A Night of Upsets: Redkach Stuns Alexander

A rejuvenated Ivan Redkach shocked former two-division champion Devon Alexander, scoring a sixth-round TKO in their welterweight headliner on PBC on FS1.

Ivan Redkach knew he had what it took to defeat Devon Alexander “The Great.” He just needed future Hall of Famer “Sugar” Shane Mosley to show him the way.

Mosley, who worked with the Ukrainian-born Redkach in training for this fight, had a simple plan.

“We felt that going the distance with the champ, you never want to leave it in the hands of the judges,” Mosley explained. “So, I told him, listen, you need to go in there and knock him out. Not just win, knock him out. So that’s what he practiced on and that’s what he did.”

Did he ever.

Redkach, 33, was a heavy underdog against the former two-division world champion from St. Louis—and fighting at welterweight for the first time. Yet he kept himself close until the sixth round, when he landed a crushing uppercut to put Alexander on the canvas the first time. Redkach never let up, dropping Alexander twice more before referee Thomas Taylor waved it off at 1:10 of the frame A

With that, Redkach (23-4-1, 18 KOs) had completed one of the biggest victories of his career. The PBC on FS1 fight card took place at the Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, California.

At the time of the stoppage, Alexander (27-6-1, 14 KOs), who has been trained by Hall of Famer Roy Jones Jr. for this fight, had outlanded Redkach in both total punches and power punches. But Redkach threw the ones that counted.

Redkach, known as “El Terrible” for his Mexican fighting style, could hardly believe what he had done. “Not believable,” was all he could utter in broken English.

What he and Mosley knew for sure was that Redkach, who now resides in Los Angeles, might have found the right weight division.

“Right now, I feel my power is great, I’m more fresh and I’m ready to fight anyone at 147,” Redkach said, naming Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter, who was doing commentary for Fox for the fight, as possible targets.

Mosley said that Alexander expected Redkach to “gas out” by the fifth or sixth, but “now that he’s found a comfortable weight, he’s not gassing out anymore.”

Alexander, who had overcome addiction to painkillers which kept him out of action for more than two years, came in several pounds over the 147-pound limit, which cost him part of his purse. The loss could also cost him his career at the still-young age of 32.

“That might have been the reason he gassed out,” Mosley said of Alexander’s struggle to make weight.

Alexander said, “I threw a lazy punch, and that’s the first rule of boxing: don’t throw lazy punches. And he was able to catch me. That’s how that happened.”

Alexander said it was the first time he had been down.

“I’m kind of devastated about it. I got me team here trying to cheer me up. I don’t know how I feel about it.”

Alexander said he felt that after the first knockdown he would recover and continue on. “I always had a chin,” he said. “He caught me with a good one, but I could’ve kept going. I’m a warrior.”

Jones said the most devastating punch is the one you don’t see coming, and that’s what happened to Alexander.

The defeated fighter wasn’t sure what the future holds. “I’ll pray about it, I’ve never been down in my career and it’s just devastating for me,” he said somberly. “I’ll get with my family and see what’s next.”

Jones called Alexander one of the best fighters he’s ever worked with and said he has the talent to go right back where he wants to go. “We gotta see how bad he wants it. If he wants it, we’ll go right back and get it.”

Willie Monroe Jr. wins unanimous decision against Hugo Centeno Jr.

Hugo “The Boss” Centeno Jr. dedicated his 10-round middleweight bout against Willie Monroe Jr. to his father, who has been hospitalized with heart ailments.

But on this night, “The Mongoose” was the boss. And Monroe had his own reason for winning: A bout against interim middleweight champion Jermall Charlo. And the Rochester, New York, fighter set out from the opening bell to make it happen.

It came in the form of a unanimous decision victory against Centeno, who never seemed able to get Monroe out of the center of the ring and on the ropes where he could unload with his knockout power.

Judge Lou Moret scored it 98-92, Fernando Villarreal had it 97-93 and Zachary Young 96-94, all for Monroe, who improved to 24-3 (6 KOs). Two of his three career losses have come against champions Billy Joe Saunders and Gennady Golovkin.

Centeno Jr. suffered his third career loss and now sits at 27-3 (14 KOs).

Monroe used his movement and edge in quickness to control the pace in the first half of the fight, keeping the action in the center of the ring.

Monroe kept his distance from Centeno’s power early on but landed nearly twice as many punches as Centeno. In the fourth round, a right by Monroe bloodied Centeno’s nose. In the fifth, the action picked up as Monroe, known as a boxer and not a puncher, started putting more pressure on Centeno.

“I think I stepped it up a little more with the pressure,” he said. “People are used to seeing me box so I wanted to press the action a little bit and walk it to him, plus I’m in his back yard. I wanted to make sure I took those rounds solidly. And tell Charlo I’m coming for him. No more excuses. Monroe-Charlo this fall. Let’s get it.”

Rodney Hernandez stuns Onoriode Ehwarieme with first-round KO

Nigerian heavyweight Onoriode “Godzilla” Ehwarieme came in undefeated with 16 knockouts in 17 fights and was considered a virtual shoo-in to add another victim to his KO list.

But journeyman Rodney Hernandez had other ideas. He was unafraid of the monster in the opposite corner, who was making his U.S. debut and who enjoyed a seven-inch reach advantage and four-inch height advantage.

Near the end of the first round, Hernandez caught Ehwarieme with a big left hook that shockingly floored “Godzilla.” He got to his feet at the count of nine, but referee Rudy Barragan saw that the Nigerian was wobbly and seemingly out on his feet and stopped it at 2:59 of the round.

Hernandez, who improved to a pedestrian 13-7-2 with four KOs, seemed a bit shocked by the stoppage and could not wipe the smile off his face during the post-fight interview. He wasn’t even sure what to say.

“It’s amazing. I want to dedicate this win to all the people,” said Hernandez, a Californian who has now won three in a row against opponents with a combined record of 40-1. “I want to elevate you. But hey, here I am.”

Jhack Tepora stops Jose Luis Gallegos to stay unbeaten

It wasn’t Manny Pacquiao in the ring throwing left hands with abandon.

But Jhack Tepora is a Pacman wannabe who does all he can to look like his countryman and idol. And that means winning fights.

Tepora, a 24-year-old Filipino making his U.S. debut, had switched to southpaw early in his career to be more like Pacquiao. He remained undefeated by scoring a unanimous decision victory against a game but overmatched Jose Luis Gallegos in their 10-round featherweight battle.

The victory, by identical scores of 99-91 from the three judges, improved Tepora’s record to 23-0 with 17 KOs.

Tepora methodically broke Gallegos down from the opening bell with a full repertoire of weapons, including a straight left, a la Pacquiao, a mix of left and right hooks, and an occasional left uppercut to keep Gallegos (16-7, 12 KOs) off-balance.

“This was my first time (fighting in America) and I was pleased with my performance despite the pressure with so many big fighters, including champion Shawn Porter, watching.

 “I never looked for the knockout because I respect my opponent because he’s tough and strong,” Tepora said. “I took some punches but I gave my best for 10 rounds because I trained hard for this fight.”

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

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