Josh Taylor vs. Ivan Baranchyk & Noaya Inoue vs. Emmanuel Rodriguez – The Report
Another highly anticipated night of World Boxing Super Series action awaited the Glasgow crowd last night, as hometown hero Josh Taylor challenged the tough, undefeated Belarus native Ivan Baranchyk, with Baranchyk’s IBF Super Lightweight Title on the line.
Alongside this contest was another massive WBSS showdown, which saw Naoya ‘The Monster’ Inoue taking on fellow undefeated IBF World Bantamweight Champion Emmanuel Rodriguez, with Inoue’s WBA World Bantamweight Title also up for grabs in a very attractive 118lb unification fight, which would conclude the WBSS Bantamweight Semi-final stage, with the winner set to meet Nonito Donaire in the Final.
It had all the ingredients for another huge night of boxing, and it would also conclude the WBSS Super Lightweight Semi-final stage, with the ever impressive Regis Prograis awaiting the winner of ‘The Tartan Tornado’ Taylor and ‘The Beast’ Baranchyk.
It was also the first opportunity for the British boxing public to witness Naoya Inoue in the flesh, and what a fight we had in store!
The first Co-featured bout of the evening between Naoya Inoue and Emmanuel Rodriguez promised nothing but fireworks. With both men bringing world titles to the table and the winner progressing to the WBSS Bantamweight Final, it was just a matter of time before it lit up.
After a high-tempo opening round from both men, with plenty of pressure boxing from either champion, Inoue took control in the second, sending the champion to the canvas with a clubbing left hand just 30 seconds into the round.
In very brave fashion, Rodriguez rose to his feet again, but only to be floored shortly after with a vicious body shot which was felt even at ringside.
He rose to his feet for a third time before Inoue swarmed him once again, ending the contest with another barrage of heavy punches that destroyed the IBF Champion inside 2 rounds.
‘The Monster’ Noaya Inoue will have the opportunity to grow his world title collection when he takes on veteran WBA Bantamweight Super Champion Nonito Donaire in the WBSS Final later in the year, which promises to be another firey encounter between 2 top 118lb fighters.
In to the main event of the evening we went, and it didn’t fail to impress as ‘The Tartan Tornado’ Josh Taylor floored Ivan Baranchyk twice on his way to securing the IBF Super Lightweight World Title as well as booking his place in the World Boxing Super Series Final, where he is set to face the dangerous American Regis Prograis towards the close of 2019.
‘The Tartan Tornado’ put together a very mature performance against the extremely tough Belarusian, earning a unanimous decision victory via the judges scores. Now awaiting him in the final, Regis Prograis watched Taylor’s performance from ringside and was very impressed with him the Scot composed himself and boxed his way to a brilliant win.
After a cagey opening few rounds, Taylor began to control the bout and put down the IBF World Champion twice in the sixth, which would go on to be a very important round for Taylor.
Both men looked to feel each other out throughout most of the bout, with Taylor being the man to set the tempo, seeing him often jump in with some heavy combinations from southpaw, while Baranchyk constantly stormed forward, trying to rough up Taylor and get inside his head and ultimately cause a mistake or two.
From that point, the Scot cheered on by a very excited and passionate home crowd in the SSE Hydro Arena, dictated the remainder of the fight, overcoming a testing final three minutes to claim his first world title and finally elevate himself from top boxing prospect.
It’s very fair to say that the WBSS did not fail to disappoint us yet again. With two outstanding encounters that concluded the semi-final stages of both the Bantamweight and Super-Lightweight tournaments, we now head into the Final’s, and what an absolute treat we have. Can Nonito Donaire tame ‘The Monster’? And will we see Josh Taylor unify the division in just his 16th professional fight? Plenty more action to come our way and I cannot wait!
By Kailem Sims