Ivan Baranchyk to face Keenan Smith on ShoBox
Ivan Baranchyk has found a second home fighting on ShoBox telecasts in recent months. The same could be said about fighting in the heartland of America.
Baranchyk will face fellow unbeaten Keenan Smith July 14 at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Oklahoma, it was announced Thursday afternoon. The eight-round bout will top a four-bout “ShoBox: The New Generation” broadcast on Showtime (10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT).
Originally from Russia, Baranchyk has gained a following in and around the Miami area. July 14 will mark the sixth time he has fought at the Buffalo Run Casino.
In his last bout, on February 10, Baranchyk (15-0, 10 knockouts) survived a third-round knockdown to win a hard-fought 10-round unanimous decision over Abel Ramos.
Despite an extensive amateur background and having more pro fights than Smith, Baranchyk is not overlooking his opponent.
“Smith is a tough fighter and a ShoBox alum himself, so I will enjoy knocking him out,” said Baranchyk, who has been fighting as a pro since 2014, in a press release. “I’m not going to (overlook) him. He is a good opponent. I’ll be alert and I’ll pay attention to what he brings, but I’m battle-tested. He hasn’t faced anyone like me. I’ll gladly hand him his first loss and move a step closer in my pursuit of a world title.”
Baranchyk has won his last three fights by decision after knocking out his previous eight opponents.
Smith (11-0, 5 KOs) was a 2008 National Golden Gloves champion with wins over Amir Imam and the aforementioned Ramos.
After dealing with the loss of his parents and recovering from an ACL injury, Smith has fought twice thus far in 2017, scoring two knockout victories over inferior opposition.
“This is a very big fight for me, perhaps the biggest fight of my career,” said Smith, who resides in Philadelphia. “I’m stepping up in opposition and I’m ready for what’s to come. I am training three times a day and I’m in the best shape of my life.
“I know Baranchyk comes to fight, but I also know his weaknesses. I’m ready for his wild swings. I’m ready to be in the main event in a nationally televised fight. Needless to say, a win will bring bigger and even better opportunities. I can’t wait.”
Also on the ShoBox telecast:
– In another clash of junior welterweight prospects, Kenneth Sims (12-0, 4 KOs) will square off against Rolando Chinea (14-1, 6 KOs) in an eight-round bout.
– Adam Lopez (16-1-1, 8 KOs) hopes to rebound from his loss to Danny Roman in January as he battles Glen Dezurn (9-0, 6 KOs) in an eight-round junior featherweight bout.
– Opening the broadcast will be an eight-round bout between Joshua Greer Jr. (13-1-1, 5 KOs) and Leroy Davila (5-1, 3 KOs). Greer scored a highlight-reel knockout win over James Smith on March 10 that aired on a ShoBox telecast.
“This type of card is what ShoBox is all about,” said promoter Vito Mielnicki, who is the founder of GH3 Promotions. “Four evenly matched pairings that have the potential to be action-packed fights. I think the fans who watch this show will come away thoroughly entertained.”
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV.com since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing.