Cleveland - In the second pay-per-view bout, Cleveland’s Montana Love (16-0-1, 8 KOs) scored a vicious TKO over former world champion Ivan Baranchyk (20-3, 13 KOs), thrilling the hometown fans who were on their feet for the duration of the action-packed slugfest.
The southpaw Love landed a flush left uppercut in the closing seconds of the seventh round, sending Baranchyk to the canvas. While the wobbled Baranchyk beat the ten-count, trainer Pedro Diaz informed referee Lonnie Scott that he did not want his fighter to continue into the eighth round. At the time of the stoppage, Love was ahead on all three scorecards.
"This is a dream come true,” said the 26-year-old Love following the fight. “I'm in training everyday thinking about and visualizing this moment. I want to thank Ivan for giving me this opportunity and helping us give the fans a great show. We'd been working on that uppercut the whole time during training. The game plan was to move and box him and make him miss. We knew that eventually he was going to open up.”
In what was Love’s career-best performance, he demonstrated his power, accuracy and defense. He landed 44 percent of his power punches while holding Baranchyk to just 45 total landed punches.
Love hurt Baranchyk, a power-punching champion who was involved in 2020’s consensus Fight of the Year, several times throughout the fight with a heavy left hand. Love now believes he’s ready for the best of the best in the 140-pound division.
"Strap me up. We've been working hard and now it's my time. I want Josh Taylor and Gervonta Davis. Line them up and we can make it happen, as soon as possible."
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