It’s looking like IBF light welterweight champion Ivan Baranchyk (19-0, 12 KOs) is on the verge of rejoining the World Boxing Super Series 140 lb tournament in time for him to defend his belt against WBSS contestant Josh Taylor (14-0, 12 KOs) for their semifinal fight on May 18 at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland.
Baranchyk, 26, pulled out of the WBSS tournament recently. His manager David McWater said to ESPN earlier on Tuesday that he has a conference call scheduled with the World Boxing Super Series executives along with the IBF to try and work it out.
If they can’t put a deal together, the International Boxing Federation could strip Baranchyk of his IBF 140 lb title. If that happens, the the sanctioning body would need to find an opponent among the top contenders in their rankings at light welterweight to fight Taylor for the vacant IBF belt. It would likely be one of these guys: Apinan Sakkreerin, Maxim Dadashev, Anthony Yigit, Raymundo Beltran, Shohjahon Ergashev, Yves Ulysse, Alexander Duran or Ryan Martin.
The WBSS is believed to have won the purse bid for the fight, which means Baranchyk could be stripped of his IBF title if he doesn’t take the fight. The fight is only a month away. If tickets are already being sold for the event, it’s bad news if it doesn’t take place.
Baranchyk will have a tough time turning back the threat of Taylor if he takes the match. The 2012 Olympian Taylor will be fighting in his own hometown of Glasgow if this fight takes place. Normally the champion is the one defending in his own hometown, but in this case it’ll be the challenger Taylor, 28, who has the hometown advantage over Baranchyk. As long as the scoring for the fight is fair and makes sense to the boxing fans, it shouldn’t be a big deal.
Taylor’s fight against former WBC light welterweight champion Viktor Postol last June at The Hydro in Glasgow saw the judges scoring it wide in his favor in giving him a 12 round unanimous decision in a fight that was a lot closer than the scores. The judges scored it for Taylor by these wide scores: 117-110, 118-110 and 119-108. At best, Taylor looked to have edged it by two points. If the Baranchyk-Taylor fight has similar scoring, Baranchyk might need a knockout to get the victory, because it’ll be hard for him to get a decision.
Taylor won his quarterfinal fight in the WBSS tournament in stopping Ryan Martin in the seventh round last November in Glasgow. Baranchyk beat Anthony Yigit by a seventh round stoppage last October his quarterfinal match in the WBSS tournament in New Orleans.