The World Boxing Super Series has been a timely entrant into the boxing landscape simplifying the all too complicated world of boxing politics with a tournament format everyone understands. Crucially, the wealthy backers of the concept have ensured the program is filled with outstanding fighters too.
On Saturday night, the SSE Hydro in Glasgow is the venue for a pair of semi-finals that will enthral boxing’s most ardent observers and should excite the casual follower too. Investors have the potential to make returns from mouthwatering fights between Josh Taylor and Ivan Baranchyk and Manny Rodriguez and Naoya Inoue, with the best boxing betting sites offering up numerous markets.
In the Super-Lightweight class Josh Taylor continues his journey in the footsteps of Scottish greats Benny Lynch, Jim Watt and Ken Buchanan, as he bids to capture Ivan Baranchyk’s IBF title and progress to a final against American powerhouse Regis Prograis. The financial rewards are high, and the kudos accrued equally so, if the ‘Tartan Tornado’ can succeed.
Josh Taylor Enters as the Overwhelming Favourite
He is a prohibitive favourite, 2/9 with Betfair, despite being the challenger. Home advantage will ease the pressure and the vociferous support he can expect will amplify his successes, a factor history reminds us is worth a point or two in a close encounter.
The champion, Belarussian Baranchyk, who fights out of Oklahoma in the United States, could prove the perfect opponent for Taylor to demonstrate his hand speed, precision punching, ‘quicksilver’ footwork and elusive defence. A bolder interpretation would be that the 26-year-old Baranchyk, 19-0 (12 ko), has the strength, punching power and aggressive style to cause Taylor problems.
BetHard offer 23/5 on Baranchyk to win outright but the value in this view of how the fight may unfold is to propose Baranchyk wears down the sprightly challenger and forces a late stoppage. It is hard to contemplate him outboxing Taylor given the Scot’s amateur pedigree and established skill set. BetHard offer a tempting cover bet of 40-1 on Baranchyk in Rounds 10-12.
Principally, I advocate investing in Taylor to outbox and discourage Baranchyk and use his superior technique and speed to minimise the strongman’s success. The return is modest, but Paddy Power offer 5/6 on the popular Scot, unbeaten himself in 14 contests with 12 knockouts, to win by Decision or Technical Decision should be considered for your boxing betting strategy.
In a revealing interview with the BBC’S Tom English, Taylor noted: “I can beat him in every department. I’ve got a lot of respect for him because he comes to fight and he leaves it all in there, but I think I have the beating of him.” I believe him and I encourage you to back him too.
Naoya Inoue a Potential Boxing Star in the Making?
And then, may I introduce Naoya Inoue? The Japanese Bantamweight with the type of punching power that crumples opponents, ages them, disconnects proud men from their will and their consciousness and is the maker of legends. There is a psychological effect to Inoue’s growing reputation too. He has begun to affect opponents before punches are even exchanged. A Ring magazine cover star, Inoue could be the next break out attraction in the sport.
Unbeaten in 17 contests, 15 knockouts, the WBA’s champion at the classic Bantamweight division, travels to Scotland as favourite to win and favourite for the tournament – particularly since the injury-induced absence of Zolani Tete, his expected opponent in the final. He is 1/8 with Unibet as an outright winner despite the fact this fight is a unification and his opponent, the capable Manny Rodriguez is the IBF’s Champion.
The pair are, by the metrics of size and reach, evenly matched and Rodriguez, the latest in a long dynasty of Puerto Rican champions, brings powerful tools of his own, most notably his left hook to the body. A sickening punch which has crushed competent operators like Paul Butler.
Whether he has the arsenal to neutralise Inoue’s power is hard to predict but he is the more natural Bantamweight and could be the strongest opponent the Japanese hitman has faced to date. This offers some hope for those who prefer a riskier line of investment. At 18/1 to win by stoppage with BetHard at any point, there is temptation in the unbeaten Rodriguez’s odds.
However, wiser would be to follow the form, the power and the phenomenon of Inoue if bookmakers extend any generosity in their boxing betting market on him winning by stoppage. There is precious little to be found at present.
Perhaps more merit in the pragmatism of backing Rodriguez, as the naturally bigger man, to offer durability and the evens offered by Ladbrokes that the fight will go beyond 8 rounds, may be an astute, if unexciting place, to rest your shekels.
However you bet, please watch. Taylor and Inoue are special fighters.