Danny Garcia Decisions Ivan Redkach, Eyes Fight with Spence or Pacquiao
By: Robert Aaron Contreras
On Saturday, former champion Danny Garcia was clearly levels above his opponent as he pummeled Ivan Redkach over the full 12 rounds, walking away the winner of a wide unanimous-decision victory at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Garcia’s adopted home.
Garcia (36-2, 21 KO), competing before a partisan Brooklyn crowd for the eighth time, got off to a great start whipping around Redkach, who had some bite to him (actually gnawing at Garcia’s shoulder in the ninth round) before cooling off down the stretch, scoring no knockdowns, making for a performance equal parts dominant and underwhelming, winning 117-111, 117-111 and 118-110, to set the stage for a megafight, possibly against Errol Spence or Manny Pacquiao.
“I thought the referee was going to stop it,” Garcia, fooling no-one, told Showtime correspondent Jim Gray. “I was punishing him—I wanted to get the KO.” More importantly, Gray couldn’t let him go without asking to confirm if Redkach bite him.
Garcia explained, “He bit me… [Redkach] said ‘Mike Tyson’ when he bit me. That’s my first time ever getting bite in a fight.”
Coming off that upset over Devon Alexander, enjoying new KO power at welterweight, Tyson-esque biting wasn’t the kind of savagery Redkach’s handlers thought he would be able to offer Garcia. Instead he opened the contest experimenting with long body jabs. Garcia routinely parried his opponent’s offense and tagged Redkach with one-twos to dissuade the tactic.
Redkach’s left hand did come flying toward Garcia in the second frame. With little zip behind them, and Garcia being the natural counterpuncher he is, the crowd favorite threw light jabs right back at Redkach, curving over the Ukrainian’s extended arm.
Asserting his will, Garcia pulled away from Redkach. His combos and powerpunching were too much. He expertly stalked Redkach in the third round, baiting him to attack, before exploding into dipping, winging right and left hooks.
Garcia’s mixed up his punch selection and, better, his points of entry. Moving diagonally to his right, Garcia touched Redkach lightly upstairs with a right hand before immediately turning the same hand over into a body punch. Timing incoming hooks from Redkach, and won the quick exchanges with left hooks of his own. By and by, Redkach was a sitting duck, open to absorb sweeping shots from Garcia to end of the sixth stanza.
Redkach was just not a threat by the midway point of the 12-round contest. His output so low, Garcia at times fired four consecutive uppercuts. Eventually a heavy right hand from Garcia buckled Redkach’s knees at the end of Round 7. The bell rank and Redkach turned toward the camera to reveal ruddiness outlying his left eye, including above his eyebrow.
Garcia’s two-fisted waves coincided with long stretches of inactivity from Redkach: too busy sticking his hands up to returning anything of note. There was a quick consultation with the doctor before the ninth inning. But Redkach was thrown back out there to be on the receiving end of Garcia’s patented, no-look hooks, catapulting the bricks from seemingly across the ring.
Redkach antics mounted. He gave Garcia a nibble and afterwards repeatedly stuck out his tongue at Garcia, but using his hands to wrap up his assailant, not return fire, as punches reigned down on him. Garcia was unbothered, resuming his lunging haymakers.
The eleventh round, though, saw Garcia’s little tenacity dissipate. Here on out, through the final round, Redkach demonstrated more bounce to his step with fewer raging fists coming his way. He tossed out left hands, making little contact, but simply happy to see Garcia recoil and take a step backwards.
Garcia was still far and away ahead of his man in the final CompuBox totals. He connected on 195 of 568 total punches (34 percent), compared to Redkach’s landing 88 of 578 (15 percent).
This makes two wins in a row for Garcia since dropping a decision to Shawn Porter. A long stint in the pound-for-pound ranks, and domain over the junior welterweight division, far behind him, greater splendor could be his with a successful showdown against Spence or Pacquiao.
Which one exactly doesn’t seem to matter to Garcia.
“Either or,” he said after the fight. “Either of those fights I would like to have. I think my style fits great with both fighters.”
Jarret Hurd (24-1, 16 KO) def. Francisco Santana (25-8-1, 12 KO) by decision
Former unified junior middleweight titlist Jarret Hurd, returning for the first time since losing his belts, outmaneuvered and outpunched Francisco Santana en route to a points win in the evening’s 10-round co-main event.
