Adrien Broner will revisit old business on a new platform.
The former four-division titlist is set to make his BLK Prime debut, which will come versus Ivan Redkach. The oft-postponed welterweight battle has once again made its way to the schedule, due to take place February 18 in Atlanta, Georgia. The show will also feature another bout that has been stuck in limbo. Former titleholders Tevin Farmer and Mickey Bey will collide in a ten-round lightweight battle in the evening’s co-feature.
Both bouts were formally announced Saturday afternoon at CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska, the site of the Terence Crawford-David Avanesyan WBO welterweight title fight atop a BLK Prime PPV event later Saturday evening.
Cincinnati’s Broner (34-4-1, 24KOs) has not fought since a twelve-round, unanimous decision win over Jovanie Santiago last February 20 in Uncasville, Connecticut. That bout was his first since a loss to Manny Pacquiao in their January 2019 secondary welterweight title fight, which sold roughly 400,000 units atop a Showtime Pay-Per-View telecast.
His upcoming bout with Redkach marks the first of a lucrative three-fight deal between Broner and BLK Prime, which was formally announced on October 25. The fight itself was previously in the works on both sides of the pandemic, once eyed for 2020 and again sought for last January. Neither date materialized, with Broner instead facing Puerto Rico’s Santiago, whom he outpointed over twelve rounds.
Interestingly, Redkach—a Ukrainian southpaw fighting out of Los Angeles—will return to Atlanta for his second straight fight. His last appearance came under dubious circumstances, losing to Regis Prograis last April 17 in what was ruled a technical decision at the time but changed to a technical knockout after a successful appeal by Prograis with the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission.
The defeat was the second in a row for Redkach (23-6-1, 18KOs), who previously dropped a twelve-round, unanimous decision to former two-division titlsit Danny Garcia. Their January 2020 bout—which headlined a Showtime card from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York—saw Redkach initially get away with biting Garcia during the ninth-round of their welterweight fight, but later met with a suspension as handed down by the New York State Athletic Commission.
Redkach previously won three straight fights, including a sixth-round knockout of former two-division titlist Devon Alexander in June 2019.
At his best, Broner long served as one of the sport’s most watched fighters. His polarizing personality drew more attention than his in-ring achievements, where he has won major titles at junior lightweight, lightweight, junior welterweight and welterweight.
Broner’s last win in a title fight came in October 2015, when he stopped Khabib Allakhverdiev in the twelfth and final round of their vacant WBA ‘Super’ junior welterweight title in his Cincinnati hometown. His first title defense ended at the scales, when he missed weight ahead of an eventual ninth-round stoppage of Ashley Theophane in April 2016 in Washington, D.C. He is just 2-2-1 in that time, with out-of-the-ring troubles slowing his activity to a crawl.
Broner was due to return to the ring on August 20, where he was to face fellow former titlist Omar Figueroa atop a Showtime tripleheader in Fort Lauderdale, Arizona. The 33-year-old boxer withdrew from the event just prior to fight week, citing mental health concerns since resolved as he has resumed training camp in Florida.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox