Josh Taylor believes his upcoming fight will be a world title challenge against IBF champion Ivan Baranchyk as initially planned.
The 28-year-old is lined up to face the Belarusian in the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series tournament that they both entered last year, however manager David McWater has given multiple interviews saying Baranchyk will be pulling out due to financial reasons.
Now though, tickets have gone on sale for the show and the IBF are said to have taken a significant step towards making this bout happen.
When asked about the situation, Taylor’s trainer Shane McGuigan told Boxing Social: “I’m getting probably the same rumours and whispers that you are… All I can say is we know we’re gonna be fighting for a world title in his next fight whether it’s Ivan Baranchyk or not.
“The IBF put Taylor vs Baranchyk to purse bids and the tournament has secured that, so I think it’s us against Baranchyk and if he doesn’t box, I think he gets stripped.
“That’s the information I’ve been told.”
If this is correct, then it would put Ivan Baranchyk and his manager in a difficult position regarding their future in the competition.
They had previously intended to pull out after money concerns stemming from the lateness of payment received after his quarter-final, however now could lose his world title if they do so.
“I don’t pay attention to any of it really,” Josh Taylor added, “I’m just focussing on May 18 and I’m focussing on Baranchyk.
“If the opponent does change, which I think’s unlikely, then I’ll adapt.
“I’m not too fussed. I’m focussing on May 18 and it’s 90 per cent looking like Baranchyk.”
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One name who had been rumoured as a potential replacement opponent, should Baranchyk pull out, is Taylor’s fellow Scot Ricky Burns.
The three-weight world champion is now entering the final stages of his career and would be a big underdog against his countryman, who believes that contest won’t happen,
“I think that ship has sailed a while ago now,” Taylor concluded, “I think that fight was probably attractive a couple of years ago.
“I think now it’s probably not looking likely to happen.”