Next Friday night, on ESPN Friday Night Fights from the Ameristar Casino in St. Charles, MO, Ivan “El Terribel” Redkach (16-0, 13KO’s) is putting his undefeated record on the line against former title challenger Sergey “The Surgeon” Gulyakevich (41-2, 17KO’s) in the 10-round main event of the evening.
While many are picking Redkach to steamroll right through him, the Belarusian has other plans for his US national TV debut.
“I have had an absolutely great training camp for this fight. I was scheduled to fight in Hungary on the 15th, so I was already in heavy training when I got the call. When the fight with Ivan was offered, I didn’t hesitate for a minute to accept. I know that he’s got tremendous power in both hands and he can also box well, which he demonstrated in his last fight against Tony Luis. I respect him and do not underestimate him at all,” said Gulyakevich.
The 33-year-old Belarus-native has only lost two fights during his 11-plus year career; a technical decision loss to then 22-1 Alex Arthur in 2006 and a 12-round majority decision loss to then-interim WBC super featherweight champion Humberto Mauro Gutierrez in the titlist’s home country of Mexico back in 2009. Since the loss to Gutierrez, Gulyakevich has moved up in weight and put together a 15-bout winning streak, waiting for an opportunity to show that he is one of the best 135lb. fighters in the world.
“After I fought for the title, I had some political and managerial issues. I lost the opportunity to fight for the IBF super featherweight title, which was offered to me in 2012, and I was just having major difficulties securing big fights. Then I met my current manager Derek Waddell and things started looking up. He got me seven keep-busy fights in Latvia and then we signed with Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing as we looked to make a name for ourselves here in the US. Over the last 12 months, I have had three significant fights fall through, first to Billy Dib, then against Will Tomlinson and finally against Terrence Crawford, so when the call to fight Ivan came through, I was just so thrilled and excited for the opportunity. I want to thank Ivan and his promotional company DiBella Entertainment for stepping up to the plate and giving me this opportunity. Both Ivan and I know that the winner of this fight will be knocking on the door for a title shot, and we are going to lay it all on the line Friday night,” stated Gulyakevich.
While Gulyakevich is confident going into the fight, he knows that come Friday night, this will not be an easy fight for him or Redkach.
“I have never been knocked down in my entire career,” said Gulyakevich. “My coach and I have watched a ton of film on Ivan and we have what we feel is a perfect game plan going into this matchup. Ivan showed in his last bout that he is not just a one-trick pony, so we have to be ready for whatever he brings. Like I said before, the winner of this bout is knocking on a world title opportunity and I know that everyone involved realizes the significance of this fight for the 135lb. division. Ivan and his team realize for him to get to the next level, he needs to have a step-up fight like this. I am ready and I know he will be ready as well. Talk is cheap in this sport, everyone will witness on Friday night who is the better fighter.”