Saturday from the Deadwood Mountain Grand in Deadwood South Dakota, Showtime broadcast a Junior Welterweight double header featuring two undefeated prospects Regis Prograis and Ivan Baranchyk in separate bouts. They would be fighting seasoned veterans for an opportunity to earn a world title shot in their next contest, opening up the night on both the televised and UN-televised portion of the event were two undefeated heavyweights Tre Lippe Morrison and Junior Fa also in separate contest.
The nights main event between undefeated Regis Prograis and former unified champion Julius Indongo on paper was an intriguing match-up. While Prograis was undefeated and had wins over several fellow undefeated prospects in which he was the underdog going in he had never faced anyone the level of Indongo. The former champion whose only loss came last summer at the hands of pound for former undisputed Junior Welterweight King Terence Crawford via third round TKO has always been outside of that fight most successful on the road. It was as the visiting fighter Indongo won both his titles and against more experienced champions than Prograis. There was also an added bit of drama on the scales where Prograis needed more than one attempt to make weight placing that question mark over him “How conditioned is he”?
The bout opened with Indongo working off his jab, using movement and out-boxing Prograis who appeared to have no answers on how to approach Indongo other than straight forward. A jab landed midway though appeared to hurt Indongo after his legs buckled then near the round end another jab placed Indongo onto the canvas. While he won the round aside from the knockdown he appeared unsteady on his legs going to the corner.
It would be the same tempo in round two as Indongo jabbed Prograis used movement and easily out boxed him. There would be a jab landed by Prograis that put Indongo down for the second time, he beat the count fell to another jab shortly after then was stopped moments later when an overhand left caught him flush on the temple. With the win Prograis improved to 21-0 (18) and he now holds the WBC interim 140 lb title. This s the second loss in the career of Julius Indongo he now stands at 22-2 (11).
The evenings co-feature was an IBF 140 lb title eliminator between unbeaten Ivan Baranchyk and veteran Peter Petrov. It was an interesting bout on paper as Petrov who has faced the better competition was stepping up in weight and as a last minute replacement opponent. In the past Petrov had faced the better competition by far, his lone stoppage loss came at the hands of Marcos Maidana in 2011 when he challenged Maidana for the WBA 140 lb title. There is no question Maidana especially at his best was a murderous puncher, Baranchyk would be in for a long night if he could not find a way to neutralize the veteran early.
It would be seconds into the contest when Baranchyk sent Petrov to the canvas for the first time. Once up Petrov out boxed Baranchyk for the rounds remainder. He then found himself touching canvas again in the second round. Over the next several rounds Petrov out boxed Baranchyk at times but was continued to be placed on his back-foot by the pressure of Baranchyk.
There would be another knockdown in round six scored by Baranchyk a fairly even seventh then after nonstop pressure which eventually placed Petrov on the ropes in round eight referee Mark Nelson had seen enough and halted the affair. It was a solid Performance for the ever improving Ivan Baranchyk who improved to 18-0 (11) and is now in position to face the winner of Mikey Garcia and Sergey Lipinets when they meet for Lipinets IBF 140 lb title. The veteran Peter Petrov after this now stands at 38-6-2 (19) and will most likely drop back down to lightweight where he at his best.
Opening the nights televised portion were heavyweights Junior Fa and Craig Lewis. It was anything but exciting though both men landed their fair share of hard punches, midway though Lewis appeared ready to be on his way out more because of exhaustion than what Junior Fa had landed. In the fifth Lewis would gain a second wind and drive Fa backwards who himself seemed tired. There was a slightly higher work-rate by Fa who used his jab more to set up a few combinations that turned the fight in his favor.
The final three rounds six though eight became nothing more than “Home-run” attempts by both men who could hardly muster up enough strength to throw two punches at a time. It was unbeaten Junior Fa who landed at a slightly higher rate giving him the win via eighth round majority decision by scores of 76-76, 78-74 and 79-73, my unofficial score read 77-75 in favor of Fa. The New Zealand prospect improved to 14-0 (8) while Craig Lewis now stands at 14-2-1(8).
In Undercard bouts off air-
Heavyweight-Trey Lippe Morrison 14-0 (14) def. Oswaldo Ortega 3-8 (1) via TKO 6.
Super Lightweight- Charles Conwell 7-0 (5) def. Juan Jesus Rivera 28-20 (18) via UD 6
60-53 on all three Judges cards.
Lightweight- Matt Remillard 27-1 (15) def. Jesus A Valdez 22-4-1 (11) via TD 6.
Official scores read 80-72, 80-72 and 79-73.