Lots of boxing action taking place this weekend and just wanted to do a quick joint preview before it all kicks off. First off, we have the World Boxing Super Series taking place in Glasgow, Scotland with two amazing world title fight taking place as the tournament heads into the semi-final. We also Billy oe Saunders against German opposition in Isufi to become a 2-weight world champion. Finally, the two former American heavyweight Olympians will come face to face for the WBC belt. I’ll cover each of these fight nights and let you know my thoughts and predictions.
World Boxing Super Series
Josh Taylor vs Ivan Baranchyk
I was lucky enough to head along myself to the last World Boxing Super Series in Glasgow which really opened my eyes to how good this tournament is for boxing fans! It is what exactly what the sport needed to get the best to fight the best (especially after what has happened in the heavyweight division that has frustrated so many with Joshua, Wilder and Fury). Unfortunately, since the quarter-final last year, I have been sad to hear that it has struggled financially to potentially keep the tournament going after the finals this year. Hopefully this next set of semi-finals can generate the interest again for the WBSS to boost its profile. However, concentrating on the moment, we have a cracking fight between Scot Josh Taylor and Belarusian Ivan Baranchyk for the IBF world super lightweight title.
Having watched a lot of Taylor’s fights now and in person, he is a fighter whose style truly excites me. In his last bout against Martin he completely outboxed him to the point where Martin had no idea what to do. I very much expect a similar result on Saturday as Taylor’s fluid and intense boxing style from southpaw stance has caused problems for anyone at 135 Ibs so far. Baranchyk on the other hand likes to come forward and impose his physicality on his opponents. I have feeling Taylor and his team will be weary this and will try outbox the Belarusian from start to finish to get their hands on his first world title.
I really do feel it will be a good clash of styles and although there will be pressure on Taylor to get a win in front of the home fans, I feel his talent will shine through this Saturday to take him to the final against Regis Prograis. Taylor UD
Naoya Inoue vs Emmanuel Rodriguez
Another title fight which most fans have their eye on this weekend is the Japanese boxing superstar and ‘Monster’ Naoya Inoue against IBF Bantamweight champ Rodriguez. Straight from the cuff most are predicting another easy KO victory for Inoue, but I honestly feel he will be in for tough test against Rodriguez that could well go the distance. But only if the Puerto Rican is smart throughout and boxes intelligently to take him into the later rounds. Everyone knows Inoue loves to go to the body for those liver shots and has got it down to tee now. There is a reason why so many weary when they are in there as not only is his power insane, but his ring IQ and pressure is up there with very best. Check out this great tactical video on Inoue style below:
My prediction, I think Rodriguez will challenge the Japanese star more than anyone ever before, but I can still see a later finish for the ‘Monster’. Inoue KO
Billy Joe Saunders vs Shefat Isufi
Some real unfortunate timings around this fight as most will be watching the WBSS over Saunders title bid at The Lamex Stadium, Stevenage this weekend. Most have been quite critical around this fight as Saunders steps up to Super-Middleweight against a very unknown contender in Shefat Isufi (27-3-2, 20 KOs). Last year was a bad year for Saunders with his drug test fail and his middleweight title being stripped off him. With a change in trainer with Ben Davidson he will be looking to make a big statement again in revitalize the last stage of his career.
No matter what happened after this fight, Saunders has to fight a top name in Golovkin or Canelo before the end of his career or if he stays a Super-Middleweight big fight against Calum Smith or David Benavidez could be another option.
I very much expect an easy win for Billy Joe Saunders, it’s who her fight next that will be most important decision. Saunders TKO
Deontay Wilder vs Dominic Breazeale
Over in America, we have Wilder’s first fight in his three-fight deal with Showtime against former Olympian and Joshua’s former opponent Breazeale. After Wilder comments about wanting ‘a body on my record’, I don’t think many will be supporting the WBC champion this weekend. I truly don’t believe he would want this personally and feel its more to do raising his profile as KO machine like Mike Tyson. But times have changed since the 90s, especially in the world where everything and anything you can say can offend someone which can be frustrating, I agree. However, it really cannot be acceptable from the American heavyweight world champ to say those things when so many look up to these stars.
In terms of the actual boxing I can’t see past a Wilder KO. I hope we are all in for a big surprise from Breazeale, but listening to him in the press conferences and interview I sense a nervous man. I easily could see an early finish in the opening 4 rounds. Wilder KO.
I hope you enjoyed this weeks fight preview – make sure to give me a follow on my social media channels below. I’ll also leave you with the Showtime pre-fight documentary on Wilder vs Breazeale build up below:
Enjoy the fights!
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