By Scott Gilfoid
Josh ‘The Tartan Tornado’ Taylor knocked Ivan Baranchyk (19-1, 12 KOs) down a couple of times in round six to go on to capture the Russian fighter’s IBF light welterweight title in winning a 12 round unanimous decision in their World Boxing Super Series semifinal fight at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. The scores were 117-109, 115-111 and 115-111.
Taylor’s left eye was bleeding in the fifth, and he was stunned by a big shot from Baranchyk. Fortunately for Taylor, Baranchyk’s accuracy was nowhere tonight, as he was whiffing with punches one after another. It didn’t matter that Taylor didn’t move his head and was standing right in front of him. Baranchyk fought like a wild amateur from star to the bitter finish. The fifth round could have been a real disaster for Taylor if Baranchyk had more talent.
The sixth round proved to be critical for Taylor’s win
Taylor turned a close fight into a route in dropping Baranchyk twice in the sixth round with big shots. Baranchyk was trying to land a big shot of his own when he got tagged by a big right hand that put him on the seat of his pants. When Baranchyk got back up, he made the mistake of trying to exchange with Taylor, and he wound up getting dropped again. In hindsight, it was dumb mistake on Baranchyk’s part in trying to trade with Taylor after the first knockdown. He should have clinched him to make it out of the round without going down again. It was one of those rookie mistakes that fighters like Baranchyk made. Baranchyk didn’t have much experience to speak of going into tonight’s fight aside from his win over Anthony Yigit in the quarterfinals of the World Boxing Super Series tournament, and he looked horrible in that fight.
After the fight, Taylor said that it could have been an easier fight for him if he’d boxed more instead of mixing it with Baranchyk. It looked like Taylor had no choice but to mix it up. Baranchyk was coming forward all night long, and Taylor couldn’t move forever without being booed out of the arena. Had Taylor tried to be more evasive, he would made it a boring fight.
Taylor got away with a lot of fouling
Taylor got away with a lot of fouling in the fight. He was hitting on the break, using his shoulder to move Baranchyk by bumping him in the head, and he was using his forearm to lace him. It looked pretty dirty. You can argue that the referee should have been more proactive in addressing the dirty stuff from Taylor. He didn’t win the fight due to the fouling. Taylor was always going to win, because Baranchyk was too limited to do much other than throw wild shots in each round. In watching Baranchyk fight, it was hard to believe that he was a world champion going into the contest. He looked awful tonight. If the referee had been on his J-O-B, and taken some points off from Taylor for his roughhouse tactics, the fight would have been a heck of a lot closer than it was. Oh well, that’s how it goes when a fighter is at home, I guess.
The victory for the 28-year-old unbeaten Taylor (15-0, 12 KOs) moves him into the final of the WBSS 140-pound tournament to face Regis Prograis (24-0, 20 KOs), who was on hand after the fight tonight to face off with him inside the ring afterwards.
“This is a dream come true, I’m over the moon,” Taylor said. “I took more risks than I should have and switched off a couple of times, it could have been easier. Thanks to all my fans.”
This was a VERY hard fight for Taylor
Whether Taylor wants to admit it or not, this was a difficult fight for him tonight against Baranchyk. He was getting a lot by shots to the body and head by the Russian fighter all night long. Even with Baranchyk missing by a mile much of the time, he was still able to catch Taylor with some shots that clearly got his attention. If this had been Regis Prograis inside the ring tonight, Taylor likely wouldn’t have made it to the final bell, no matter how much fouling he did. Prograis wouldn’t have been missing with his shots, and he wouldn’t have let Taylor hit him on the break so many times.
After the fight, Prograis would booed by Taylor’s boxing fans when he attempted to speak to the crowd. Prograis tried to appease the fans by saying that he would come to Glasgow to fight Taylor, but they still booed him. Prograis might want to reconsider now and instead take the fight with Taylor to a neutral venue where there would be potential for controversy. It’s better safe than sorry.
If Taylor doesn’t want to get steamrolled by Prograis the way he recently did in beating Kiryl Relikh, he’s going to need to make some MAJOR improvements in his game. Right now, Taylor looks like food for a talent like Prograis. That’s the long and short of it. Taylor is a good fighter, but Prograis is a GREAT fighter right now. This guy is something special.