Undefeated junior welterweight Ivan “The Beast” Baranchyk and once-beaten Abel Ramos weighed-in on Thursday for their 10-round main event tomorrow/Friday televised on Showtime at 10:05 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Buffalo Run Casino & Resort in Miami, Okla.
The hard-hitting Baranchyk (13-0, 10 KOs), who trains in Los Angeles and fights out of Miami, has scored 10 KOs inside of three full rounds, while the aggressive-minded Ramos (17-1-2, 12 KOs), of Casa Grande, Ariz., has knocked out three straight and promises to be the toughest test of Baranchyk’s career.
Undefeated former Dominican Republic Olympian Lenin Castillo (15-0-1, 10 KOs) and former national Golden Gloves champion Joeseph “Mack” Williams (10-0, 7 KOs), of Far Rockaway, N.Y., meet in a matchup of undefeated light heavyweights in an eight-round featured bout.
In the opening bout of the telecast, Spain’s up-and-coming unbeaten Jon “Johnfer” Fernandez (10-0, 8 KOs) takes on southpaw Ernesto Garza (7-1, 4 KOs), of Fort Hood, Texas, in an eight-round super featherweight bout.
Ivan Baranchyk: 140 Pounds
Abel Ramos: 139 ½ Pounds
Lenin Castillo: 177 ¼ Pounds
Joseph Williams: 178 ½ ounds
Jon Fernandez: 129 ½ Pounds
Ernesto Garza: 126 ¼ Pounds
IVAN “THE BEAST” BARANCHYK:
“I’m working with a new trainer (Eduard Kravtsov) at Wild Card Gym. We had some mistakes with our old team and it was time for me to move on. It was my decision to move on.
“We have better sparring now, a new coach, new strategy. Wild Card is a different experience. We have tough sparring, tough training. It was a good change.
“I’m still the same aggressive fighter; I come forward and try to stop you. We’re just working on a few new things, more combos, better defense.
“Ramos is my toughest opponent, but we’re ready for everything he brings. We’re ready to fight on the inside, on the outside.
“The game plan is to get the victory. That’s the most important
“The first couple rounds are the most dangerous. We know he’s tough and experienced. We need to make it my fight, style-wise.
“My last two fights went the distance, but it was good to know I can go 10 rounds. It was good to get that experience.
“People connect with me here (in Miami, Okla.). I can’t explain it, it just works.”
“Ivan is a different fighter. We know what we’re getting in there with and we’re going to feel out his power. His last two fights went the distance so he must not hit that hard. We’re going to wear him out.
“Ivan is aggressive, and he can be explosive at times, but he makes mistakes. He fights a little wild.
“I think I can start to worry him. We’re going to test his power and decide how I need to fight. He hasn’t fought anyone at my level yet.
“I have to win this fight. This is my third time on SHOWTIME and I have to win. I have to make a statement.
“I’ve been working on pushing the pace. You’ll see some of that tomorrow night.
“We sparred with Sergey Lipenets, helping him get ready for his fight in December. That was a good experience for us.
“I’ve learned lot since my loss to Regis (Prograis – ShoBox, 2015). I’m training harder, working in the gym, taking this more seriously.
“I’m here to show that I’m back and ready for the top guys. I’ve had three wins by knockout since the loss. I’m a different fighter.”
“We know Williams is an aggressive fighter that comes forward. I’ve seen some tape. I’m expecting him to come at me. But it’s nothing I’ve never seen before.
“I need to bring the pressure so the judges won’t have any doubt. I need to fight my fight.
“I think I’ve fought the better opponents. I think my experience is going to be the difference.
“The quality of fighters here (in the U.S.) is better than back home (Dominican Republic). This is where I want to fight now.”
JOSEPH “MACK” WILLIAMS:
“He (Castillo) has a few more fights, but mostly in the Dominican Republic, so we don’t know how good he actually is.
“He’s never fought anyone like me. He’s going to come with confidence because he’s 15-0 with 10 KOs. He’s confident because he’s Olympian. But he’s never faced anyone like me.
“He may be an Olympian, but look who I fought in the amateurs. Look at the men that I beat. And those guys are mostly cruiserweights now. I’m much stronger at light heavyweight.
“This is the right time and right place for us. This is a huge opportunity.
“I don’t think he’s the best fighter I’ve faced. If I hit him clean I don’t think it will go that far. I’m going to go in there with an open mind and exploit his weakness.
“I’ve gradually moved down in weight. I’m faster at light heavyweight. When I was heavy I took my time. I’m sharper, faster. I’m just a totally different person.
“I always compare myself to James Toney. I can hit hard, I can take a punch, and I’m slick. What you see will depend on my opponent. If I feel he’s weak, I’ll jump early. I can brawl, I can box. I’m explosive.”
“I sparred with (Carl) Frampton in Las Vegas for the (Leo) Santa Cruz fight. It was a great experience sparring with him three times a week. It gave me more confidence knowing I could handle him.
“Garza is basically the same height as Frampton, so that will be an advantage.
“I know he’s going to come at me, and we’re ready for that. I need to keep my rhythm and make it an entertaining fight. I believe my power and speed will be the difference. I throw a lot of punches.
“This fight means a lot to me. We’re both good fighters and the TV exposure means a lot. It’s a good opportunity and I need to take advantage of it.”
“We’re going to give him something he’s never seen before. We’re going to bring the action.
“I’ve always been an aggressive fighter. I like to bring the pressure.
“I’ve faced guys as tall as him before, I fought a guy that was 6-foot-2. I know I need to get inside with a guy like this.
“I’ve seen a lot of his fights, and I don’t think he’s a fast puncher. He always fights the same style, and his opponents are always there for the taking. I’m not going to be there for him to hit like that.
“This is my chance. This is a big opportunity for me.”