Regis Prograis is an obvious favorite versus Ivan Redkach on Saturday night, but the former WBA super lightweight champion isn’t treating this as a tune-up fight.
The powerful Prograis views this appearance as an opportunity to make an impactful statement to fans who don’t ordinarily watch boxing. Prograis-Redkach is the co-feature of a Triller Fight Club pay-per-view card that’ll feature YouTube star Jake Paul and former UFC fighter Ben Askren in the main event at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta (9 p.m. ET; $49.99).
Prograis (25-1, 21 KOs) intends to exploit Redkach’s defensive flaws, yet he respects the Ukrainian southpaw’s power. The New Orleans native also realizes he must be aware of the unconventional tactics Redkach (23-5-1, 18 KOs, 1 NC) has used.
Danny Garcia revealed Redkach bit him on the left side of his neck, near his shoulder, during a clinch in the eighth round of their 12-round welterweight fight in January 2020 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Garcia defeated Redkach by unanimous decision (118-110, 117-111, 117-111), but Redkach recorded a victory of sorts by going the distance with the former WBC welterweight champion.
“The thing is he’s there to be hit, but also he’s dangerous,” Prograis said. “He is dangerous. He’s wild, he’s a little nutty, he’s a little crazy, but he’s there to be hit. That’s all I can really say about Redkach. He’s a little nutty. He’s a little crazy. He bites people and all kinds of sh!t, so I’ve gotta watch his teeth more than his hands. But I think, you know, it’ll be a fun fight for the fans.”
Prograis hopes to knock out Redkach in a scheduled 10-round bout that’ll be contested at a catch weight of 142 pounds. Dejan Zlaticanin and John Molina Jr. have knocked out Redkach in the fourth round of lightweight and junior welterweight bouts, respectively.
“For me, that’s kinda the goal, just to go out there and make a statement,” Prograis said. “That’s the thing, I feel like I have to go out there and make a statement. Some people will say, ‘You’re gonna run over him and stuff.’ But for me, I have to perform. I’m training just as hard as I do for any other fight because I have to have a good performance.
“If I have a great performance against Redkach, the YouTube world or the Jake Paul and Logan Paul followers are gonna follow me. Then I’ll have the whole boxing world looking at me like, ‘[Redkach] just went the distance with Danny Garcia and this is what Regis did to him.’ ”
Prograis stopped previously unbeaten Juan Heraldez (16-1-1, 10 KOs) in the third round of his most recent bout, October 31 at Alamodome in San Antonio. Redkach hasn’t boxed since his loss to Garcia 14 months ago.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.