By Keith Idec
Ivan Baranchyk ended his knockout drought emphatically Friday night.
The 25-year-old Baranchyk knocked down Petr Petrov three times and stopped him in the eighth round of their IBF junior welterweight elimination match in Deadwood, South Dakota. The bigger, stronger Baranchyk dropped Petrov once apiece in the first, second and sixth rounds.
Referee Mark Nelson decided he had seen enough as Baranchyk battered Petrov against the ropes early in the eighth round. He called an end to the scheduled 12-round fight at 1:12 of the eighth.
The Russian-born Baranchyk (18-0, 11 KOs), who resides in Miami, won by knockout for the first time in five fights. His previous four fights went the distance.
Russia’s Petrov (38-6-2, 19 KOs) lost by knockout for just the second time in his 17-year pro career. Baranchyk joined hard-hitting Argentine knockout artist Marcos Maidana as the only fighters to stop Petrov inside the distance.
The 34-year-old Petrov took Friday’s fight on less than one week’s notice. He replaced Sweden’s Anthony Yigit (21-0-1, 7 KOs), who withdrew from the fight due to an unspecified illness. Before Friday night, Petrov hadn’t fought in 11 months, not since losing a 12-round unanimous decision to England’s Terry Flanagan (33-0, 13 KOs), then the WBO lightweight champion, on April 8 in Manchester, England.
A ringside physician examined Petrov prior to the start of the seventh round, but Petrov was allowed to continue.
Baranchyk hammered Petrov with numerous overhand rights in the seventh round. Petrov didn’t go down in those three minutes, but the end was near.
A chopping right hand by Baranchyk dropped Petrov with 36 seconds to go in the sixth. Petrov, who was dropped for the third time in the fight, got back up and made it to the end of the round.
Petrov found a home for overhand rights from far distances twice in the first minute of the sixth round.
After allowing Baranchyk to batter him during the first three rounds, Petrov got back in the fight during the fourth round. He blasted Baranchyk with a counter right hand that landed flush in a wild exchange.
Baranchyk buzzed Petrov with an overhand right to the head with just over a minute remaining in the third round. He connected with another right hand as Petrov moved toward the ropes.
An aggressive Baranchyk continued his assault toward the end of the third round, when his right uppercut knocked Petrov into the ropes again.
Baranchyk’s overhand right to Petrov’s head hurt him early in the second round. Baranchyk followed up with a left hook, which caused the second knockdown of the bout because Petrov used his right glove to keep himself up for the second time in as many rounds.
Baranchyk scored a knockdown just six seconds into the fight. His jab landed immediately and it made an off-balance Petrov place his right glove on the canvas to keep from falling.
Later in the first, Baranchyk blasted Petrov with a left hook to the head that backed him into the ropes.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.