Former junior welterweight titleholder Ivan Baranchyk will return on July 9 in Las Vegas, with ESPN reporting that he’ll be facing Jose Zepeda.
The 27-year-old Baranchyk (20-1, 13 KO), a Belarusian based now in Miami, Oklahoma, where he’s quite popular, last fought in Oct. 2019, stopping Gabriel Bracero in the fourth round. That came five months after he went to Glasgow and was competitive but dropped a clear decision to Josh Taylor in the World Boxing Super Series semifinals.
Baranchyk had won the vacant IBF belt at 140 pounds in the first round of the tournament in Oct. 2018, stopping Anthony Yigit after seven rounds.
California’s Zepeda (31-2, 25 KO) is a solid contender himself at age 31, and this looks like a good matchup on paper. Zepeda lost a very close majority decision to Jose Ramirez in a WBC title shot in Feb. 2019, and in his last bout, beat former 130-pound titleholder Jose Pedraza via decision in Sept. 2019.
The ESPN report doesn’t confirm it, but this would seem to be a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN date, as the promotional company is looking to fill out Tuesday and Thursday night cards for June and July.