Montana Love Claims Career-Best Win Over Ivan Baranchyk
When super lightweight Montana “Too Pretty” Love (16-0-1, 8 KO’s) last hopped in the ring, he had a lot of pressure on his shoulders. Not only was he facing his toughest opponent to date, he was doing so in front of his hometown crowd in Cleveland, Ohio. In such a situation, it’s easy to lose focus and come up on the wrong side of an embarrassing loss. This was not the case for Love. Following seven rounds of skillful action, Too Pretty snagged an impressive TKO win over Ivan “The Beast’ Baranchyk (20-3, 13 KO’s).
The defeat is particularly damaging to the Russian as this marks back-to-back losses. Back on October 3, 2020, Baranchyk lost by devastating fifth round knockout to Jose Zepeda. Yet, despite the loss, the fight itself was wildly entertaining and was voted 3kingsboxing’s Fight of the Year for 2020. It’s unclear what the intense pressure-fighter will do next.
Prior to the bout, Love was extremely upfront about wanting to pursue a dustup with regular WBA super lightweight champion Gervonta Davis. The two have shared the ring for sparring purposes and even went at one another via their social media accounts. Yet, at the moment, Love is not ranked in the top fifteen by any of the four major sanctioning bodies. He also does not have the biggest name or profile in the sport. Said to say, from the outside looking in, his chances at securing a Tank Davis bout are somewhat dubious at the moment. Stranger things have happened though. First however, we should wait to see if this latest win gets him in the higher rankings. If so, let’s see what Team Love can get cooking next.
The fight opened in mundane enough fashion. Love dictated the pace with his foot work and movement. When he wanted to engage, Too Pretty would throw a shot or two then get out of Dodge. Baranchyk attempted to do damage but his wide shots often sailed clear of their targets. Nothing of significant note landed for either. Not much changed in the second, except Love was setting traps and consistently running the Beast into straight right-hands.
The dynamics of the fight radically shifted in the third when Baranchyk clubbed Love with a right hook that caused him to back pedal. Once on the ropes, the Beast rained punches down on him. Some connected while others didn’t, but Love appeared effected. Some will say that the Russian was robbed of a knock down as twice it appeared that Love remained on his feet due to the ropes. Moments later, when being broken up by referee Lonnie Scott, Too Pretty rocked the Russian with a right hook that caused him to double over at the waist.
Oddly, after a particularly impactful left hook in the fourth, rather than attack his stunned foe, Love celebrated. Too Pretty was enjoying an exceptionally good fifth round for the first 2 minutes and thirty seconds. He ran Baranchyk into a buffet of shots with regularity, yet in the last thirty seconds the Russian nailed the Cleveland native with a left hook that bent him backwards.
With the coming of the seventh round, Love put a clear emphasis on sitting down on his punches. To his credit, Ivan Baranchyk ate the shots well and kept marching forward. In the final fifteen seconds of the round however, Love clipped the Beast with a crunching left hook that sent him crashing to the canvas. Despite beating the count, Baranchyk’s corner stopped the fight in between rounds. In his post-fight interview, Love once again called for a fight with Gervonta Davis.
By: Bakari Simpson