Rising Stars – Boxing fans are no different from fans of other sports. When it comes to the stars of tomorrow, we like impress our friends by being ahead of the curve. In this new weekly feature, the spotlight is on up-and-comers, boxers that figure to make some noise as their careers move forward. Some may even become household names. And to keep things consistent, we reached out to Kid Hersh and Matt Andrzejewski, hot prospects in the world of fight writers. Kid Hersh gets us started with a look at Ivan “The Beast” Baranchyk.
Ivan Baranchyk has certainly owned his moniker of “The Beast.” In fact I would go a step further and say that he has that certain aura of a fighter that wears it on his proverbial sleeve, for all to revel in as he plays the part out in the ring.
Baranchyk was born in Amursk, Russia but moved to Belarus when he was just a child. He then transplanted to America – picking Brooklyn as his new home to start his assault on the professional ranks.
He has fought less than two dozen rounds in eleven fights – living up to his idol Mike Tyson thus far as he delivers fast and brutal highlight reel knockouts. This is great for action and drama, everyone loves knockouts, but what have we not seen out of him yet?
To this boxing writer it is easy to pin-point what we have seen thus far out of Baranchyk; a powerful two handed assault. That much is fairly obvious. He has hurt and taken out opponents with either hand. That being said Baranchyk really does seem to favor his left hook. He gets wild with it at times and when swinging and missing has in fact gassed himself out a bit while loading up on it repeatedly.
What one must wonder is if he has a plan B. What happens when his opponent can withstand his powerful hooks? Can he vary the speed and power in his attack so it isn’t predictable? We have yet to see him work off a jab or fight in any gear except forward, so it’s only fair to ask what he will do to break inside on someone who has a reach and good 1-2 thrown straight down the pipe.
Those critiques aside I must say that Baranchyk does indeed have a beauty of a left hook. It’s got speed, it’s got power, it’s got accuracy, and it’s got that little extra that has taken at least three fighters undefeated records away. What is that extra bit? Hard to say exactly, but he is an artist with it alright – one needs to look no further than his fight with Nicholas Givran where it looked akin to a Floyd Patterson gazelle punch for an explosively athletic one shot knockout. It was only the second punch of the fight to boot – following a body jab. The fight lasted all of 21 seconds.
Stay tuned for more from “The Beast”. This writer is watching ever so attentively to see him go some rounds and find out what other tricks he has up his sleeve. Even if there are none he still makes for an exciting watch every time out. – Kid Hersh
Pic: Sergiy Derevyanchenko (Rosie Cohe Showtime)
Derevyanchenko is one of the fastest rising prospects in boxing. Though he may not possess one punch power, the fighter known as “The Technician” is so well schooled and fundamentally sound for a fighter with just a handful of pro fights that his team has put him on the fast path to a world title shot.
Derevyanchenko had an impressive amateur resume including compiling close to 400 wins in the unpaid ranks as well as representing Ukraine in the 2008 Olympics. He moved to Brooklyn before turning pro in 2014 at the age of 28.
In only eight pro fights, Derevyanchenko has compiled an impressive resume. His best win so far is an eight round shutout of former world title challenger Elvin Ayala in August of 2015. Ayala was experiencing a career resurgence of his own coming off two upset wins against other touted prospects and many thought his slick style would cause Derevyanchenko problems. Derevyanchenko though proved to be too skilled for the slick veteran in compiling an impressive performance showcasing all his skills.
So what are Derevyanchenko’s best skills? He is a precision puncher who finds ways to land flush and with maximum authority. There are no wasted punches. He also possesses a potent and well-timed left jab that he often works behind to set up his power shots including the left hook to the body which takes a lot of starch from his opponents.
The biggest criticism so far is his lack of a killer instinct. He often lets his opponents off the hook when he appears more than capable of doing more damage. Though a high early knockout percentage on his record, he does not possess one punch power but instead gets his stoppages through attrition of punches.
Next up for Derevyanchenko will be grizzled veteran Sam Soliman, a former middleweight belt holder. They meet on July 21 at Foxwoods in Connecticut. Soliman is tough to look good against and that may just be what Derevyanchenko’s team wants as they hope to entice other top middleweights to step in the ring with him in the not so distant future. – Matt Andrzejewski