Hometown favorite Montana Love was enjoying the passion from the Cleveland fans as he picked up a statement victory over Ivan Baranchyk following a brutal back-and-forth war.
Love delivered the finishing shot late in the seventh round after he crushed Baranchyk with a devastating left-uppercut that sent the former IBF champion down to the canvas. While he was able to survive to the end of the round, his corner wasn’t going to allow the fight to continue as they called a stop to the contest with Love being declared the winner by TKO.
“Cleveland you always had my back,” Love shouted to the audience at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. “It’s an amazing feeling. It’s very emotional right now. I’m here in my hometown. It’s an amazing feeling. It’s a dream come true.”
No Love lost— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) August 30, 2021
Montana Love impresses with a TKO victory over Baranchyk. pic.twitter.com/JZSBfqZIw3
From the start of the fight, it was Baranchyk who was ultra-aggressive as he marched across the ring and continued to come after Love with big, heavy punches as the Cleveland native danced and moved out of the way. Love was able to catch Baranchyk coming forward a couple of times as he was constantly coming forward and throwing with huge power behind his shots.
By the end of the second round, Love was ducking out of the way of Baranchyk’s punches and then firing back to catch his opponnet with consistent combinations.
Baranchyk finally turned the tables in the third round after he clipped Love with a hard right hand and then just unleashed a furious series of punches against the ropes. Love was able to stay on his feet but not without taking a lot of damage from Baranchyk, who was throwing missiles at him in an attempt to get the knockout.
Just as the round was about to end, Baranchyk surged forward again and just as Love was dangling out of the ropes, he fired back a quick left hand that rattled the Belarussian and left him on wobbly legs as he returned to his corner.
Looking to build on that near knockdown, Love was really starting to land on target including a beautiful left-right combination that snapped Baranchyk’s head back. Love then followed that late in the fourth round with a huge left uppercut that once again had Baranchyk rattled.
Love continued his assault with a nasty jab down the middle followed by a big hook behind it that was giving Baranchyk all kinds of trouble. Once again, Baranchyk not only survived but he actually came back with a massive shot of his own that tagged Love and sent him into the ropes again.
The tide finally turned for good in the seventh round as Love really turned up the pressure and started to land at will against Baranchyk, who was just throwing wild punches in an attempt to keep his opponent off him. Finally with time running out, Love unleashed a hellacious left hand that sent Baranchyk crumbling to the canvas.
As Baranchyk slumped down in the corner after the round, his coaches were not going to allow him to make it out for the eighth round as the fight was stopped.
Now 17-0 in his career, Love looks to enter title talk territory with this latest win as he continues to improve and impress with each and every performance.