Ivan Drago still gets quoted thirty-plus years on after his Rocky IV exploits. Most recently, as a fellow countryman got KO’d.
A re-watch of the 2020 Fight of the Year involving Jose Zepeda and Ivan Baranchyk brought to light one of the funniest commentary moments.
As Tim Bradley and Bernado Osuna described the crazy bout on ESPN, the latter uttered the words ‘I must break you’ in homage to Ivan Drago.
Baranchyk, at that time, looked dominant. He was pretty much doing what he wanted with Zepeda in the ring.
But no sooner was the phrase uttered when Baranchyk’s fortunes turned for the worst.
In the end, Zepeda sparked the Russian contender clean-out.
In 27 years covering boxing I had never called a fight of the year until today, when @ringmagazine recognized @ChonZepeda vs @IBaranchyk for their battle waged on @trboxing on @espn in October. It was a privilege to lend my voice to a fight that will live forever in boxing lore pic.twitter.com/mA75Qc7f8W
— Bernardo Osuna (@osunaespn) December 23, 2020
Osuna was delighted to witness such an epic fight that WBN moved to crown the best of the year.
In 27 years covering boxing, I had never called a fight of the year until today, when [boxing] recognized Jose Zepeda vs Ivan Baranchyk for their battle waged on Top Rank Boxing and ESPN in October.
“It was a privilege to lend my voice to a fight that will live forever in boxing lore.”
Ivan Drago – I Must Break You!
WBN’s report on the fight said it all.
The all-out war that was Jose Zepeda vs. Ivan Baranchyk on October 3rd has deservedly been named WBN Fight of the Year 2020.
During the pandemic, Zepeda and Baranchyk waged war for five rounds at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The super-lightweight encounter was the most entertaining fight witnessed throughout the no-crowd conditions.
At the time, it was a much-needed distraction. Both fighters touched down four times in a superb contest.
In the end, Zepeda landed the punch of his life in the fifth round. In the process, he ended the challenge of an exhausted Baranchyk.
The bizarre occurrence was one of the sport’s lighter happenings in a terrible year.
On a sour note, nothing could take away the fact that Bradley is one of the more polarizing analysts around after the fight.
Many sometimes found it pretty hard to listen to the former world champion. He’s turned into a completely different character from a fighter.
Usually quite reserved and not one to be that flashy, Bradley is now taking the ESPN role of Teddy Atlas in being the over-enthusiastic one.
Trained by Atlas in his later years, maybe the pair discussed the possibility? – Who knows?
Former boxer Bradley doesn’t seem to be doing himself any favors in his ringside position.
Fans continue to give Bradley a piece of their mind on his commentary.
Tim Bradley with absolutely inept analysis. We really can't afford @andreward to take any nights off.
— John Einreinhofer (@realjohnelaw) October 10, 2020
Bradley won’t mind, though. After his’ victory’ over Manny Pacquiao, he’s used to taking a massive heap of flak after doing so in 2012.
In one of the worst decisions ever witnessed inside any ring, Bradley certainly grasped a gift points win over the Filipino legend.
At the time, WBN aired extreme views on the ‘defeat’ as Pacquiao lost his world title in the worst way. The move subsequently earned Bradley two more fights with Pacquiao.
In both, we saw just how the first fight went – a significantly one-sided triumph for Pacquiao.
A good move for Top Rank, though. They made a hell of a lot of bread due to those three in-house clashes.
It’s just a pity Bradley still has such a high-profile position in what has become so contrasting in the public eye.