Junior welterweight contender Ivan Baranchyk can punch but, in recent fights, he has demonstrated he can box as well.
With the help of trainer Pedro Diaz, Baranchyk has become a better fighter, yet he hasn’t quite reached his full potential.
Those representing the 25-year-old believe this version is good enough to win a world title belt Saturday night, when he faces Anthony Yigit in a 12-round bout at the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Baranchyk and Yigit will fight for the vacant IBF junior welterweight title in a contest preceding the main event between hometown fighter Regis Prograis and Terry Flanagan (DAZN, 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT). Baranchyk vs. Yigit will also kick off the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) 140-pound tournament.
Baranchyk (18-0, 11 knockouts), who is of Belarussian descent and was born and raised in Amursk, Russia, should be familiar to fight fans, having fought on six “ShoBox” telecasts. His most memorable bout occurred on February 10 of last year, when he overcame a knockdown to defeat Abel Ramos by unanimous decision in an exciting bout.
In his most recent bout on March 9, Baranchyk dropped former lightweight contender Petr Petrov three times en route to a eighth round stoppage victory.
“The great thing about having Ivan on those ShoBox telecasts was it proved he has a fan-friendly style,” promoter Lou DiBella told RingTV.com over the phone on Thursday night. “He has gotten better with each fight and he has become a more complete fighter with Pedro Diaz.”
Yigit (21-0-1, 7 KOs), who resides in Stockholm, Sweden, will be the best fighter Baranchyk has faced thus far, as a pro. Yigit’s most notable victories have come against DeMarcus Corley in 2015 and fringe contender Sandor Martin on September 30 of last year.
The 27-year-old Yigit is ranked No. 3 by the IBF, which has Baranchyk ranked at No. 2. Baranchyk is also ranked No. 8 by The Ring Magazine.
DiBella understands Yigit will be a difficult challenge but also believes Baranchyk is capable of winning on Saturday night.
“Yigit is a southpaw, who is a technician and is difficult to fight against,” said DiBella. “Yigit was an outstanding amateur fighter. Both of them were. He boxes very well and can make you look bad.
“I’ve been impressed with Ivan after each fight. Pedro has had him shortening up his punches and they’re more compact. His ring generalship has improved tremendously, where he does a better job cutting off the ring. Ivan has evolved as a more complete fighter.”
A world title win could lead to more enticing fights at 140 pounds, especially against Prograis. Both would face off if they win on Saturday evening.
“I’m very high on Ivan,” said DiBella, who also promotes Prograis. “He is a very talented fighter who has the potential to be a star in this division.”
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 (California) Star newspaper, BoxingScene.com and FightNights.com. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing.
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