LOS ANGELES - Undefeated United States Boxing Association (USBA) lightweight champion Ivan "The Terrible" Redkach (17-0, 13 KOs) has changed head trainers, adding former world champion and 2011 Trainer of the Year
Robert Garcia to his corner.
The 28-year-old Redkach, who won 260 of 300 amateur matches and represented his native Ukraine at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing as a team alternate, was always considered a better professional prospect than amateur because of his ferocious style and devastating power in both hands.
Rated in the top 10 by three of the four sanctioning bodies - IBF #6, WBC #8 and WBA #10 - Redkach and his manager, Larry Army (Elite Management), felt a world-class trainer was needed on Team Redkach as the Ukrainian fighter closes in on his first world title shot, hopefully, in 2015.
"I have a lot of respect for my former trainer, Mario Morales, but I needed a new trainer to teach me how to win at the championship level," Redkach said. "I didn't show any improvement in my last two fights, something I need to do every fight to be a legitimate world title contender.
"Robert Garcia has proven many times that he is a great trainer, one of the best in boxing. I get great sparring at his gym in Oxnard, which is only a one-hour drive from my home (in Los Angeles). I can't wait for my next fight to show everybody how much I've improved."
Garcia currently trains world champions such as Nonito Donaire, Evgeny Gradovich, Mickey Garcia and Marcos Antonio Rubio, as well as former world champions and top contenders Marcos Rene Maidana and Brandon Rios.
Redkach captured the vacant USBA title last January, winning a 10-round decision (99-90, 97-92, 97-93) over tough Tony Luis (17-1), and this past June he came out of a fight against awkward Sergey Gulyakevich (41-2) with a victory by way of a 10-round decision (100-90, 99-91, 98-92).
"My job as his manager is to provide Ivan with everything he needs to win a world title," Army explained. I saw things in Ivan's last two fights, mistakes that weren't corrected, and it was time for a change. Ivan needed a trainer like Robert Garcia to win at the highest level.
"Robert actually saw Ivan fight at the last show (vs. Gulyakevich). He trained a fighter on the same card. We talked after the fights and he immediately seemed like the right fit. We were lucky that, living in LA, Ivan had other options to go with an elite trainer, but Robert was always our No. 1 choice. He's a great teacher and certainly qualified by any standards. He has some Eastern European/Russian fighters in his gym. Robert has had great success changing their styles to be more potent and that's what we're hoping for with Ivan"
Redkach's next fight is expected to be in October.