Too bad it wasn’t the usual, incensed action Hurd typically produces but that was all by design.
“We came out here and did what we wanted to,” Hurd said in the post-fight interview. “We wanted to work behind the jab—we didn’t want to go toe to toe, we didn’t want to go to war.”
Though Santana would’ve likely obliged a warring Hurd, the 29-year-old Maryland destroyer resolved to fight in reverse. In the first round, Santana wasn’t so much stalking but chasing the bigger man around.
Hurd controlled the pace with pawing jabs—not exerting himself. Santana was consistently creeping forward. When he could stringing together bursts of short, shoveling attacks—doing little damage.
The geography of the fight shifted in Round 3 where Hurd wasn’t so keen on giving up the center of the ring, firing stiff jabs at Centeno as “Chia” moved in semicirlces in search for an opening. More stiff jabs landed. Centeno found short success with left hooks as Hurd tested out, or at least attempted, to show off upper body movement. But Hurd returned to racking up points with slicing uppercuts to his man’s head.
Centeno was at least getting his workout in: bobbing here and there, audible grunts accompanying his chippy blows. None of which landed flush, brushing Hurd’s shoulders, and overhands unable to reach the head of his opponent.
Hurd was dealing out more powerful blows in the fifth stanza. Even in close distance, he was safe, leaning back, out of the reach of Centeno, patiently waiting for the shorter man to offer up helpless punches, and returning left-right hooks: more and more damaging as the round progressed.
The rest of the way, Centeno, desperately, pressed his weight into Hurd. Tossing up clenched fists but to no avail: eating punches along the way. Oversized and overmatched. More fluid movement from Hurd to end the sixth round, moving laterally, motioning out and way before springing back toward his man with punches across his body.
The action slipped into a lull through the next couple rounds. There was clumsy punching, both fighters crawling over each other. So Hurd got back on track in Round 9: moving backwards again, now sticking out his off-hand, occasionally tuning it into a long hook. Santana’s arms were still oscillating but touching Hurd with minimal force.
There was finally a knockdown in the waning seconds of the 10th frame. Hurd applied pressure, as he does best, blanketing the smaller man with his size: consuming him. Santana flailing his arms in retaliation. But two winging left hooks ricocheted off Santana’s head and allowed Hurd to tee off a right uppercut that slowly crumbled Santana to the ground. A last-second knockdown. But an inconsequential one, to be sure, manifesting when the fight had already been decided and fans no longer cared.
Ivan Redkach: “I Am Going To Shock The Boxing World”
By: Sean Crose
Not too many people are giving the 33 year old Ivan Redkach much of a chance to beat former welterweight and junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia when the two men meet for a scheduled twelve round affair Saturday night at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center. Then again, not many people gave Jeison Rosario much of a chance to best Julian Williams last Saturday night. Nor did many people expect Williams to best Jarrett Hurd when the two men fought last spring. And most people certainly didn’t expect Andy Ruiz to knock out Anthony Joshua in the Englishman’s American debut last June. Perhaps, then, the 23-4-1 southpaw Redkach has reason to be confident heading into this weekend.
Still, the 35-2 Garcia is one of the most skilled fighters on earth, a man with a resume that may already guarantee the Philadelphia native a ticket to the International Boxing Hall of Fame. The 31 year old is also eager to get back to the top of the welterweight division, where names like Pacquiao and Spence may await. Not that any of that seems to trouble Redkach. After all, the LA native, by way of the Ukraine, feels former world titlist Devon Alexander underestimated him before they met last June (in a bout Rekach won by knockout). “Devon took me for granted,” Redkach is quoted as saying by Premiere Boxing Champions. “I think the same thing is happening here (with Garcia). He wants the (Manny) Pacquiao fight. But he hasn’t won this fight yet.”
For his own part, Garcia has assured the press that he is indeed taking this bout seriously. And, although he’s won some decisions some consider questionable, it’s hard to accuse the fighter of ever having been lazy. One simply doesn’t best the likes of a prime Amir Khan, and a prime Lucas Matthysse without having developed one’s craft. Although he isn’t known to trash talk like some fighters, it’s generally Garcia who has the final word in the ring.
