Josh Taylor: IBF title win over Ivan Baranchyk 'weight off my shoulders'

By Jane LewisBBC Scotland at The Hydro, Glasgow
Josh Taylor 'not surprised I'm world champion' after beating holder Ivan Baranchyk

Josh Taylor's unanimous points win over Ivan Baranchyk to claim his first world title is a "weight off my shoulders", the 28-year-old Scot says.

Taylor knocked down the previously unbeaten Belarusian twice in the sixth round as he won the IBF super-lightweight crown in Glasgow.

The home favourite took the decision on all three judges scorecards 117-109, 115-111, 115-111 after 12 rounds.

"World champion, goal achieved," Taylor told BBC Scotland.

The contest doubled as the weight division's World Boxing Super Series semi-final and Taylor will face Regis Prograis in the final. The American is WBA and interim WBC champion.

Taylor moves on to 15 wins from 15, which includes four successful defences of his WBC silver super-lightweight title.

"Personally, it's a huge weight off my own shoulders - there wasn't any expectations on me or anything like that, just my own expectations," Taylor said.

"I've dreamt of this for so long that I'm not surprised I'm a world champion. I'm happy, I'm over the moon.

"I probably switched off a little bit in a couple of rounds because I was far ahead. I was moving around and covering up and just letting him work away. I could have made it a lot easier for myself but decided not to."

'Nerve-racking' battle against 'terrific fighter'

Josh Taylor floored Ivan Baranchyk twice in the sixth round
Josh Taylor floored Ivan Baranchyk twice in the sixth round

The fight with Prograis will give Taylor the chance to unify the division and also win the ring magazine belt.

"This is what I've dreamt of, this is what I got in the game for - to win world titles, to fight the best, unify the division," he said. "So I'm really happy that it's happening so early and so quick in my career."

Taylor expects a tougher challenge in the final against Prograis.

"He is a southpaw like myself," he said. "He's a lot shorter than myself, but he's got good head movement and he's got good power - it'll be a much different fight from what it was tonight.

"I'd love it to be here, but I'm open to going anywhere, I'm more than comfortable to go travelling anywhere in the world.

"I didn't think it'd happen quite so soon. I thought it would be a longer road than this to get to world championship level. Now I'm at the top, I can be at the top for the rest of my career hopefully."

Taylor's promoter, Barry McGuigan, added: "It was nerve-racking during it because Baranchyk is a terrific fighter.

"We were thinking the semi-final might be more difficult than the final - and that's not in any way underestimating Regis Prograis. I don't think you can get much harder than that. That was flat out for 12 rounds."

'He showed how big a talent he is' - analysis

Former WBO super featherweight champion Alex Arthur on BBC Radio Scotland

It was quite emotional, actually, to see Josh pick up the belt because you understand how long this takes to get to that point. It was something special to see him get there.

The fact Josh dominated so much shows just how big a talent he is. It's so difficult when you are fighting for the world title in your own country, in front of your own fans - you are so pumped up and it very easy to get dragged into a slugfest.