Josh Taylor became the latest of revered Scottish World Champions, when he annexed the IBF Super Lightweight Title from the waist of the teak tough Champion, Ivan Baranchyk, as he moved into the World Boxing Super Series final.
The SSE Hydro in Glasgow was at fever pitch, and the atmosphere inside the impressive building was electric, as the crowd cheered the home hero on. After the introductions were completed, and instructions issued, it was down to business. Baranchyk loaded up with a right hand in the early exchanges, and both had successes, but Taylor’s smart boxing and combination punches just shaded the round. There was no feeling out process in this one, with referee Howard Foster hardly having to call a break throughout.
By the second, Taylor had found the range, making Baranchyk miss with his excellent movement, while landing with an eye-catching body shot of his own. The third saw much of the same from Taylor, with his boxing at range causing Baranchyk problems. A right from Baranchyk momentarily silenced the crowd in round four, but Taylor soon had the home support back on side with a barrage of his own. When Taylor boxed and moved, he regularly held the upper hand. It was a big round five for the Belarusian, as he momentarily wobbled Josh’s legs, nailing the Prestonpans man with a thunderous right hand.
It was turning into a war of attrition, with Baranchyk warming to his task, but Taylor stopped Ivan in his tracks, and swung the fight in his favour, with two knockdowns in the sixth. A frenzied body attack from the Scot made Baranchyk wince, before a short right hand nailed the Champion coming in to send him to the canvas. Baranchyk survived and looked to cling on and see out the round, but Taylor sensed his time had come and a relentless body attack dropped Ivan once more right at the end of the session. Baranchyk was saved by the bell.
From there on, when Taylor boxed at range, he controlled the fight. But he has a tendency to want to get drawn into a firefight, and he possibly made the fight harder than it needed to be. Baranchyk remained dangerous throughout but was coming off second best.to “The Tartan Tornado” who was picking his man off with some impressive boxing.
Two scores of 115-111, and one of 117-109 ensured that Taylor was crowned the new Champion.
He moves on to the final of the prestigious tournament, where waiting for him will be the undefeated Regis Prograis. The Texan is the WBA (Super) Champion, and is unbeaten in twenty-four contests, so it will be another step up in class for the likeable Taylor.
Naoya Inoue is now WBA, IBF and Ring Magazine Bantamweight Champion, after ruthlessly halting Emmanuel Rodriguez in less than two rounds at a partisan SSE Hydro in Glasgow.
The Japanese superstar just gets better and better, and, after a give and take opener, he demolished Rodriguez, ripping the Puerto Rican’s IBF belt from him in the process.
The buzz for the arrival on UK shores of Naoya Inoue saw a healthy Japanese contingent make the long journey to Glasgow, and he made his way to the ring to a rapturous reception from both UK and Japanese fans alike.
Inoue took a decent left from the Puerto Rican in the first but responded with a big right of his own in what was frantic action, with Inoue landing some clean shots to stamp his authority.
A right hand from Rodriguez got Inoue’s attention in the second and sparked “The Monster” into devastating action. A lightening quick left hand dropped Rodriguez to the canvas. Blood was streaming from Rodriguez’s nose and it didn’t get much better for him on the resumption. A brutal Inoue left hook to the body folded Rodriguez, forcing him to visit the canvas for a second time. He was shaking his head during the count, almost in disbelief.
The end was swift in coming, with another volley of punches depositing Rodriguez to the deck for a third time. Referee Michael Alexander administered the count but had seen enough to wave the contest off. Inoue now moves on to the showpiece final, to meet the WBA (Super) Champion, Nonito Donaire, who is no slouch in the accomplishment stakes himself, having ruled as a World Champion in four different weights.