By Francisco Salazar
Unbeaten lightweight Ivan Redkach can sure punch, as is demonstrated in his 15 victories as a pro, 13 of them by knockout.
Whether it is a vicious one-two combination to the head or a right hook to the body, Redkach has wowed boxing fans in attendance with his punching power and ability to end fights early.
While knockouts bring about excitement from hard-core and casual boxing fans, they do not always win world title belts. That is something Redkach wants most and is eager to fight for one later this year.
Redkach will fight Tony Luis in a scheduled 10 round bout tonight at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, TN.
The bout will be the main event of a DiBella Entertainment card and will also headline the four-bout “ShoBox” telecast on Showtime.
The telecast begins at 10PM ET/ 7PM PT.
While there are those who have been impressed with Redkach as a pro thus far, there are also skeptics who wonder whether he is more suspect than prospect.
Victories over journeymen fighters such as Rynell Griffin, Sergio Rivera, and most recently, Lowell Brownfield may fuel those speculations.
On paper, Luis is the best fighter Redkach has faced in his career. A convincing win over Luis could bring legitimize Redkach’s stranding as a prospect with a bright future in the sport.
“I’m very ready for this fight,” Redkach told Boxingscene.com over the telephone earlier this week. “I prepared well for this fight with very strong sparring partners.”
While Redkach has scored impressive knockdowns and knockouts so far in his career, he has come to realize those may not occur as often as he steps up the level of opposition. Over the last year or so, Redkach has incorporated boxing to compliment his punching power.
Utilizing angles, footwork, and utilizing defense has slowly made Redkach become a more well-rounded fighter. Not that everything will fall in place in one night or one fight, but it is improvement from where the Ukrainian-born fighter stood just a few years ago.
“My trainer Mario Morales felt that my style had to change,” said Redkach, who currently resides in the Los Angeles area. “He felt that my style had to be more tactical and not just applying pressure. I feel more comfortable with this style and I believe that it will be successful to my career.”
Redkach is trying to not only be successful in boxing, but he is also attempting to make a name for himself from a country where the name Klitschko carries far more weight.
While he respect both Klitschko brothers for their contributions to the sport, he does not model himself after their styles. Instead, he has always looked up to Miguel Cotto and the late Edwin Valero.
“Those styles are what I like and the fans seem to like as well.”
Redkach is eager for bigger fights down the road. While he does not rule out fights at 140 and 147 pounds, Redkach is eyeing a world title opportunity at 135 pounds. He is targeting world title holders in Miguel Vazquez and Yuriorkis Gamboa later in 2014.
Despite having not fought the type of opposition that could merit an opportunity against either man, you can not blame Redkach for being that ambitious to fight the best fighters in his division.
Redkach does admit that he does have a ways to go and is not overlooking Luis.
“My plan and dream is to fight Gamboa or Miguel Vazquez, but my focus is on my fight on Friday. I would like to fight them later this year, but that will all depend on what happens (tonight).”
“The doors will open for me when I beat Luis (tonight).”
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, Knockout Nation, and RingTV. He could be reached by email at [email protected] or on twitter at FSalazarBoxing