MIAMI — They’re back.
Four State Franchise members Trey Lippe-Morrison, Ivan Baranchyk and Charles Conwell return to action March 9 as part of a nationally televised show that will originate from the Deadwood Mountain Grand Hotel & Casino in Deadwood, South Dakota.
This will be the first action in 15 months for Lippe-Morrison, son of the late Tommy Morrison following a hand injury and a change in trainers.
Lippe-Morrison had been at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, but now is under the guidance of Tom Virgits, who trained his father.
“Things are going perfect, way better,” Lippe-Morrison said from Annapolis, Maryland. “He (Virgits) knows how to fix a lot of my problems since my movements are kind of a lot like Dad’s.”
Virgits spent eight years as the senior Morrison's trainer and now is senior associate athletic director/physical mission at the U.S. Naval Academy.
“I wasn’t getting the one-on-one training,” Lippe-Morrison said. “I felt like I was learning a lot, but once I got here, I realized I wasn’t. The teaching is a lot different. Freddie would tell me I needed to be faster. I get it that I need to be faster, but how do I make it faster? Tom will tell me how to be faster then will stop me and show me how I can make it faster. That is the difference.”
Lippe-Morrison hadn’t met Virgits until both were at the Sept. 12 debut of ESPN Film’s “30-for-30” documentary “Tommy” at the Coleman Theatre.
“I am glad he decided to train me,” Lippe-Morrison said.
“The good thing on ‘Virg’ is pretty simple: Freddie has a lot of fighters while ‘Virg’ has one; its 100 percent attention with him,” promoter Tony Holden said.
In his last action on Dec. 10, 2016, Lippe-Morrison won by TKO in the second round against Ty Cobb at Buffalo Run Casino and Resort.
Lippe Morrison had to miss a February card in Miami due to a nasty cut over his left eye while sparring.
Then he suffered a hand injury while training for a June 9, 2017, fight in Verona, New York, that was part of a Showtime/Boxing Hall of Fame weekend.
An opponent for Lippe-Morrison in South Dakota has yet to be determined.
“It’s been a year and three months between the injury and the training deal, but it’s all back on track,” Lippe-Morrison said.
Baranchyk (17-0, 10 KOs), who will be a part of a “Shobox: The New Generation” triple-header, also is ending a layoff.
He will be paired against Anthony Yigit of Stockholm, Sweden, in a super-lightweight IBF eliminator.
The winner gets a mandatory world title fight against either current champ Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs) or Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs).
Those two battle March 10 in San Antonio.
Yigit, who fought in the 2012 London Summer Olympics, is 21-0-1 with seven knockouts.
Baranchyk is now training in the “Other” Miami — Florida — under new trainer Pedro Diaz.
“My next fight is really important for my career, so I am preparing for it seriously,” Baranchyk said. “I have strict discipline in everything. I am training hard, improving my technique, improving my tactics, skills and physical strength and am eating healthy and clearly.”
Baranchyk’s last action came on July 7, 2017, when he ground out a unanimous decision over Keenan Smith at Buffalo Run.
“I want everyone to know that if I am in the boxing ring, you will never have an easy fight with me.”
This will be the first time in seven fights that Baranchyk hasn’t worked from the friendly confines of Buffalo Run and Miami — his adopted hometown.
“Steve Farhood (Showtime’s Hall of Fame analyst) has said it would be good to see him fight away from these screaming fans,” Holden said.
“I will miss my fans’ support,” Baranchyk said. “I am proud to be a part of the Four State Franchise and I will not disappoint my fans and team.”
The last action for Conwell (6-0, 5 KOs) was Nov. 17 in his hometown of Cleveland when he logged a six-round unanimous decision over Roque Zapata.
The only other confirmed fight on the card pits Regis Prograis (20-0, 17 KOs) against Viktor Postol (29-1, 12 KOs) in a 12-rounder to decide the interim WBC World Super Lightweight title.
“It would be better if it was here, but it just didn’t work out,” Holden said. “They were very aggressive wanting this show in Deadwood. I came real close to putting it in Joplin and even in Miami.
“I have told Joplin I would put in a TV show by the end of the year. I really did not want this to go to South Dakota.”
Lou DiBella and DiBella Entertainment is promoting the event in conjunction with Holden Productions.