By Tré Berry III🖊️ | 10/04/2020
The full gambit of emotions ran its course tonight for all involved (fighters, trainers, viewers), as Jose “Chon” Zepeda (33-2-0, 26KO) and Ivan “The Beast” Baranchyk (20-2-0, 13KO) went to full war, delivering all-out combat. Every round featured a knockdown, and each boxer was dropped 4 times for a total of 8 times in which they combined touched the canvas, but only 7 times did the down fighter get up, as Zepeda landed the perfect punch that knocked Baranchyk flat out cold, causing serious health concerns for his well being, and whereabouts going forward.
TRANSPARENCY – In all honesty, this fight had so much taking place during the course of events, that we couldn’t keep up in terms of noting the plethora of noteworthy moments that took place in just about every round. We decided to delay the post-fight report slightly, so that we could get a chance to watch it again to give you all a detailed, accurate description of the events that took place tonight.
THE FIGHT RECAP (ZEPEDA | BARANCHYK)
Immediately coming out the corner after the first bell, Ivan maniacally barged in and hit Zepeda with a big looping left hook. Through sheer aggression, he was able to put Chon down early with a right hand. Baranchyk knocked Zepeda to the canvas down once again in the opening round, exuding his massive strength and overwhelming his southpaw opponent who seemed to have a difficult time adapting to the round house power hook that Ivan was dead-set on landing all fight.
The second round, Zepeda caught Baranchyk lunging in with a shot, had him spun around as he landed a left hand to put Baranchyk down, but Referee 🕴🏿Kenny Bayless ruled it a slip of some sorts, so the knockdown count should have actually been 9 between the two. About 40 seconds later, Zepeda dropped Baranchyk again, with time with a hard left hand, and the tide of the fight changed, foreshadowing the type of night that each respective boxer was in for. Zepeda went in to finish the job, then 💥BAM, Baranchyk landed a thunderous right hand, slumping Zepeda down to the mat immediately.
I was surprised to see Zepeda get up from that…though I shouldn’t have been, considering that this fight was branded as one that was to be a career definer, with a 🍯pot of gold at the end for the winner, and falling all the way back in line for whomever boxer was that would come up short – everything was on the line, and by this point, it was clear that each warrior was going to embark upon whatever it took to get the job done, no matter how daunting the task.
Baranchyk continued to look very, very strong lurching forward and stalking Zepeda in the 4th round, while you could see the determination on Zepeda’s face increasing, fully understanding and aware that at any moment, his 📖book could be closed on him, or he himself could end this contest at any time. Baranchyk within that stanza once again crashed down to the mat, evening the knockdown count to three a piece. Baranchyk got up, and they continued to go to war.
The 5th round was the final one, resulting in the 📈climax that boxing fans dream to see, but was followed with a potential nightmarish outcome with the health component factored into the equation. Baranchyk lunged forward while Zepeda trapped himself in the corner, and landed an absolute bomb of a right hand that had Jose falling back, and landing on the turnbuckle. Referee Bayless made the correct call to rule it a knockdown because the apparatus was the only thing that kept him, because he was clearly about to land straight on him back if the punch connected at center ring.
With Zepeda hurt, Ivan rushed in and tried to go do what he does best, to bombard Chon, and that’s when it happened….. Zepeda landed a 💣perfect left cross to his left cheek – as good a punch as I’ve seen landed in the last handful of years.
Baranchyk’s lights went out immediately, with his body bent completely backwards, with his weight buckling over his right leg that never gave way due to having no control of his faculties anymore, and dropping straight back to the canvas like a slab of bricks, also hitting his head in the process.
Baranchyk was sprawled out on the canvas, immediately looking to be in need of real medical assistance. Kenny Bayless waived his count off, and signaled for the 🩺Ring-Physicians to enter the ring promptly. More on his condition in a minute, Jose “Chon” Zepeda, after taking the position of the hard-lucked talent who fell through the cracks of misfortunes – just authored up the greatest moment of his career. It’s unfortunate though that his celebration was short lived because he understood the type of peril that Baranchyk was in due to the impact of the left hand he found home with.
IVAN BARANCHYK’S OVERALL CONDITION
To sum up the the level of devastation that the left cross inflicted, Ivan Baranchyk laid sprawled out on the canvas for at least ⌚5 minutes, with no real advancements made to get up as medical personnel gave him an urgent lookover. They however didn’t do the best job that they could do at all, because A) they never thought to remove the mouthpiece, obstructing the breathing of a man that had just gone through some real head trauma, and B) they never turned him on his side, which is what you’re supposed to do with a trauma victim of the physical variety.
Eventually Ivan Baranchyk made his way to his feet, but Commentator / former prizefighter 🎙️Timothy Bradley accurately noted that Baranchyk didn’t even look like the same person anymore in the eyes, as he had a weakened glazed expression, but seemed to indicate something further, which we all hope isn’t to be the case. Equally concerning was that Baranchyk was walking crookedly while being helped by personnel to get to the ropes. He wanted to walk down the steps under his own volition, but he couldn’t even do that, as that had become a strenuous task, so he was helped down the steps, and walked back to the tent area (his dressing room).
He was put into an 🚑ambulance and immediately taken to a local hospital in the Las Vegas area. We hope the absolute best for Baranchyk’s well being, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that he appeared to have suffered some neurological damage. Let us all hope that is indeed not the case.
HISTORY POSSIBLY REPEATING ITSELF?
Outside of my concern for the fallen fighter, I had came to a thought that Zepeda’s full on transformation had reminded me of a previous greats transformation, and that fighter is none other than Mexican boxing legend 🇲🇽Juan Manuel Marquez. NO – he is not Juan Manuel Marquez if that’s what you immediately thought I meant, but the parallel between the two are similar – both started out as cerebral, scientific boxers who each wasn’t known to be the toughest of fighters in the ring, with both succumbing to hard fits of luck.
After each got tired of the misfortunes of always grabbing the short straw, they changed their tunes, and although they are both known for superior boxing acumen, trials and mishaps over the years has turned each into tough grizzled veterans, who found themselves having to go through repeated wars in order for them to get the credit and adulation that they each deserve. Zepeda tonight had to go through hell, but he made a conscious decision to never let go, and never let up.
FINAL NOTE ON ZEPEDA’S NEW FORTUNES
He is now the #1 WBC mandatory, and he is set to either fight 🏴Josh “Tartan Tornado” Taylor (17-0-0, 13KO), or get his rematch against 🇺🇸Jose Carlos Ramirez (26-0-0, 17KO). At this point, Zepeda’s eyes are lit up at the prospects, because by the time he gets his opportunity, all 5 of the Junior-Welterweight Titles (RING/WBA/WBC/WBO/IBF) will all be on the line, and he finds himself one step away from the opportunity to become not just a Champion, but an Undisputed Champion. – How quickly do fortunes turn.