We have three massive fights to look forward to this weekend with action taking place in Scotland, England and America. World titles will be won and lost on each of those shows and you can read expert reviews on the highlights on the boxing section of our site. Here are our top Josh Taylor v Ivan Baranchyk betting tips.
We have Josh Taylor v Ivan Baranchyk for the IBF super lightweight world title, Billy Joe Saunders v Shefat Isufi for the vacant WBO super middleweight strap and Deontay Wilder v Dominick Breazeale for the WBC heavyweight crown, the belt Anthony Joshua needs to complete his collection. All three shows will be live on TV courtesy of Sky Sports and BT Sport and sportsbook punters can ramp up the interest with a bet on outcome.
Bookies have put in the work to allow you a financial interest on the bouts and you can have your say on the fight winner as well as a number of specials, including method of victory, total rounds and winning round. The latter is, perhaps, the most difficult of boxing bets to nail down as you are challenged with correctly predicting the exact round the fight will end in, but it’s also the market that offers the biggest odds, other than the draw.
In this preview we focus on the Scottish action that sees Edinburgh’s Josh Taylor aim to realise a lifelong dream of becoming a world champion while taking a step closer to World Boxing Super Series title. Winning the Muhamad Ali Trophy would catapult the youngster towards the biggest names on the circuit, as well as the major pay cheques.
Taylor Unbeaten in 14
28-year-old southpaw Josh Taylor may be taking part in only his 15th professional contest but he is already seen as one of the hottest properties British boxing has to offer and a man who will be fast-tracked to the top of the division. The Prestopans native brings a record of 14 wins, 12 by KO from 14 fights and journey to the top has already seen him capture some respected belts, as well as the scalps of established fighters.
Taylor was already well-known in Scotland following his success in the amateurs at the Commonwealth Games and he burst on to the British scene, winning new fans when beating Londoner Ohara Davies at the Braehead Arena in Glasgow in the summer of 2017. With the WBC silver title on the line that night, and OD bringing a record of 15-0-0, it was billed as the toughest test of Josh’s career so far and one many in England expected him to lose, due to the difference in championship experience. Not only did he prove them wrong, the youngster did it in some style.
Taylor inflicted a seventh-round stoppage of Davies and what was more impressive than the bare result itself was the way he mixed it up on the night. Showing his full range of boxing and fighting, the victor proved his natural ability beyond doubt to leave Davies frustrated, before standing with the man who promised to knock him out. In doing so he had no problem pushing his rival back, fighting on the front foot and Ohara took a knee as early as the third before being put down again in the seventh with a well-timed righthand.
Sign of Things to Come
As good as that performance was it was only a sign of things to come for Josh’s fans and they saw their man leap up another level to defeat Viktor Postol on points at this venue in June of last year. Postol rated as one of the top fighters in the division and had lost previously only to pound-for-pound great Terence Crawford. The Ukrainian was another expected to test the Scotsman and he certainly did that, but without ever getting near the win.
Taylor cut his opponent early in the contest and went on to drop him with a left hook late in the bout, all on-route to scoring a points win that caught the eye of the watching world. The scorecards that night read 117-110, 118-110, 119-108 and they accurately reflected how the fight went. That send shockwaves through the industry and won over any remaining doubters. Taylor is the real deal and it’s difficult to see his winning run ending anytime soon.
To fully fulfil his potential, however, he must grab his chance and win a world title at the earliest opportunity. Of course, there would be no disgrace in a failed attempt this early in his career but if he wants to be boost his reputation on the big stage he must beat Ivan Baranchyk and win a place in the final of the WBSS. That would put him in the same bracket as George Groves and Callum Smith who disputed the super middleweight trophy last year and the victor, Smith, is now being lined-up for a crack at the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Saul Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders.
Ranked Third in the World
Despite having just 14 bouts on his CV, having contested 66 rounds, Josh Taylor finds himself ranked number one in the UK and number three in the world. Domestically that places him ahead of the likes of Luke Campbell, Terry Flanagan and Lewis Ritson. On the world rankings he only has Regis Prograis and Maurice Hooker and it’s widely expected if Josh wins this semi-final bout, he will face the former in the final. That would give him a crack at another world title, as well as the number one slot.
That’s the grand plan for Taylor, his connections and fans but he doesn’t strike us as a man who is desperate to get too far ahead of himself. Instead, he’s a young fighter who is enjoying success, improving with every bout and closing the gap on the major players. Scotland is in desperate need of another champion to keep the interest north of the border as former world champion Ricky Burns’ career winds down and we’re sure Taylor is just the man to fill the void.
Bookies certainly seem to agree and have the Taylor win priced as favourite across the board. William Hill offer 1/6 and although that’s painfully short, it’s better than the 1/7 you’ll get with most other firms. Ivan Baranchyk who, of course, has promised to retain his title by silencing the home crowd, can be backed at 9/2 with Bet365 to spoil the party. That’s a generous price for a world champion and is sure to attract bits and pieces of attention amongst casual backers.
Points Win a Better Price
Playing the method of victory market gives us a crack at better and we’re backing Taylor to win on points at 8/11 with Bet365. The KO/TKO result is 15/8 with the same firm and that would be his second KO win in-a-row and sixth in seven. Not a bet for us but we wouldn’t be in a rush to put anyone off if they fancied a go.
Those preferring to bet on Ivan Barachyk will find him trading at 9/1 (Bet365) to win on points or 10/1 with the same bookie by KO/TKO. Want a bit more of a safety net? Sit on the fence and back the fight to go the distance at 8/15 (Bet365). No in the same frame is 6/4 – top price at Ladbrokes.