Philly’s Unbeaten Super Lightweight Keenan Smith on top July 14th
By: Ken Hissner
The outstanding unbeaten southpaw Keenan Smith from Philly will be on ShoBox July14th in Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, OK, against tough local unbeaten resident Ivan Baranchyk of Russia.
After a stellar amateur career Smith, 11-0 (5), takes on Russian Ivan Baranchyk, 15-0 (10) who now lives in Miami, OK, in a major showdown and a possible “shot in the arm” for Smith.
As far back as June 26, 2007 Smith won the Junior Olympic National Championships at Marquette, MI, defeating such boxers as Santos Jaramillo. The next day Smith defeated Ulixwa Abelino, and on the 29th Jesse Roman. He won the tournament defeating Lavale Wilson on the 30th.
On August 31st of the same year Smith lost to Vitali Varabyev, at Baku, Azerbaijan. The following May 7th he defeated Amir Iman in the 2008 National Golden Glove Tournament of Champions. The next day he defeated Walter Sarnoi, on the 9th defeated Emmanuel Gonzalez and in the championship final defeated Ryan Kielczweski.
On May 6, 2009 Smith defeated Wanzell Ellison at the National Golden Gloves in Salt Lake City, UT, only to lose in a rematch to Amir Iman the following day.
Smith debuted on April 9th of 2010 he defeated fellow Philly boxer Luis Esquilin, 1-3-1, winning every round at the Philly South Arena. Smith weighed 130. Two months later at the legendary Blue Horizon he defeated Alex Montes, 1-0, of Lawrence, MASS. In November he defeated Anthony Royal, 0-0-1, scoring a knockout in the fourth and final round at Harrah’s in Atlantic City, NJ.
On April Fool’s Day in 2011 Smith defeated debuting Joshua Nieves of Hampton, VA, over 4 rounds at the Asylum Arena which was renamed from the Philly South Arena. It would be 10 months before returning to action in April of 2012 defeating by majority over Christopher Finley, 3-3, of Detroit, MI, at the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City.
It would be over 3 years before Smith returned to the ring on March of 2015 stopping Malik Johnson, 1-5-4, of Newark, NJ, in 3 rounds at the now 2300 Arena in Philly in his first scheduled 6, now up to 145. It would be 2 months later in May when he would defeat Luis Rodriguez, 3-3, of Carolina, PR, over 6 rounds, at the Claridge Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City.
In August Smith knocked out Lavelle Hadley, 2-0, of Youngstown, OH, in the 2nd round of a 6, at the Playground in Atlantic City, weighing 146. In November he posted his biggest victory to date over Benjamin Whitaker, 10-1, of San Antonio, over 8 rounds at the D Casino in Las Vegas, NV.
Smith wouldn’t return until January of 2017 to stop Marquis Hawthorne, 4-5, of Waco, TEX, in the 5th of a 6, at the Bally’s Event Center, in Atlantic City. In his most recent bout in April stopping Edgar Gabejan, 27-33-7, of Rizal, PH, in the 7th of an 8 at the Claridge Hotel & Casino, in Atlantic City.
KEN HISSNER: The first time I saw you fight was at the Lonnie Young Recreation Center in Philly defeating Emmanuel Taylor in one great fight on a great show over Thanksgiving. What a coincidence both of you are managed by Dave Price and promoted by Doc Nowicki?
KEENAN SMITH: It works well.
KEN HISSNER: Didn’t you win an AAU, GG and Junior Olympic titles?
KEENAN SMITH: Yes.
KEN HISSNER: Is your brother Marty your main trainer now?
KEENAN SMITH: Yes.
KEN HISSNER: Have you had the nickname “Killa” since the amateurs?
KEENAN SMITH: Yes even way back then.
KEN HISSNER: This is a big fight against Russian Ivan Baranchyk now in his hometown of Miami, OK. Do you feel any added pressure?
KEENAN SMITH: No.
KEN HISSNER: Are your plans to stay at 140 as if in your last fight?
KEENAN SMITH: Yes.
KEN HISSNER: You are featured in one of four 8’s on what looks like a dynamite show of prospects. Any idea if you will be on the televised captions?
KEENAN SMITH: I’m the main event.
KEN HISSNER: I want to wish you all the best of luck in your upcoming fight and future.
KEENAN SMITH: Thanks.