Boxer vs. Slugger: Jose Zepeda and Ivan Baranchyk Set for Junior Welterweight Showdown



Boxer vs. Slugger: Jose Zepeda and Ivan Baranchyk Set for Junior Welterweight Showdown

LAS VEGAS (October 1, 2020) — Take two. Junior welterweight contenders Jose “Chon” Zepeda and former world champion Ivan “The Beast” Baranchyk were scheduled to fight in July, but the bout was postponed after Baranchyk suffered an injured rib in training. Both men now have a clean bill of health, and the two will fight Saturday evening in a 10-round bout from the MGM Grand Conference Center (ESPN+, 7:30 p.m. ET).

In the co-feature, unbeaten lightweight sensation Gabriel Flores Jr. will take on Ryan “The Polish Prince” Kielczweski in a 10-rounder.

At Thursday's final press conference, here's what the fighters had to say.

Both men looking to position themselves for a title shot in 2021.

Jose Zepeda

“I have gained a lot of experience by fighting guys like {Jose} Ramirez and ‘Sniper’ Pedraza. Those guys have been world champions. It was a great experience being in the ring with them. The experience counts a lot.”

“The bubble is something new, but it doesn’t make much of a difference. I don’t mind the whole experience of the bubble. At the end of the day, it’s always the two fighters in the ring fighting each other.”

“I feel like I’m the number one at 140. I did think the Ramirez fight was pretty close, and a lot of people saw me winning. I think he is one of the best in the top 5. Both of us right here, together with Ramirez and Josh Taylor, are in the top 5. It’s very exciting. We are all good at certain things and that makes for a very exciting division.”

Ivan Baranchyk

“In my training camp, I’ve been going harder and harder and harder. I feel great. I’m ready to fight all rounds. I can go 10, 12, or 20 rounds. I’m very hungry.  You will see a good fight Saturday night.”

“I don’t feel like I’m in a bubble. I feel comfortable. The treatment has been the best. I feel good.”

“This is the best division. This fight is very important for me because it will be my next step towards a world title opportunity. If we win this fight, maybe I can get the chance to challenge Ramirez.”

Gabriel Flores Jr.

“Everything has been great. Moving to Vegas has helped me get great sparring. We’re running up Mount Charleston. My conditioning level is outrageous. The move here really helped me.”

“I’m 100 percent healthy, thank God, because that last fight {June 18 against Josec Ruiz}, just going in and continuing to fight, it was tough going those whole 10 rounds with my lower back injury because it was a real injury. I went to a chiropractor and got it all figured out. I’ve been healthy for a while.”

Photo Cred: Mikey Williams/TopRank

“He’s experienced and everything, but I’m moving my way up the rankings. Every fight that comes, I get better and better. We fix our mistakes. We get better.”

Ryan Kielczweski

“I’m always in the gym, either holding the mitts or working people out or working out myself. It wasn’t really too hard to kick it back into gear and get right back into shape.”

“He’s 18-0. He’s obviously a very good fighter, very fast. He’s got a lot of skill. I just can’t wait to get in there and see what happens.”

“When I faced {Tommy} Coyle, I went up a couple weight classes. It was at super lightweight, and I took the fight on about three weeks’ notice. I was in shape. I fought maybe three or four weeks before that. I was still in shape, but I really didn’t have much time to set up a real game plan. We go in there and do what we do.”

“I had plenty of time to get ready for this. I’m in great shape.”

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