In 2014 Josh Taylor was announced as the Boxing Writers Amateur of the year. With the accolade brings great promise, which Taylor has an opportunity to fulfil on Saturday when he fights Ivan Baranchyk for the IBF light welterweight title.
Baranchyk (19-0) to the casual fan may seem to be a relative unknown but the unbeaten man had clocked up 12 knockouts including Petrov who has boxed the likes of Maidana and Flanagan. The TKO against Petrov shows that he can mix in good opposition.
At 18-0 Baranchyk entered the WBSS and defeated Yigit for the vacant IBF light welterweight title. The doctor waved the bout off, with Yigit sustaining a horrific eye injury which exemplified Baranchyk’s punch power.
Looking back Baranchyk’s fights, the way he looks to win this fight is with a jab followed up by a left hook, almost in a Froch vs Groves style knock out (in reverse). For this camp Baranchyk has employed the help of future hall of fame trainer Freddie Roach,who has backed this up explaining his man will be looking for the knock out.
Taylor (14-0) is a heavy favorite, Skybet have the Prestonpansman as 1/6 on. The reason for this would be the amateur pedigree and the fact in 14 fights he has 12 knockouts despite fighting quality opposition.
Ohara Davies was Taylor’s first big step up. Stopping Davies with a right hook, he managed to beat the count but bizarrely seems to stop as Taylor went to finish the bout. Next up was Vazquez who Taylor stopped in the 9th. This was the first time Vazquez has been stopped, a feat not even Canelo Alverez could achieve.
An argument for Taylor being world class was established when he beat former world Viktor Postol at the SSE Hydro. The victory bucked the trend in that it was a point’s victory for Taylor, but when you consider Postol defeated the likes of Mendy & Matthysse it can be excused.
4 years since Taylor turned professional; he can now turn that argument that he is world class into a reality.
The age old saying; “styles make fights” is pertinent here. Shane McGuigan (Taylor’s trainer) will be well aware of Baranchyk’spower and I cannot see Shane wanting Taylor to engage early despite his tendency to be clinical a finisher. Adding in the fact Baranchyk has shown great conditioning in previous fights I cannot see him fading in the same way as Davies.
My prediction for this fight is a Taylor stoppage between rounds8-10. A McGuigan boxer typically is good at switching from body to head and I see Josh being no different in this fight. Example of Groves vs Chudinov, he continually employed the right to the body and double left to the head to break down Chudinov. I can see Baranchyk applying pressure early, from round 2 Taylor willstart to go to work to body to slow Baranchyk with Taylor picking up the pace late in the fight.
If my prediction comes true, surely this puts Taylor in the top 5 P4P in the UK…
Written by Karl, The Straight Hitter
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