WORCESTER, Mass. (January 23, 2014) - Newly crowned United States Boxing Association (USBA) lightweight champion Ivan "The Terrible" Redkach (16-0, 13 KOs, 1 NC) picked up more than hardware last week headlining ShoBox: The New Generation. The ferocious southpaw firmly established himself in Memphis as an exciting "television fighter" for the future with tremendous upside.
Redkach may not have made the quantum leap from prospect to legitimate world title contender, yet, but he gained invaluable experience going 10 rounds for the first time against a game and somewhat awkward Tony "The Lightning" Luis (17-2-1, 7 KOs), who is rated No. 9 by the World Boxing Association (WBA) and has been chief sparring partner for world champion Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Redkach won a unanimous decision (99-90, 97-93, 97-93), dropping a game Luis once in an action-packed fight from start to finish.
"I was pleased with my performance and I'm very happy and proud to be the USBA champion," Redkach said from his home in Los Angeles. "We both showed a lot of heart and I think we gave TV fans a show. I want to thank Showtime, my promoter Lou DiBella and manager Larry Army for that great opportunity. I went 10 hard rounds against my toughest opponent and learned a lot that will help make me an even better fighter. I know I could have made it a lot easier on myself if I had fought in the middle of the ring and stayed away from the ropes. But boxing is all about learning and improving and fans will see that in my next fight. I'll take a week or so off and go right back into the gym to get ready for my next fight."
Redkach, rated No. 13 by the World Boxing Council (WBC), fell short of achieving his goal of making the quantum leap from top prospect to legitimate world title contender in only his 17th professional fight.
"A world champion in the making like Ivan needs to be taken into deep waters under stressful conditions," Redkach's manager Larry Army explained. "Fighting in his first ShoBox main event certainly was stressful but he went the full distance and won a real war. We had never seen Ivan go deep, so in that respect, it was a perfect fight for us. We learned that he's three or four more fights away from a world title shot, but we believe in him even more than ever as a future world champion. He now realizes that he can't knockout every opponent but he can still win fights. Ivan needs some fine tuning and more big-fight experience as he continues to chase his dream of winning a world title."
The 27-year-old Redkach is going through a normal maturation process in the ring, developing as he tests himself against more talented opponents, in order to eventually reach his full potential.
His Ukrainian star is still rising. It just may not reach its zenith as quickly as initially anticipated. Someday he will get to where he ultimately wants to be, standing in the middle of the ring with his arms raised, and a coveted world title belt wrapped around his waist.
Monte Carlo (January 23, 2014) - Jarrod Fletcher is taking next weekend’s WBA Continental middleweight title bout against Max Bursak so seriously that he has already set up fight camp in Nice, France – the first fighter to do so ahead of the Monte Carlo Boxing Bonanza on February 1.
Rated number four by the WBA, Fletcher (17-1, 10 KOs) was in line to fight highly-regarded Martin Murray, but the Briton withdrew, a development that doesn’t faze the Australian.
“It’s disappointing, I was focused on him,” he said from his training base in Nice. “Murray has his own agenda and is doing what he must do. It’s no good being sulky about it. This is the world stage and I’ll fight whoever I must.”
Fletcher said he travelled early to France to prepare for what he calls the biggest fight of his career. “My preparation has been faultless, it’s all on track after seven weeks of hard work in Australia. I’m the fittest I’ve ever been. Everything is going really good; I’m more than ready.”
In Bursak (29-1-1, 12 KOs), he meets an experienced boxer who has fought almost exclusively out of his hometown of Kiev in the Ukraine. In one of his rare ventures abroad, last year he beat the UK’s Prince Arron in another Golden Gloves tournament in Monte Carlo, impressing with his strength and ringcraft.
“I’ve seen his tapes and he’s very, very experienced,” said Fletcher. “He has a big amateur background. He’s a pressure fighter and will be there the whole 12 rounds. It’s a very tough fight, but I’ve got a solid gameplan.”
In his only overseas fight to date, in 2012, Fletcher suffered his lone professional defeat – an inside-the-distance loss to Billy Joe Saunders. But Fletcher says he has no qualms stepping out of his backyard for this assignment.
“Definitely not. I had 180 amateur bouts and fought all over the world. The Billy Joe fight was stopped way too early. Not much went right, I got caught good. No excuses. But the result made me stronger and more determined.”
Fletcher, who grew up admiring Oscar De La Hoya, describes himself as “fast, and a good mover”, saying he can box too if circumstances demand it.
He has rebounded well since his 2012 reverse, reeling off five wins, the best of them against former WBA world title challenger Randy Suico of the Philippines.
“I plan to leave it all in the ring,” says the man known as “Left Jab”. “This is my biggest opportunity to date. I have a young family at home and I hope this sets up big things and bigger paydays. This is my time.”
The Monte Carlo Boxing Bonanza takes place at the beautiful Salle des Etoiles venue on the peninsula of Monte Carlo.
This world class event is exclusively distributed internationally by leading boxing rights distributor and sports marketing firm, Octapixx LIVE.
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