Jose Zepeda Scores a Highlight Reel Knockout Over Ivan Baranchyk
In a sensational back and forth war that produced eight total knockdowns and more than lived up to the hype, Jose Zepeda (33-2, 26 KOs) scored what will go down as the clear top candidate for knockout of the year as he iced out Ivan Baranchyk (20-2, 13 KOs) in the fifth round at the MGM Grand Bubble in Las Vegas, Nevada.
FIREWORKS EARLY AND OFTEN
Baranchyk said in the lead-up that his mission was to make a statement, and he came out the gate blazing early in this fight. Strong as an ox for a 140-pounder, the 27-year-old charged forward in round one with power shots. He hurt Zepeda with a right-hand-left-hook combination, putting him down in the round. The Russian produced a second knockdown in the round again from a right-hand-left-hook combination.
Then suddenly, early in round two, Zepeda struck with his own power, stunning Baranchyk with a left hook and putting him down on the mat. Zepeda would hurt the Russian would only for him to return fire and score another knockdown of his own seconds later.
The high-level violence continued in rounds three and four. Baranchyk was fighting like a wild-man, swinging bombs. Yet, Zepeda stayed calm within the storm as he knocked down his foe in each of those rounds by way of his left-hand power.
WHAT A FINISH!!!
The fifth round of this fight was both sensational and well, outright scary. Midway through the round, Baranchyk hurt Zepeda and was credited with an official knockdown as Zepeda was held up by the ropes.
Then boom, Zepeda turned it around and landed a finishing straight left-hand that put Baranchyk out cold with 10 seconds to go in the round! It was one of the scariest knockout punches you will ever see in a boxing ring.
Baranchyk was out before he hit the canvas. His right knee folded back and he was down on the canvas for several minutes before eventually rising and walking out of the ring on shaky legs with assistance from the medics at ringside. There is no doubt he is headed to a local Vegas hospital for medical observation.
Because this was a WBC world title eliminator, Zepeda will now become the WBC’s #1 contender at 140-pounds. After the fight, he said he would love a rematch against WBC/WBO world Super Lightweight champion Jose Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs).
By: Michael Wilson Jr.