As Kiryl Relikh edged past Eduard Troyanovsky to defend his WBA Super Lightweight title, the only other belt in the World Boxing Super Series 140lb category is at stake when mandatory’s Ivan Baranchyk and Anthony Yigit meet in New Orleans for the vacant IBF crown.
Russia’s Baranchyk became the first man since Marcos Maidana to stop the durable contender Petr Petrov (W TKO 8) last time out, and heads into the tournament as a dark horse.
Meanwhile this is a step up from European level for Sweden’s Yigit who holds a trio of wins over Lenny Daws (W UD 12), Sandor Martin (W UD 12) and Joe Hughes (W UD 12), which highlights the sort of fighter that Yigit is.
A well-schooled boxer in Yigit meets a well-rounded puncher in Baranchyk, which makes this an intriguing clash of styles.
Yigit 21-0-1(7KO’s) is somewhat of the unknown at this level, and he will have to rely on his boxing skills translating to the world level, while Baranchyk must be well aware that becoming too engrossed in scoring a stoppage here could see him handily out boxed from the outside.
Yigit is not a big puncher, but it is not his punch power that will be the route to a victory and a first world title here. As for Baranchyk 18-0(11KO’s) it will not just simply be his hard-hitting that sees him come out with the IBF belt, his own intelligent pressure fighting will be his biggest asset in the contest.
While Yigit is perfectly capable of keeping his distance for periods of this fight, it is hard to envision him keeping Baranchyk out of punching range enough to come out on top. In between some crisp lead counter-punching, Yigit will be outhustled for the most part, seeing Ivan stealing rounds that Yigit will feel his single punches have been enough to edge.
Barring a masterful display from the Swede, the pick is for Baranchyk to bide his time and slowly break down his opponent. Yigit is brave enough to see his way through some sticky patches in the fight, but will ultimately come unstuck before the final bell, with Baranchyk holding the IBF belt aloft after the 9th round.