Ivan “The Terrible” Redkach (16-0, 13 KOs, 1 NC) picked up more than a regional title strap 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.
Here’s what Redkach had to say about the fight:
“I was pleased with my performance and I’m very happy and proud to be the USBA champion.
“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.