style to Taylor.
The Belarusian is a come forward fighter who loads up and has seriously bad intentions behind every blow. It makes for exciting viewing yet he can be hit in the process of launching these big looping shots and if Taylor plans to box him this is going to tire him over the distance especially as Baranchyk has never fought the 12 round distance. His longest fight going only so far as a 10 round decision, two years ago.
Taylor has a few natural advantages; two inches in height and three inches extra reach
Baranchyk may hold a perfect record but it isn’t the most decorated whereas Taylor holds wins over Ohara Davies (TKO7), Victor Postol (UD12) & Ryan Martin (TKO7).
I would anticipate that Baranchyk is going to come forward aggressively to try and force a stoppage, especially after the judging was questioned by some following the Postol fight. I personally scored it 117-112 for Taylor, but many saw it a lot closer.
The IBF champ will understand this and want to make his mark. I can imagine that Taylor will want to box to see what kind of firepower Baranchyk possesses but he won’t be frightened to go to war if the need arises.
Whatever happens the fight in Glasgow is unlikely to disappoint.