This Saturday, we will finally get the World Boxing Super Series semifinal matchup between Super Lightweight contender and #2 seeded 🏴Josh “the Tartan Tornado” Taylor (14-0-0, 12KO) and current IBF champion and #4 seed 🇧🇾Ivan “The Beast” Baranchyk (19-0-0, 12KO). When it comes to the physical matchup Josh Taylor has the upper hand standing 5’10” with a 69 1/2″ reach, while Baranchyk comes in at 5’8″ and 67″ reach. Taylor has a KO ratio of 82%, while Baranchyk comes in at 63%.
Baranchyk has a rough, if not at times wild style, that up to this point has allowed him to pummel his way through to 19 victories, 12 by knockout, including stopping Sweden’s Anthony Yigit in the 7th round of the WBSS quarterfinals last October. The stoppage came as a result of a nasty swollen eye on Yigit rather than him succumbing to the power of Baranchyk’s shots.
While Baranchyk is strong, throwing powerful chopping hooks and uppercuts, his knockouts tend to come by way of an accumulation of power shots rather than delivering a single lights out punch. He is right on top of his opponent with a relentless attack, which in turn gives way to a leaky defense that allows for him to be caught with clean counter shots.
That leaky defense could spell disaster Saturday night against Taylor, who put his skill set on full display in his quarterfinals match in November against Ryan Martin and even more so when he defeated Viktor Postol. Like Baranchyk, Taylor won’t deliver the one punch knockout, rather he combines his boxing IQ with a high activity rate that breaks his opponents down over the course of a fight, then moves in to finish the job.
I don’t see more than the classic punchers chance for Baranchyk in this one. Under trainer Freddie Roach’s guidance, expect the gameplan to be for Baranchyk to come out with an aggressive attack on Taylor early in an attempt to impose his will and get the fight in his wheelhouse.
I suspect Taylor will know this, and he will use Baranchyk’s aggression and tendency to load up on his shots against him, outboxing him into a frustrated and fatigued state by the 5th-6th rounds. Once that happens the difference in class will show as Taylor opens up his offensive package on Baranchyk, boxing circles around him as the Russian slugger is lost for answers.
I’m taking Josh Taylor to defeat Ivan Baranchyk by 8th round TKO to win the IBF title on his way to a great WBSS Finals matchup against 🇺🇸Regis Prograis.