“We’re just working hard and working smart,” Premiere Boxing Champions quotes Garcia as saying. “We’re making the necessary adjustments for Redkach specifically, but this is just another fighter in front of us. I noticed that he’s really hungry. He obviously wants to win, and he’s coming off of three solid victories. He has his confidence back now. I just have to be ready for whatever he brings to the table on January 25.”
It appears Garcia is right – Redkach is coming across as both eager and confident, two things no fighter should overlook in an opponent. “I have been to a lot of Danny’s fights,” Redkach has said in the lead up to this weekend’s matchup, “and now I get the chance to test myself against him. I am training very hard so that I am the best that I have ever been on January 25. I’m going to shock the boxing world.”
Ivan Redkach Looks to Pull Off Huge Upset Against Danny Garcia
By: Hans Themistode
He’s the second place man. The fighter who is always in a position to make noise and claim a spot amongst the elite of the division, but has come up short time and time again.
Back in 2015, Ivan Redkach (23-4-1, 18 KOs) took on his first true test in then undefeated Dejan Zlaticanin. It was not a competitive contest as Redkach was stopped in the 4th round. One year later, Redkach was given another high profile fight, this time against Tevin Farmer. He once again came up woefully short, losing via unanimous decision. A stoppage loss to John Molina Jr in the 4th round back in 2017 all but confirmed his second place status.
Things happen in boxing. Not everyone can finish in first place and in the case of Ivan Redkach, it seemed apparent that he would have to take comfort in his second place role.
Fast forward over two years later since his loss to John Molina Jr and Redkach has seemingly rewrote the pages of his career. He has reeled off three straight wins including an impressive 6th round stoppage victory over former two division world champion Devon Alexander.
With the biggest win of his career now firmly in his back pocket, Redkach has been given an even bigger opportunity as he will be taking on former multiple time world champion Danny Garcia on January 25th, at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Redkach has shared the ring with numerous world champions and elite level boxers throughout his career and believes that his experience, be it good or bad, will lead him to a victory against Garcia.
“As a fighter, he is a very good fighter,” said Redkach during a recent press conference in Brooklyn, New York. “But I’m not sure he will be able to handle himself in the ring against someone like me. I will do whatever it takes to come out with the win this January.”
In a career that has spanned nearly a decade, Redkach will deal with a new set of emotions for his upcoming fight against Garcia.
“I’ve supported him and been with him in his last fights but it’s my job. I had a long amateur career where I had the same kind of situations, so for me it’s just work.”
With the opportunity of a lifetime staring Redkach directly in the face, he will be looking to take full advantage of this situation.
Since moving up to the Welterweight division back in 2015, Garcia’s results at his new weight class has been a mixed bag of results. He has fallen short in two championship contest against Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter but he has looked impressive as of late. A loss for him at this point in his career would be a death-nail of sorts in terms of his ability to compete with the best that the division has to offer.
There is no denying that Redkach, at least according to most, is not expected to win this contest. If you believe that the doubters in his capabilities will lead to his frustrations, then you don’t know Ivan Redkach.
“It doesn’t bother me at all. The motivation and strength that I get from my family and friends is what pushes me. As long as I have their motivation that’s all I need. That’s what helped me in the Alexander fight and it’s going to help me in this fight.”
PBC on FS1 Preview: Alexander vs. Redkach, Monroe vs. Centeno
By: Robert Contreras
Trading punches. Pushing and pulling for space. Boxers give and take as they try to administer their will onto their opponent.
As so, it is difficult to escape that old dichotomy between Boxer and Puncher. And the sport returns to it in the main event of PBC’s latest broadcast on FOX Sports 1, airing from San Jacinto, California, where both Alexander, the artful stylist, and Redkach, with a firecracker in his left hand, meet in a crossroads match.
In addition, middleweights Willie Monroe Jr. and Hugo Centeno Jr. will be fighting. And it is all on FS1, where the telecast is set to begin at 8 p.m. ET.
Devon Alexander (27-5-1, 14 KO) vs. Ivan Redkach (22-4-1, 17 KO)
Alexander is a former world champion, making his mark in the light welterweight division before moving up to 147 pounds. Since a loss to Shawn Porter, he is 2-4-1 but that has not been without terrible strokes of luck.
