In a night which saw Naoya Inoue put on a dazzling performance in his bantamweight semi-final bout against IBF champion Manny Rodriguez, the roof nearly came off The SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow as Josh Taylor was proclaimed the new IBF Super Lightweight king after a dominant display against Ivan Baranchyk in the semi-final of the World Boxing Super Series on May 18.
The fight started off with Taylor working behind the jab and Baranchyk looking to land big body shots. Taylor was looking impressive working at range.
As the rounds went on Taylor abandoned his distance game and stood toe to toe with the Belarussian, with Baranchyk winning the 5th. The 6th started with Baranchyk landing some good body shots however the tide turned as Taylor landed a great shot to head that had Baranchyk on the floor. He got up quick only for Taylor to apply more pressure and have Baranchyk down once more to send the Glasgow crowd wild.
Baranchyk weathered that storm and was able to apply some pressure of his own and probably picked up the 9th round. He looked like he still could cause Taylor some problems.
All Josh Taylor had to do as we moved into the 12th round was work at distance however the last 30 seconds of the rounds both boxers stood in the centre of the circle and traded shots.
As the final bell rang, Taylor was thrust in the air by his coach Shane McGuigan as the Glasgow fans waited expectantly for the decision.
The crowd were not to be disappointed as scores of 117-109, 115-111 and 115-111 would give the Scot a deserved unanimous decision win and Scotland a new world champion.
Josh Taylor now moves on to the final and will face American Regis Prograis, the WBA Super champion, with both belts up for grabs.
Taylor said of the clash, “I feel I’m the best, he feels hes the best. We both did the job to get to the finals. I feel I’ll win the fight quite comfortable, I’m sure he believes the same.” Before leading the crowd in a rendition of Flower of Scotland.
— World Boxing Super Series (@WBSuperSeries) May 18, 2019
In the other world title fight on the card, the Japanese superstar and WBA Regular champion Naoya Inoue would add Manny Rodriguez’ IBF bantamweight title.
Rodriguez was clearly unfancied among the Glasgow public, with some jeers from the crowd. Inoue on the other hand entered the arena as if he was one of Scotland’s own.
The first round started with both fighters landing some nice shots. Inoue landed several body shots that already looked like they could hurt Rodriguez.
It was to be all over in the second as not once, not twice but three times Inoue would have Rodriguez on the canvas as he worked the Puerto Rican’s body.
Rodriguez was widely expected to be Inoue’s toughest test to date but ‘The Monster’ blew yet another opponent away in an awe inspiring performance.
Inoue will now face four-weight world champion Nonito Donaire in the final.