Everything that is great about boxing was on display last night in a great fight that has been dubbed “The Battle In The Bubble.” 140 pounders Jose Zepeda and Ivan Baranchyk went to war and the two sluggers exchanged no less than eight knockdowns over five absolutely sensational rounds of action.
Zepeda was downed twice in the opening round yet he came back to flatten Baranchyk in the fifth round. Instantly the fight was being spoken of, quite rightly, as The Fight Of The Year. The folks over at Ring Magazine have gone even further, suggesting last night’s multi-knockdown slugfest might be The Fight Of The Decade!
Promoter Bob Arum, who as we all know has seen his share of great and epic fights, tweeted after last night’s fight:
“One of the best fights I’ve ever seen since Foreman-Lyle. Plain and simple.”
High praise indeed, considering how special that unforgettable 1970s slugfest really was; with Big George and Big Ron each tasting the canvas twice over the course of those five stupendous rounds. But Arum is right in what he says – last night’s rumble was super special. And a much welcome reminder during these strange times of how awesome the sport of boxing really can be.
Both winners and losers deserve nothing but enormous credit. What may be next for Zepeda and Baranchyk is a fascinating question. It goes without saying how fan interest in a return fight would be big. Who knows if these two will want to do it again. Or be capable of doing so.
The kind of astonishing fight we were all treated to last night in Las Vegas really does only come along once in a while. It’s hard to see anything topping Zepeda KO 5 Baranchyk in FOTY terms. Again, eight knockdowns crammed into just five rounds! Whew.
Oh, how fight fans love a knockdown, drag out brawl.