By Elliot Foster
Josh Taylor blasted his way through to the final of the World Boxing Super Series with a solid win.
The WBC Silver super-lightweight champion took on the IBF champion Ivan Baranchyk and beat him to become a world champion.
Taylor, whose last fight was a stoppage win over the previously undefeated American Ryan Martin at the same venue back in November 2018, will go on to face Regis Prograis in the showpiece of the tournament, with the winner coming out with the Muhammad Ali Trophy as well as the IBF belt, the WBA ‘regular’ crown and the WBC Diamond bauble.
The fight, exclusively live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN Stateside, took place at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland.
Taylor had Baranchyk down twice in round six from a beautifully picked right hook and, after the Freddie Roach-trained man rose, a flurry of shots.
And it was from there on that ‘The Tartan Tornado’ began to take over the fight, beating up ‘The Beast’ en-route to taking a unanimous points decision by margins of 117-109 and 115-111 twice.
“I took more risks than I should have but I was really comfortable in there and it was easy peasy,” Taylor said in the aftermath. “I’m absolutely over the moon to be crowned a world champion and it’s up there with the best night of my career.”
The latter half of the fight was quite one-sided up until the last round when Taylor, somewhat bizarrely, decided to trade with the Belarusian and got caught on a number of occasions.
Ultimately, it didn’t really matter because Scotland has its latest world champion.
“Regis Prograis is the best fighter in the tournament apart from me, he’s a great fighter but I’m looking forward to taking him on and beating him.”
Prograis, who was booed by the fans during the face-off, said that he would be willing to fight in Scotland and that he appreciates that the fight with Taylor is one the pair envisioned from the beginning of the tournament.