Ivan Baranchyk talks boxing beginnings, career ahead of ring return
When junior welterweight powerhouse Ivan “The Beast” Baranchyk first entered a boxing gym at age 12 in his native Belarus, he quickly learned why boxing is known as the loneliest sport.
“The man who ran the gym I went to was supposed to be the trainer but he had a drinking problem,” Baranchyk recalled. “Instead of teaching us the sport of boxing, he just opened the gym door each day and left us without steady guidance.”
Baranchyk learned much of the sweet science on his own and didn’t have a stable trainer throughout his amateur career. Amazingly, he won the 2009 World Junior Championships and defeated future two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Robeisy Ramirez of Cuba in the process. After continuing to excel as an amateur, the word quickly got out about the Belarusian buzzsaw.
He had offers from promoters across the globe to turn pro and elected to sign with Fight Promotions Inc. Baranchyk relocated to Brooklyn, NY after turning pro in June 2014. Nine victories later, he was matched with fellow unbeaten Nicholas Givhan of Michigan on ShoBox: The New Generation at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, OK. A transplanted New Yorker who fought most of his professional bouts at that point in the Big Apple, Baranchyk never heard of Oklahoma and wasn’t sure what the environment would be like.
On paper, the bout was viewed as a tossup and Givhan had more professional experience. Both fighters weren’t known to locals but it took less than half a minute to change that. Just 21 seconds after the opening bell, Baranchyk flattened Givhan with a vicious left hook that was one of 2016’s best knockouts. The standing room only crowd at the Buffalo Run was amazed and wanted to see him fight there again.
Three months later, Baranchyk granted their wish when he made his second straight ShoBox appearance, taking apart previously undefeated Eliseo Cruz Sesma inside of three rounds. The all-action Baranchyk had the crowd on their feet throughout the contest chanting “Beast, Beast, Beast” until the stoppage.
Shortly thereafter, Baranchyk signed with Tony Holden Productions, who promotes Baranchyk alongside DiBella Entertainment and the aforementioned Fight Promotions Inc. He’s since won two more bouts at the Buffalo Run, raising his professional record to 13-0 with 10 knockouts while capturing the USBA and WBC USNBC titles in the process.
“I feel very comfortable with the fans out there,” said Baranchyk. “I felt the energy at the Buffalo Run instantly and I’m grateful that the fans have been so supportive of me.”
Holden has been promoting fights for more than two decades and had many crowd attractions, most notably former champions Tommy Morrison and Johnny Tapia. He thought he’d seen it all. This was until a fighter with a background far different from the majority of his fans became an adopted son in the 14,000 person city of Miami, OK.
“He’s truly special to the fans at the Buffalo Run Casino and residents of Miami to the point where they’ve adopted him as if he were a lifelong local,” Holden said of Baranchyk, who is a member of Holden Productions’ Four State Franchise. “His style is entertaining and all boxing fans like action fighters. It’s amazing because when Ivan first fought here in March 2016 he was virtually unknown and now he’s a house fighter.”
Baranchyk will have a tough task when he faces Arizona’s Abel Ramos at the Buffalo Run Friday February, 10 in the ten round main event of a ShoBox tripleheader. Ramos, 17-1-2 (12 KO’s), has multiple wins over unbeaten fighters including a fifth round stoppage of 13-0 Dario Ferman last May. He’s faced quality opposition and is expected to be Baranchyk’s biggest test to date.
To ensure he’s at his best, the IBF #7 ranked Baranchyk trained in Los Angeles at Wildcard Boxing Club alongside new trainer Edward Kravtsov. With a solid training camp in the books, Baranchyk is prepared to deliver a solid performance Friday evening.
“This was a great camp and Wildcard is an awesome environment. It was something I needed to prepare for a good tough opponent in Abel Ramos. I’m fully prepared to entertain my fans at the Buffalo Run Casino. If everything goes as planned and I emerge victorious, I trust my team to get me to the next level.”
The ShoBox tripleheader airs at 10:05 pm ET and tickets are available at the Buffalo Run Box Office or by going to stubwire.com