Adrien Broner will likely need a new opponent for his next fight.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that Ivan Redkach will not move forward—against his will—with plans to face the former four-division champion. The two were due to meet February 25 atop a BLK Prime Pay-Per-View event from Gateway Park Arena in the College Park section of Atlanta, Georgia.
However, the venue was never officially confirmed despite talks for the past week of a ticket announcement. Event handlers were cryptic in explaining the details to BoxingScene.com as to the delay but Redkach’s recent social media outburst helped shed light on the dilemma.
Details remain murky, though the heart of the matter is a business disconnect between Redkach and promoter Joe DeGuardia. Redkach told BoxingScene.com that he was prepared to fight for free and has demanded his promotional release from DeGuardia.
“Take $35,000 out of my purse or take everything but release me to fight,” Redkach demanded to DeGuardia in an email exchange, with a screenshot of that portion shared with BoxingScene.com. “I need your answer right now.”
DeGuardia has not publicly addressed the issue but has acknowledged that Redkach very much wanted to face Broner (34-4-1, 24KOs).
However, there is concern that a deal was reached between BLK Prime—whose representatives were not available for comment—and Redkach’s immediate team without DeGuardia’s involvement. Efforts to resolve that matter has led to a series of public outbursts by a clearly frustrated Redkach, who has not fought since April 2021 and will now have to sit out even longer.
“He's a greedy devil,” Redkach said of his promoter. “He didn't do anything for this fight for me he wanted to make all the money on me. I gave him all the money he still wanted BLK to pay him more.”
Redkach (23-6-1, 18KOs)—a Ukrainian southpaw fighting out of Los Angeles—was to have returned to Atlanta for his second straight fight.
His last appearance came under dubious circumstances, losing to Regis Prograis in what was ruled a technical decision at the time of their April 2021 clash at Mercedes Benz Stadium, home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. Redkach complained of a low blow, selling it to the point of remaining on the canvas until being take out of the ring on a gurney.
The official verdict was changed to a technical knockout after a successful appeal by Prograis with the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission, based on written rules that a fighter who cannot continue after being hit with an unintentional low blow “shall be declared the loser by a technical knockout.”
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 titlist 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. As it stands, the feat remains his last win to date with uncertainty as to when—or if—he will fight again.
“There are a lot of mean people in boxing who ruin the [lives] of boxers and break their dreams,” noted Redkach. “It hurts me. I’m done with boxing. I was loyal to boxing—when a boxer has his tied, he cannot fight.”
For now, the February 25 BLK Prime event will move forward though obviously with the need to fill the void at the top of the bill. The show also features an oft-rescheduled lightweight clash between former titlists Mickey Bey and Tevin Farmer in a ten-round co-feature.
Bey (23-3-1, 11KOs) has not fought since a ten-round, split decision defeat to then-unbeaten contender George Kambosos Jr. in December 2019 at Madison Square Garden. Kambosos went on to win—and subsequently lose—the lineal and unified WBA/IBF/WBO lightweight championship. Bey—a 39-year-old from Cleveland, Ohio who now lives and trains in Las Vegas—previously held the IBF 135-pound title for ten months before vacating in July 2015.
Farmer (30-5-1, 6KOs) has not fought since losing his IBF junior lightweight to Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz in January 2020. The unanimous decision defeat ended his 17-month title reign which saw the Philadelphia-bred southpaw successfully defend four times all within a hectic eight month stretch.
Cincinnati’s Broner (34-4-1, 24KOs) last fought in February 2021, when he claimed a twelve-round, unanimous decision win over Jovanie Santiago 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.
Should the February 25 show move forward, it will mark the first of a lucrative three-fight deal between Broner and BLK Prime, which was formally announced last 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.
BLK Prime formally entered the boxing foray with its December 10 PPV event. Headlining the show, three-division and reigning WBO welterweight champ Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford (39-0, 30KOs) scored a sixth-round knockout of David Avanesyan in front of a near-capacity crowd at CHI Health Center in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Broner, Redkach, Farmer and Bey were all on site for the event to announce their own bouts, which at the time had a floating February date and unconfirmed location.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox