A pair of junior welterweight boxers put on one of the most brutal and unreal fights ever produced in the sport of boxing on Saturday night at The Bubble in Las Vegas. Former title challenger Jose Zepeda defeated former titleholder Ivan Baranchyk in a ridiculous action fight that produced eight total knockdowns in less than five full rounds. While all the punches in the contest from both fighters landed with some seriously ferocious intent, the final knockdown was particularly devastating. That one left Baranchyk twisted into a terrifying heap of motionless humanity down on the canvas for five long minutes.
You can watch the epic knockout punch below.
Here’s the same vicious punch from a different angle.
Here’s an amazing picture of the knockout posted by the event’s promoter, Top Rank.
You can watch all eight knockdowns from the fight below.
It was a barnburner right from the start. Retired boxing champ Timothy Bradley, who was calling the action live from ringside for ESPN, called the bout “unreal” and “brutal”.
He wasn’t alone in his summation of the epic Saturday night slugfest.
Combat Sports World Reacts
Zepeda’s epic win had many in the combat sports community wondering if they had just witnessed both the Fight of the Year and Knockout of the Year in the sport for 2020.
That sure seems to be the case.
Hall of Fame boxing promoter Bob Arum claimed it was one of the best fights he has seen since Hall of Famer George Foreman defeated Ron Lyle back in 1976.
Arum posted, “One of the best fights I’ve seen since Foreman-Lyle. Plain and simple. #ZepedaBaranchyk”.
Two-division world champion Bradley, who was calling the action with Bernardo Osuna, called it the best fight he has ever seen live.
As the tumultuous battle unfolded before his eyes, a flabbergasted Bradley called the bout “unreal”, “brutal” and simultaneously the best and worst of boxing in one fight.
Bradley would know. The likely future Hall of Famer won world titles at both 140 and 147 pounds.
During his 12-year professional boxing career, Bradley was one of the best fighters in the world. He faced and defeated Hall of Famers such as Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez along the way, and won ESPN’s Fight of the Year in 2013 against Ruslan Provodnikov.
But even the UFC world took notice.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto posted, “OMG. That Top Rank main event on ESPN+ was one of the wildest fights I’ve seen all year. Wowwww. Wait til you see the highlights from this if you weren’t watching. It’ll be about a five-minute reel.”
ESPN’s Ariel Helwani was also impressed. In fact, the famed MMA journalist went through the full range of emotions over the matter.
Now, Zepeda hopes to have earned another shot at the title. The crafty southpaw was already known as a clever and smart boxer, but now he’ll also have the reputation of a hard-nosed fighter who won’t give in.
“I didn’t know how tough I was,” Zepeda said. “Tonight I [showed everyone], and I showed myself too.”
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