Johnny Wilds, ESPN Boxing Insider, On Taylor v Martin WBSS Clash



Johnny Wilds, ESPN Boxing Insider, On Taylor v Martin WBSS Clash

This Saturday night live from the SECC Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland the Ali Trophy WBSS (World Boxing Super Series) Quarter-Final has No. 2 seed and World Boxing Council Silver Super Lightweight champion Josh ‘The Tartan Tornado’ Taylor (13-0 11 KOs)  facing Ryan ‘Blue Chip’ Martin (22-0 12 KOs).

This fight can be seen live streaming on the WBSS YouTube channel and DAZN network.

Opening Odds:*       Current Odds: as of 10/31/2018

Taylor -500             Taylor -2500        

Martin +350 Martin +1075

* Odds courtesy of at various offshore outlets

Here's a look at where the money is going along with opinions from boxing experts, boxers, trainers and my prediction for the fight.

Line movement:

Las Vegas chose not to book this fight as they perceived this fight to not attract too much public action and that of only sharp or wise guy action. To the contrary, this fight was listed overseas with Taylor -500 and serious one sided action moved him to -2500 off the opening number of -500.


The Panel:

  • Colin Morrison (boxing sharp): “This is an interesting matchup. The view from here in Scotland is that Taylor will be too much for Martin but I'm not expecting Josh to have it all his own way. Martin's speed and ring craft are going to ask some questions of Taylor and I expect him to need all 12 rounds to solve the puzzle. Taylor narrowly on all the cards after a fight which sees both men enhance their reputations.”


  • Abe Gonzalez (boxing sharp): “This one might very well be the fight of the weekend! I will probably be in the minority on this one but I am going with Ryan “Blue Chip” Martin to beat Josh “The Tartan Tornado” Taylor in a serious battle of “who wants it more.” Blue Chip will be there to be hit but I believe he will use his size to smother Taylor while getting off those ripping shots he likes to throw. It will go to the scorecards and Ryan Martin will have his hand raised in victory.”



  • Rich Marotta (Hall of Fame Sportscaster): ”I love a fight between two real up and comers, and this qualifies. Although Ryan Martin has had far more pro fights than Taylor, Josh has an outstanding amateur pedigree and he has defeated far more accomplished pros than Ryan.  In addition, those maneuvering Taylor up the ladder have succeeded, in a short time, to have him face a variety of styles to prepare him for what's ahead at the elite level. He's already defeated two former World Champs, one a superior boxer in Vasquez and the other, a guy who can really mix it up, Postol. Taylor does however get hit, and seems susceptible to a good jab, which Martin certainly possesses. I believe Martin will trouble Taylor for awhile with that jab, but the fluid style of Taylor, who can bounce back and forth seamlessly  from lefty to righty will eventually prevail. I see Taylor dissecting Martin, breaking him down, and stopping him in the final third of the fight.”


  • Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan (ranked middleweight boxer): “It has the maken of a great fight but I believe Taylor is a special talent and will be a really hard man to beat. Taylor to win for me. I was in Scotland recently and had dinner with Josh and Joe Calzaghe and I won't be surprised to see Josh become the Scottish version of Calzaghe and go on to have a career like Joe had.”


  • Evan Young (boxing sharp): Josh Taylor and Ryan Martin are both undefeated young prospect fighting in the quarterfinals of WBSS (World Boxing Super Series) on Saturday in Glasgow Scotland. Both are talented, with excellent amateur careers. But I see Taylor as someone that might be a bit special. He is on a much faster track as a pro and has passed all his tests with flying colors. While both fighters do most things well, I see Taylor as being better in most categories, including punching power. I’m going with Taylor to win inside the distance, possibly somewhere around the 9th round. Noteworthy is the vast odds disparity at the UK books for this bout which can be viewed on


  • Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring (ranked super featherweight boxer): “I like them both of course, Ryan and I were on the same Golden Gloves team at one point and Josh and I competed against each other back in 2011. If you’re comparing resumes you’d have to give it to Josh of course since he’s fought the better opposition but Ryan has seemed to transform into a better fight since he moved up. Josh is very technical but Ryan may have the slight edge in power. In the end I’d edge it out to Josh in a close fight but wouldn’t be surprised if an upset takes place.”


