Josh Taylor made his claim as the best 140-pound boxer in the world after a physically-demanding world title fight against Ivan Baranchyk.
In the World Boxing Super Series junior welterweight semifinals, Taylor scored a pair of knockdowns in the sixth round to eventually defeat Baranchyk by unanimous decision. Taylor won the fight, and the IBF world title, with scores of 117-109, 115-111 and 115-111.
Baranchyk opened the fight by throwing some wild punches with Taylor slowly trying to outbox the champion around the ring. It wasn’t long until both men started trading punches for the next few rounds. Taylor managed to hurt Baranchyk in the fourth round with a left hook to Baranchyk’s face and chest and for a moment, seemed to be in trouble of getting dropped. Baranchyk recovered and went back to throwing more body punches.
The fifth round saw Baranchyk flip the script and push Taylor back numerous times with big left hands that hurt Taylor. The sixth round saw Taylor score a devastating right hand to Baranchyk, dropping him for the first time in the fight. Baranchyk got up, but was still reeling from the initial knockdown and Taylor would take advantage and drop him a second time as the bell sounded.
Still recovering from the two knockdowns in the second round, Baranchyk would stand in the middle of the ring and absorb several body shots from Taylor. Baranchyk eventually returned to throwing combinations, but Taylor is also having a much easier time landing punches and throwing flurries to his opponent.
As the fight got deeper into the late rounds, Baranchyk started to tire out a bit and Taylor kept moving back and around the ring to escape Baranchyk’s reach. Baranchyk managed to land a right hand early in the 11th round to stagger Taylor, but wasn't able to capitalize anymore for the remainder of the fight. The end of the fight saw both men trade big punches in the middle of the ring, but Taylor was the one whose hand was raised in the end.
With the win, Taylor now becomes the IBF champion at 140 pounds advances to the World Boxing Super Series finals. Taylor’s next opponent will be WBA champion Regis Prograis, who won his semifinal bout in April when he defeated Kiryl Relikh in New Orleans. A date and venue for the WBSS junior welterweight will be announced in the future.