Bob Arum really should have sprung for a better monkey’s paw when he wished to restart Top Rank boxing this summer.
On the heels of losing its July 16th ESPN main event between Eleider Alvarez and Joe Smith Jr. until at least late August, the company’s summer lineup has taken another blow, as Ivan Baranchyk is out of his July 7th bout with Jose Zepeda due to injury. Luckily, Mike Coppinger reports that the injury “isn’t believed to be serious” and “there’s optimism” that the fight could still take place by the end of July.
Let’s hope that optimism is well-founded, as this was arguably the top combination of fighter quality and sheer violence potential currently on the schedule. “The Beast” (20-1, 13 KO) is among the meanest bruisers at super lightweight and “Chon” (31-2, 25 KO) has scored finishes in four of his last five victories. They respectively turned in strong efforts against two of the division’s best in Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez.
The July 7th date lacked a co-feature or undercard, so we’ll have to wait and see whether Top Rank slots in a new main event or decides to just scrap it.