  • Jim Karas (boxing sharp): “Taylor opened as the significant favorite at about -500, but the early money has been heavily backing Taylor and he has since been bet up to as high as -2000. Taylor is being overpriced but probably for good reason considering the fight is in his backyard in Scotland and with how his most recent fight in Scotland vs Viktor Postol was scored. In that fight most saw a closely contested bout that could have gone either way (I scored it 114-113 Taylor) but the judges saw it as a wide decision victory for the Scotsman with incredulous scores of 119-108, 118-110, and 117-110. It seems Martin who was once considered a top prospect (hence the “Blue Chip” nickname) will need to put forth a monumental effort to win on the road. Martin is slick enough and talented enough to go rounds and win some rounds, but doesn't possess the fight changing power that he might need to steal this fight from the favorite on the road. Martin is also untested at this level and that lack of experience could hinder him here. I'm expecting Taylor to win a comfortable Unanimous Decision and move on to the semi finals where Ivan Baranchyk awaits. Taylor UD”


  • Luke Chapman (boxing sharp): ”“The betting should be a little closer here. I like Josh Taylor for the win but no way I’m taking in the vicinity of -1200. I think Taylor gets the win pulling away in the later rounds for a clear decision.”


  • Michael Mohan (boxing sharp): “Josh Taylor versus Ryan Martin will be a much more competitive fight than the odds indicate. Taylor is an excellent fighter, but he should not be a -1200 in this fight. I believe Josh Taylor will beat Ryan Martin, however I will have a small play on Ryan Martin at +1100. ”


  • Matt Andrzejewski (boxing sharp): ”There is a lot to like about Ryan Martin. He has impressive amateur credentials and is undefeated as a pro. He possesses good boxing skills to go along with natural athleticism. But going on the road to Scotland to face Josh Taylor just seems like too much for Martin at this stage in his career. Taylor is such a fluid boxer and uses angles so effectively inside the ring. And he will have learned so much from his ring experience against Viktor Postol in June. Taylor by decision in a more competitive fight than the odds suggest.”


  • Nayka Mercedes (boxing sharp):My pick to win this 140lb matchup is Ryan Martin, by decision. Josh Taylor will give it a good go, but I  think the determining factor will come down to speed and power and I am giving that edge to Martin. I am expecting an entertaining fight in front of the Scotland crowd….. that will ultimately have Martin walking away keeping his unblemished record.

Tale of the Tape:

Taylor: He turned professional in 2015 after a storied amateur career and winning the the gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in the light welterweight division. Taylor then signed with Barry McGuigan's Cyclone Promotions, and is trained by Shane McGuigan. Taylor is very talented and although very short in his career to get the accolades of many boxing trainers, thus far it's warranted. Taylor not only possesses great  power, he’s stout in the ring, commanding ring respect, but has tons of talent to go along with the praise he's given by many.

Martin: ‘Blue Chip” is his nickname for his workman-like approach. He had a 202-22 amateur record, and won several amateur titles from 2010-21012. Martin will enter the ring with 22 wins in 22 fights. He is a very sound fighter who doesn't do anything anything exceptionally well but don’t let that fool you. He’s extremely talented and focused to impose his will, like he has done with his first 22 opponents.

Who will win? The panel is picking Taylor 9-3…Before I get into that, I want to address the gambling term ‘value’. According to Jay Kornegay, Vice President of Race and Sports operations at the Westgate, Las Vegas, “Value can be defined by the actual number vs power ranking/analytics from a particular source (usually individualized).”  Most people don’t understand value! In this fight, I made the line Taylor -450 to -600. So, with Martin +1075 that is ‘value’. It does not mean he wins. If you lay -2500 to win 100, that is fine. I always suggest find ‘value’ on your number and in this fight, I find value with Martin +1075.

Pick: Martin +1000 or better