Josh Taylor will contest his World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) semi-final against Belarusian Ivan Baranchyk despite reports suggesting his opponent had withdrawn from the competition.
Rumours had surfaced that 26-year-old Baranchyk, who resides in Miami, had contacted the competition’s organisers to inform them of his decision to pull out of the series due to late payments from his quarter-final triumph over Anthony Yigit.
However, WBSS have confirmed the duel will go ahead as planned at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow on Saturday 18 May.
WBC Silver champion Taylor, from Prestonpans, produced a masterclass in his last-eight showdown against America’s Ryan Martin at the Hydro in November, securing a seventh-round stoppage in front of a partisan crowd.
And should the the 28-year-old overcome his opponent in just more than three months’ time, he will not only set up a WBSS final against either Regis Prograis or Kiryl Relikh, he will be crowned the new IBF world super-lightweight champion.
“I am delighted to be fighting for the world title,” Taylor said. “It is a childhood dream to become a world champion. I am very confident I will win and do it in fashion.”
Meanwhile, Paddy Barnes will box on the St Patrick’s Day bill featuring fellow Belfastman Michael Conlan at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Flyweight Barnes is taking on Dallas man Oscar Mojica, 26, whose pro record is 11 wins, five defeats and one loss.
Barnes, 31, will be having his first bout since his fourth-round stoppage by Nicaragua’s Cristofer Rosales in a WBC featherweight title fight last August.
“I’m extremely excited to be fighting at such an iconic venue,” said Barnes of the 17 March bout in New York.
“The fact it’s on St Patrick’s Day with Mick on the card makes it all the better.
“I’m expecting the atmosphere to be amazing. There’ll be so many Irish fans there.”