Zepeda KO’s Baranchyk In Thriller
By William Trillo
Photos: Mikey Williams - Top Rank
The main event in “The Bubble” was easily one of the
wildest fights we have seen in quite some time and
possibly was one of the best of the year. In five short
rounds both men were down four times each… Oh, who am I
kidding? That was The Fight of The Year, it’s not open
for debate. Super Lightweights Jose Zepeda (33-2, 26
KO’s) and Ivan Baranchyk (20-2, 13 KO’s) gave fight fans
a battle they will not soon forget. This was high drama
at its finest.
The fight that was scheduled to take place early this
summer but was postponed due to injury was well worth
the wait. In the first round Baranchyk came out like a
beast and dropped Zepeda not once but twice. This was
only a preview of coming attractions.
Round two gave us a glimpse of the drama we would see
all night as this time Zepeda put Baranchyk down right
away. As if on cue Baranchk would get up and return the
favor as Zepeda hit the deck again.
Round three saw more of the same, flying fists o'plenty
before Baranchyk kissed the canvas yet another time.
Zepeda really hurt Baranchyk in the previous round and
in this fourth round he was looking to close the show.
It appeared maybe it was going to happen as Barachyk hit
the deck again. This was wild stuff. But stay tuned
there was more.
Not to be outdone round five would be a showstopper. It
was dramatic theatre here and the grand finale was about
to take place. Going toe to toe in the middle of the
ring for the first two minutes of the round the fighters
took turns pounding on each other with reckless abandon.
At the thirty second mark Baranchyk uncorked a combo and
Zepeda went down into the turnbuckles. Zepeda rose to
his feet and as soon as the two started swinging again
Zepeda landed a vicious left hand that closed the show.
Baranchyk crumbled. It was as stunning an end to a fight
as one could expect. It was awesome, it was wild and it
was scary all at the same time.
Jose Zepeda just put himself right back in the picture
with this spectacular winning performance that helped
him grab the vacant World Boxing Council Silver Super
Light Title. More importantly he becomes the number one
challenger for the belt.
For Baranchyk, after seeing him in a state of
unconsciousness for at least ten minutes it was good to
see him get to his feet and be able to walk out of the
ring. Hopefully tests at the hospital will give him a
clean bill of health. After that it will be up to him
where his career is headed, but know this; as Tim
Bradley stated, “He left a piece of himself in the ring
and he won’t be getting it back.”
As I said, That was high drama in “The Bubble”. It
doesn’t get any better than that.
Reacting to the fight Zepeda said, “I feel great because
I won the fight. It was a hard fight, and I’m thinking,
‘Man, boxing is hard. It’s no easy game.’ Boxing, it’s
tough, and you have to give it 100 percent because it’s
a hard sport. Both of us are climbing up, and somebody
had to stay. I was able to win the fight, and I told
him, ‘Thanks for the fight. It was a great fight. I know
I’m tough. I didn’t know how tough I was. Tonight, I
showed myself, too. I’ve never been in a fight like
this. It was a great learning experience. I’m going for
the titles. That’s why we’re here in boxing.”
He got hurt early in round one but that was just a
wakeup call for Lightweight Gabriel Flores Jr. (19-0, 6
KO’s). Ryan Kielczweski (30-5, 11 KO’s) looked like he
was going to be a problem but once Flores got his
bearings it was smooth sailing. Kielczweski gave Flores
ten good rounds of work but this fight was never in
question. Final scores all in favor of Flores read
100-90, 99-91 and 98-92.
On the first round left hook that appeared to buzz
Flores, “I was not buzzed at all. Not buzzed at all. I
was a little bit off balance on my heel, which is rare.
I’m always on my toes. I gotta stay in the pocket more.
I need to stay on myself to stay in the pocket. I’m in
the pocket landing shots, and then I feel like, ‘I’m
In one of the more action-packed Heavyweight fights you
will see, Guido Vianello (7-0-1, 7 KO’s) and Kingsley
Ibeh (5-1-1, 4 KO’s) went all Rock-em Sock-em Robots in
a six round slugfest. On paper you would think the
Olympian Vianello would have no problem with the late
starting Ibeh whose career is only 14 months old. But
that’s why they make them fight.
Ibeh had Vianello bloodied and stumbling around in round
two, it didn’t look good for Vianello. Somehow he
weathered the storm and was able to keep the fight
close. In fact is was more than close. In the end the
judges scored it 59-55 Ibeh and 57-57 twice making the
bout a majority decision draw.
Featherweight Duke Ragan (2-0, 1 KO) got the unanimous
decision victory of last-minute sub John Moraga (1-2, 1
KO). Ragan controlled the fight over Moraga who never
was able to let his hands go. This one was a shutout,
40-36 on all cards.
Featherweight Haven Brady Jr. collected a KO in his pro
debut against a game Gorwar Karyah (2-2, 2 KO’s). As
debuts go this was no pushover for Brady as Karyah gave
the young man some good work. In round four Brady began
landing shots at an overwhelming rate and that forced
the fight to be brought to a halt. Officially the time
of the stoppage was the 2:27 mark of round four.
It was an all Puerto Rican “Quien es mas Macho” battle
in this Super Featherweight attraction. Frevian Gonzalez
Robles (4-0, 1 KO) took on Carlos Marrero (2-4-1) in a
very fan friendly four round bout. Robles was the
aggressor and brought the fight to Marrero all night but
Marrero was no slouch. This was a good proving ground
for Robles who had his work cut out for him. In the end
Robles came out on top with scores reading 38-38 and
40-36 twice giving him the majority decision nod.
By the time Heavyweight James Barnes (1-1, 1 KO) knew
what hit him, the fight was over. Mitchell Sipe made his
pro debut memorable as a street fight broke out in "The
Bubble". Only seconds in, Barnes went down after a wild
swinging exchange. No sooner said than done the slugfest
ensued but this time Sipe was bouncing blows off the
head of Barnes at a rapid clip. Seeing enough, the ref
stepped in and halted the carnage at the 47 second mark
of round one giving Sipe the KO victory.
Welterweights Matthew Reed (1-1, 1 KO) and Wilfred
Mariano (3-0, 2 KO) opened the show in a bout that
didn’t last three minutes. Mariano took it to the MMA
hybrid Reed quickly. A left hook did the initial damage
and a follow up flurry was enough to stop this one at
the 1:27 mark of the first.