A 10-round junior welterweight matchup between Ivan Baranchyk and Jose Zepeda has been finalized for July 7 in Las Vegas, sources told ESPN on Thursday.
Baranchyk, 27, (20-1, 13 KOs), the former IBF junior welterweight titleholder, is coming off a fourth-round stoppage of Gabriel Bracero in October. His lone loss came against Josh Taylor in May 2019 in the semifinals of the World Boxing Super Series.
Zepeda (31-2, 25 KOs), 31, is a well-schooled southpaw with solid boxing skills. In February 2019, Zepeda lost a disputed majority decision versus WBC titleholder Jose Ramirez in Fresno, California. In his most recent bout, in September, he won a unanimous decision against Jose Pedraza.
ESPN has Zepeda ranked No. 6 in the 140-pound division, while Baranchyk is No. 7. The fight will be promoted by Top Rank and will be broadcast on an ESPN platform.
Baranchyk and his team understand this will be a tough fight, but they say they are excited for him to be in the spotlight as boxing begins to resume amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Fortune favors the bold,” said David McWater, the head of Split-T Management, which handles Baranchyk. “We’re going to have to take some chances in July and August because I think there’s going to be outrageous ratings for these fights. Let’s get famous.
“I think the kids that win big fights now will very be high profile.”