IBF junior welterweight champion Ivan "The Beast" Baranchyk is motivated by fighting in Josh Taylor’s backyard in the WBSS super-lightweight semi-final on Saturday at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. “I will win, one hundred percent,” said Baranchyk at Tuesday’s media workout ahead of this weekend’s World Boxing Super Series semi-finals. “Either I knock him out or I will put him down so many times that there is no doubt. Taylor has never run into a beast like me. This is going to be a new experience for him, something he’s never seen before. Let’s see how he handles it. I know how I will handle it.”
“I have a lot of respect for Josh Taylor,” he added. “I think this will be my toughest fight yet because both me and Josh are very tough fighters, really strong. But for me, it’s always better to knock the opponent out. Saturday night, there will be no need for the judges.”
The Belarusian residing in Miami, Oklahoma, said says he feels comfortable on foreign soil and he sees an opportunity to conquer new territory away from home in his first bout outside Belarus and the United States. “I am not used to being the bad guy,” he said. “In the States, I have a big following, a big crowd. So this is the first time I’m really going to be the outsider, coming to a hostile environment. But I don’t mind coming to Glasgow for my first defence. It’s not tough for me. I’m comfortable, I’m excited and there is no problem with being here.”
“I’ve never fought in an arena where everybody wants me to lose! But I love that. It motivates me. I might not be popular, or famous here in Scotland. But I want to be famous here. I want the Scots to become my fans, and to have fans all over the world.”
And Baranchyk’s trainer Freddie Roach told has the plan to make it happen. “I came up with a very good game plan and we are going for the knockout,” he said. “I have watched Taylor every night and day, and I am looking for the bad habits and there is quite a few.”
Josh Taylor, however, told it is written he will take Baranchyk’s IBF title. “I am ready to become world champion on Saturday,” said Taylor. “This is my dream. I have dreamed about this for so long and for years I've wrote on bits of paper - 'Josh Taylor, World Champion.’... I am really excited and happy that the big shot is almost here. I am delighted to be doing Scotland proud.”
Tickets for the Monster WBSS Semi-Finals night, Ivan Baranchyk vs Josh Taylor and Naoya Inoue vs Emmanuel Rodriguez on 18 May at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland are on sale now from TheSSEHydro.com
All the action will be live on DAZN in the U.S. and Sky Sports in the U.K.