Vyacheslav Shabranskyy returns against Ricardo Luna after two-year ring hiatus
Former light heavyweight title challenger Vyacheslav Shabranskyy returns to action Thursday night (October 14) against journeyman Ricardo Luna at The Hangar at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, California.
Shabranskyy (21-2, 17 knockouts), who is originally from Zhytomyr, Ukraine and now resides in Los Angeles, California, last fought in September 2019, winning by disqualification over fellow former title challenger Felix Valera. He has won his last two
bouts since losing by knockout to Sergey Kovalev in November 2017.
The loss to Kovalev, which was for the vacant WBO world title, would be Shabranskyy’s last fight under contract with Golden Boy Promotions. The win over Valera took place on a Top Rank card, but Shabranskyy is not signed to a promoter.
Shabranskyy’s other loss occurred in December 2016 at the hands of then-contender Sullivan Barrera in an action fight. Despite dropping Barrera once in Round 2, Shabranskyy was not able to overcome getting knocked down three times during the fight, prompting a stoppage in Round 7.
Shabranskyy, who is known for his aggression and power, owns victories over former contender Yunieski Gonzalez and then-unbeaten prospects Todd Unthank May and Paul Parker. He hopes a win over Luna will open opportunities to fighting often.
“I have been out for two years, but I’m definitely happy to be back,” Shabranskyy told The Ring late Tuesday night. “I’m not done yet.”
Luna (23-8-1, 15 KOs), who resides in Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl, Mexico, stopped Gilberto Flores Hernandez in Round 2 of his last bout on September 18 of last year. In his previous fight in February of that year, Luna lost by unanimous decision to unbeaten prospect Nurzat Sabinov.
In notable bouts, Luna has lost to D’Mitrius Ballard, Erik Bazinyan, Bektemir Melikuziev, and Ryoto Murata. All were unbeaten when they faced Luna.
In the co-featured bout of the Roy Englebrecht Promotions card, junior lightweight Ernardo Mercado (2-0, 2 KOs) of nearby Ontario will square off against Nathan Benichou (2-5-1, 2 KOs) of France in a six-round bout.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing