By Keith Idec
Now that Regis Prograis has wrecked Kiryl Relikh, he can concentrate on the other World Boxing Super Series 140-pound semifinal.
Prograis’ sixth-round stoppage of Relikh on Saturday night moved him into the final, in which he’ll battle Ivan Baranchyk or Josh Taylor. Russia’s Baranchyk (19-0, 12 KOs) and Scotland’s Taylor (14-0, 12 KOs) are scheduled to meet May 18 in Glasgow.
New Orleans’ Prograis could see either fighter winning, but he gives a slight edge to Taylor, a sharp southpaw. Prograis gave BoxingScene.com his scouting report on that semifinal during a recent interview.
“I think it’s a real good fight,” Prograis said. “It’s a 50-50 fight. I actually lean more towards Josh Taylor because he’s more of a complete boxer. But Baranchyk is tough, he’s strong, he’s gonna keep coming forward and he has a big punch. Josh Taylor, if he hits him clean, he has a possibility to hurt him and maybe get him out of there. So, I don’t know.”
While Prograis considers Taylor a better boxer, he thinks Baranchyk’s power could be the equalizer for the rugged Russian.
“Taylor got hurt by Viktor Postol,” Prograis said. “I don’t remember what round it was, but he got hit by Viktor Postol and Viktor Postol hurt him. It was the end of the round and he got out of it. But if Baranchyk hit him, I don’t know what’s gonna happen. But I still think it’s gonna be a close fight and I still lean towards Taylor a little more.”
DAZN will stream the Taylor-Baranchyk bout from The SSE Hydro two weeks from Saturday.
The 26-year-old Baranchyk will make the first defense of his IBF junior welterweight title against the 28-year-old Taylor. Baranchyk stopped Sweden’s Anthony Yigit (22-1-1, 7 KOs) following seven one-sided rounds to win that then-vacant crown in the WBSS quarterfinals, October 27 in New Orleans.
The 30-year-old Prograis (24-0, 20 KOs) won the WBA super lightweight title from Belarus’ Relikh (23-3, 19 KOs) on Saturday night at Cajun Dome in Lafayette, Louisiana.
The date and site for the WBSS’ 140-pound final haven’t been determined.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.