Saturday May 18
Who: Josh Taylor (14-0 12 KO’s) vs. Ivan Baranchyk (19-0 12 KO’s)
Where: The SSE Hydro, Glasgow
When: 2pm EST/11am PST
This is the other Semi Final for the World Boxing Super Series 140 lb. tournament. We saw Regis Prograis win 3 weeks ago and he will face the winner of this fight, which also is for the IBF title. Baranchyk is a rough and tumble guy who will hit Taylor, but he also loves getting hit as well. Taylor is just a masterful boxer and looks like he might be the best in the division based on the eye test.
This is a tough style matchup to predict but I think Taylor has the goods and will be able to out point Baranchyk on the scorecards.
Naoya Inoue (17-0 15 KO’s) vs. Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0 12 KO’s)
This is an amazing fight, and that is mostly because we get a chance to see “The Monster” Naoya Inoue. This man has won titles in 3 weight classes in only 17 fights, and knocks out everyone in his path. He has two fights at 118 lbs. so far and he had two first round knockouts so far. Inoue might be the best fighter in the whole world, he just needs a chance to prove it. This Tournament has given him that chance with the opportunity to leave with all of the belts. This time he fights IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez, and it feels like it might be the coronation of Inoue. Rodriguez has skills and has been durable in the past, I just think Inoue is something special and will Knock him out in 3 rounds.
Saturday May 18
Who: Deontay Wilder (40-0-1 39 KO’s) vs. Dominic Breazeale (20-1 18 KO’s)
Where: Barclay’s Center
When: 9pm EST/6PM PST
We all know who Deontay Wilder is and what he represents; power, pizzazz, vulnerability, and oh did I mention power? He might be the best puncher in the history of the sport with his bazooka of a right hand. He also is one of the weirdest champions because sometimes his skills can almost look amateurish, and that is what makes him so compelling.
He fights former Olympian Dominic Breazeale, who is a good fighter who lost his first title shot against Anthony Joshua. Breazeale has power, but he is just too slow and I do not see him giving Deontay a lot of trouble. Deontay by vicious KO in the 6th round.
Gary Russell Jr (29-1 17 KO’s) vs. Kiko Martinez (39-8-2 28 KO’s)
Ah yes, our annual appearance from Mr. Gary Russell Jr. The WBC champion has only fought once a year since he lost to Lomachenko in 2014, yes 2014, and every time he fights it is against much lower class opposition. His hands still are very fast and I would love to see him challenge any of the other 126 pounders, I just do not know if he has the ambition anymore. His victim this weekend is the tough Kiko Martinez. Martinez has had a solid career but is way past his day and will get schooled by Russell. Mr. Gary Russell Jr. will win this on points.
I hope everyone enjoys all the action in the squared circle this weekend!
*My pound for pound lists can be found below