Danny Garcia vs. Ivan Redkach: War Before Glory

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Former two-division champion Garcia wants another world title, but he must first get by an equally hungry Redkach in a welterweight showdown Saturday night on SHOWTIME.

Danny “Swift” Garcia (35-2, 21 KOs) wants to climb back to the top of the mountain. 

Ivan “El Terrible” Redkach (23-4-1, 18 KOs) is pushing to get to that same mountaintop. 

Pitting these two upwardly mobile battlers against one another guarantees explosive action. 

Saturday, January 25, live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Garcia meets Redkach in a 12-round WBC welterweight title eliminator atop a Premier Boxing Champions card (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT)

In the co-feature, former two-belt junior middleweight world champion "Swift" Jarrett Hurd returns to action against Francisco "Chia" Santana in a 10-round 154-lb. contest. Also, highly-regarded super bantamweight prospect Stephen "Cool Boy Steph'' Fulton faces undefeated Arnold Khegai in a 12-round WBO super bantamweight title eliminator.

The Story

Danny Garcia is a former unified junior welterweight champ and a one-time welterweight world titlist whose TV ratings and live gate numbers already prove him to be a major draw. But the Philadelphia fighter has always had his eyes set on the kind of next-level stardom enjoyed by very few in the sport. Unfortunately, disputable and razor-thin decision losses to Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter have stalled his pursuit of that next-level success. 

Looking to follow up his impressive KO of Adrian Granados in April with another highlight reel win, Garcia is making big plans for the immediate future. Major fights with Manny Pacquiao and Errol Spence Jr. are being eyed for later this year by Team Garcia and that makes Saturday’s fight a crucial main stage showcase.

Redkach, a native of Shostka, Ukraine who now resides in Los Angeles, has had his share of ups and downs over the course of his 10-year professional career. 

After surviving a rough 2016-2017 run that saw him go 1-3-1, the all-action battler is 3-0 in his last three contests with a stunning sixth-round KO of former two-division world champ Devon Alexander in his most recent bout last June. 

The one-time top prospect is hoping to move from the Alexander upset to a win over Garcia, which would earn him a world title shot and the opportunity to prove himself a true main stage competitor. 

The Stakes

Officially a WBC world title eliminator, the winner of Garcia-Redkach will move on to challenge WBC/IBF champ Errol Spence Jr. in a big-money, big-opportunity career-defining showdown.  

The Matchup

Garcia is one of the most all-round skilled fighters in the game with an educated, balanced offensive repertoire and underrated defensive abilities. 

The 31-year-old is best known for his outstanding counter left hand, which is still among the very best offensive weapons in the game. However, his right hand is also a potent weapon and, because of the leverage he gets on his shots, just about everything he throws can be delivered with force. If allowed to operate at his own pace and preferred rhythm, Garcia picks opposition apart and eventually stops them.

A calm, collected counter-puncher by nature, Garcia can sometimes be too calm and collected, something which allows opposition to steal rounds while he looks for openings and analyzes opportunities.

I know that you can’t overlook anyone. I’m totally locked in on Ivan, and that’s it. Former Two-Division World Champion - Danny Garcia

Redkach is a naturally aggressive, come-forward fighter who can also box a bit. Despite not being gifted with supreme athleticism or in possession of elite-level skills, the 2008 Ukraine Olympic team alternate has a solid, well-rounded skill set. 

Where the 33-year-old southpaw excels, though, is in his dogged determination and tenacity. Redkach will push forward and work to grind down opposition. In his win over Alexander, he showed this ability to break down a more talented foe with sheer will and tenacity. 

Although technically just about a year into his full run at welterweight, the former lightweight and junior welterweight contender had struggled mightily to make weight and claims to be much more comfortable at the 147 limit.

He has, however, shown a weakness in dealing with hand and foot speed—something which has plagued him throughout his career-- and is generally without a plan B when grit and toughness don’t get him what he wants.

The Words

Danny Garcia

"I know that you can’t overlook anyone. I’m totally locked in on Ivan, and that’s it.

"We’re just working hard and working smart. 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."

Ivan Redkach

"This opportunity fighting at Barclays Center is huge for me. I accept the opportunity with honor and I want to thank Danny Garcia for taking the fight...I want Danny Garcia’s fans to all come out on January 25 because you’re going to see a great fight and you’re going to be welcomed into the Ivan Redkach family...Danny made a mistake if he thinks this is a tune-up...I have to give the best performance of my professional career...The energy in the building on January 25 is going to give me the extra motivation to not only put up a great performance, but to leave Brooklyn with the victory."

The Breakdown

Garcia is clearly the better technical fighter in this high-stakes contest and if Redkach can’t push him backwards, out of his game, he should be able to score a most impressive stoppage victory. 

Redkach will have to turn this prizefight into an ugly war and hope that Garcia becomes so caught up in reacting that he gets sloppy and careless.

If all plays out true to form, though, Garcia should methodically disassemble the rough and tough underdog, eventually closing the show with a thunderous right hand—the perfect weapon against a come-forward southpaw battler like Redkach. 

Despite the stakes being so high, it wouldn’t be too shocking for Garcia, with his gaze firmly fixed on future challenges, to be upset by a determined tough guy who’s 100% focused on dealing with him in the here and now. 

A look back at last week’s Jeison Rosario upset over Julian Williams—a bout where Garcia was in attendance—should serve as a warning for the former two-division world champ that everyone, under the right circumstances and with the right frame of mind, is a threat.

For a closer look at Garcia vs Redkach, check out our fight night page. 

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