ShoBox: Keenan Smith ready to take on ‘The Beast’ next weekend

Marc Abrams 09/07/2017

Undefeated super lightweight Keenan Smith is ready and confident for his upcoming bout with Ivan “The Beast” Baranchyk as the two prepare to meet in an eight-round main event on ShoBox: The New Generation on Friday, July 14 live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Okla.

The ShoBox telecast features eight returning fighters with a combined record of 94 wins against just four losses.

Dangerous southpaw “Killa” Smith, (11-0, 5 KOs), of Philadelphia will make his second appearance on the series as he takes on Baranchyk, (14-0, 10 KOs), a native of Minsk, Byelorussia fighting out of Miami, Okla., who is making his fifth appearance on the ShoBox series.

In the co-feature, former national amateur champion Kenneth Sims Jr. (12-0, 4 KOs) will look to keep his record unblemished as he meets Rolando Chinea (14-1-1, 6 KOs) in an eight-round super lightweight scrap. Plus, undefeated Glenn Dezurn (9-0, 6 KOs) will take on Adam Lopez (16-1-1, KOs) in an eight-round bantamweight clash. In the telecast opener, Joshua Greer (13-1-1, 5 KOs) will battle Leroy Davila (5-1, 3 KOs) in an eight-round super bantamweight bout.

Tickets for the event promoted by GH3 Promotions and Tony Holden Productions are priced at $35, $55, $65 and $75 and are available for purchase now at buffalorun.com.

Smith, the 2008 National Golden Gloves Champion and 2007 Junior Olympic National Champion, debuted on ShoBox in November of 2015, scoring a hard-fought unanimous decision over Benjamin Whitaker. The 5-foot-7, 26-year-old, will make his third start of the year after taking 2016 off to recover from and ACL injury and the loss of both of his parents within six months of each other. Smith has knocked out both of his opponents this year, Marquis Hawthorne and Edgar Gabejan.

Smith set up training camp in Southern Jersey, and has prepared for this bout with complete focus, and is ready to become a player in the junior welterweight division.

“Camp has been good, and I had a lot of top-notch sparring,” said Smith. “I have been doing a lot of strength and conditioning. This has been a wonderful camp, and on July 14th, the fans will see the best Keenan Smith.”

He continued: “My confidence is at 100%. I will beat him, and I am looking to kill The Beast.”

With a win over Baranchyk, Smith feels he can become an immediate contender at junior welterweight.

“The fight will open doors for me and get me bigger and better opportunities.”

Smith’s promoter Vito Mielnicki of GH3 Promotions is fully behind his fighter and believes a breakout performance is in store for July 14.

“This will be Keenan’s chance to show what we already know: That he is a vastly talented fighter who has the goods to go a long way in this sport,” Mielnicki said. “He has the pedigree and now this is the stage where he becomes a real commodity in boxing. We are looking for a shining performance on July 14.”

Smith is trained by his brother Lemar Smith, and is managed by Doc Nowicki and David Price.