Josh Taylor won his first world title at home in Scotland, taking the IBF junior welterweight title from Ivan Baranchyk with a clear decision win. Along with the title, Taylor earns a spot in the World Boxing Super Series 140-pound tournament final, where he’ll face WBA titleholder Regis Prograis later this year.
Taylor (15-0, 12 KO) won on scores of 115-111, 115-111, and 117-109. Bad Left Hook had it 117-109 for Taylor on two separate cards.
Taylor, 28, proved his class, but he didn’t merely outbox Baranchyk (19-1, 12 KO), either. For much of the fight, he played what was thought to be Baranchyk’s game, banging with him in close and managing to out-fight the rugged Belarusian.
Baranchyk, 26, fought with his trademark fire throughout the bout, and worked hard in the final two rounds to try and rally for a miracle comeback. But it just wasn’t enough, and Taylor was able to take some good, clean shots from Baranchyk, too, though Baranchyk did shake him a bit a few times.
The real turning point was the sixth round, where Baranchyk found himself on the canvas twice, but recovered to get back into the fight as best he could. Taylor still won most of the rounds from that point on, but Baranchyk was never willing to give up on himself, which nobody expected he would.
It was just another terrific performance from Taylor, though, and now he moves on to face Prograis (24-0, 20 KO), the celebrated American rising star. The two shared the ring after, both declaring they thought they’d win, but showing respect for one another. Prograis called it an “excellent fight,” and kinda laughed about being booed in Glasgow even though he wasn’t talking any trash to or about Taylor or anything.