In August 2018, Alexander was forced to settle for a split-decision loss on national television after continually beating Andre Berto to the punch. To go along with another set of inauspicious scorecards, leading to a majority-draw with Victor Ortiz, Alexander technically has not won a fight in 18 months.
With a team fronted by the legendary Roy Jones Jr., the 32-year-old southpaw has rebounded from worse. After dropping the WBO championship to Tim Bradley, back in 2011, he rebounded with four consecutive wins over some of the sport’s most intimidating hitters: Randall Bailey, Marcos Maidana and Lucas Matthysse. Never one to turn down a challenge, he has also tangled with brawlers like Aaron Martinez and Jesus Soto Karass to more slippery movers like Amir Khan.
Redkach, 33, will too find out firsthand how rough the 147-pound waters can be after turning professional nearly a decade ago at the lightweight limit and last competing at 140 pounds. In preparation for his welterweight debut, the Ukrainian-born slugger brought in the help of Shane Mosley to add some wrinkles to his game at his training camp in Los Angeles.
Since being pelted down in 2017 by John Molina Jr., Redkach has picked up back-to-back victories over journeymen. Most recently, four months ago, he dribbled Tyrone Harris up and down the canvas, knocking his opponent down three times in the opening round, en route to a first-round knockout.
Redkach needs another destructive performance like that to pave a way to a title shot. And he needs to do it quickly as he pushes his mid-30s.
The top of the welterweight division is currently in a bit of a logjam. Porter is waiting in the wings for a winner to emerge between Keith Thurman and Manny Pacquiao. And Errol Spence and Terrence Crawford continue to play a game of chicken with one another—or at least their promoters do—which gives bit players like Alexander and Redkach enough time to make their case for a title fight.
That endeavor begins this weekend.
Willie Monroe Jr. (23-3, 6 KO) vs. Hugo Centeno Jr. (27-2, 14 KO)
From opposite corners of the country, New York’s own “El Mongoose” Monroe and Centeno, from Oxnard, California, square off over the 10-round distance in the middleweight division.
Monroe, 32, has a legendary name to represent—his uncle once gave Marvin Hagler a lacing. But despite natural, supreme athleticism, he often forgets where the gas pedal is. Returning from a failed bid for the WBO middleweight title against Billy Joe Saunders in an overall lackadaisical affair, Monroe decisioned the unheralded Carlos Galvan last March and followed up that victory by undressing Argentinian banger Javier Francisco Maciel over 10 rounds.
Fighting a real puncher, Monroe arguably did not give up a single round. But the Argentinian did not force the action on Monroe, allowing the American to get off when he felt like it. It was not the best showing from Maciel but his recent melee with Artem Chebotarec only made Monroe look that much better.
This weekend represent’s Monroe’s first time competing in the west coast since facing Gennady Golovkin. In order to prove he is not just a stepping stone for the division’s biggest names, he should start with outclassing Centeno.
Centeno, though, is a large challenge—incredibly long. In fact, there is not a world-ranked middleweight taller than him. His six feet, one inches is at equal footing with Maciej Sulecki and Demetrious Andrade.
Last time out, in February, the 28-year-old Centeno was cruising to a win against Oscar Cortes. He floored Cortes in the fourth round before a headbutt ended the show early. The California resident was still awarded a technical-decision, his first win since being blown away by Jermall Charlo for the WBC middleweight crown.
The odd circumstances were all too familiar for Centeno, who back in 2013 also saw his contest against Julian Williams stopped in the fourth period from a clash of heads. Of course, Williams was clearly too much for Centeno and the stoppage only saved him further distress. That is not to say Centeno cannot dish it out.
Nearly 30 wins to his name, the highlight of Centeno’s ledger is a crushing third-round knockout of previously undefeated Immanuwel Aleem, who had significantly raised his own stock after cracking open amateur world champion Levgen Khytrov. Centeno’s length proved formidable, repeatedly finding a home for his rangy lead left hook, setting the shot up with a body jab, and eventually stretching Aleem out cold.
That brutal finish was enough to catapult Centeno into the world stage. He was quickly brought back down to earth, losing by knockout to Charlo. It was his second KO loss after Sulecki also put a dent across his chin in 2016.
Monroe is not known for having the biggest punch. So if he can get by Centeno’s long arms, the fists could be flying back and forth all night.