By Keith Idec
Josh Taylor envisions his journey to the World Boxing Super Series’ 140-pound final going through Ivan Baranchyk after he beats Ryan Martin.
The Scottish southpaw is scheduled to meet Martin in a WBSS quarterfinal November 3 at SSE Hydro in Glasgow. Taylor “doesn’t care who” wins another quarterfinal between Russia’s Ivan Baranchyk (18-0, 11 KOs) and Sweden’s Anthony Yigit (21-0-1, 7 KOs) on October 27 in New Orleans, but Taylor expects to battle Baranchyk in the semifinals.
Baranchyk and Yigit will square off for the vacant IBF junior welterweight title. Mikey Garcia gave up that championship after defeating Sergey Lipinets by unanimous decision to win it March 10 in San Antonio.
“I think Baranchyk will probably get through that,” Taylor said Monday during a press conference in Glasgow. “But if so, I’m confident about that. And if Yigit wins it, I know I’ll win that fight as well. I’ve had experience with him in the ring as a professional [in sparring] and I’ve had experience with him as an amateur as well. So I’m more than comfortable with winning that fight as well, so I’m not really bothered who I face.”
Belarus’ Kiryl Relikh (23-2, 19 KOs), the WBA super lightweight champ, already has advanced to the semifinals. Relikh out-boxed Russia’s Eduard Troyanovsky (27-2, 24 KOs) to win a unanimous decision in their quarterfinal October 7 in Yokohama, Japan.
Relikh will face whoever wins the main event October 27 in New Orleans – hometown hero Regis Prograis (22-0, 19 KOs) against England’s Terry Flanagan (33-1, 13 KOs). Prograis will defend his WBC interim super lightweight championship in that bout.
“I’m not really fussed about any of the opposition,” said Taylor (13-0, 11 KOs), who beat Ukraine’s Viktor Postol (29-2, 12 KOs) by unanimous decision in his last fight, June 23 in Glasgow. “I think I could beat every single one of them that’s in this competition. But that being said, they’re all very good fighters. They’re all very competitive. They’ve all had good amateur careers and, you know, they’re very tough fighters. They’re all undefeated, I think. They’re all stiff competition, but I’m fully confident I’m gonna come away with that trophy.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.