Ivan Redkach can’t help but feel fans and odds-makers have completely dismissed him in his fight against Danny Garcia.
That disrespect has inspired Redkach, much the way it did before the Ukrainian veteran defeated Devon Alexander seven months ago. Redkach was viewed as a tune-up opponent for Alexander, but the left-handed underdog upset Alexander by sixth-round knockout June 1 at Soboba Casino Resort in San Jacinto, California.
Handicappers have installed Philadelphia’s Garcia (35-2, 21 KOs) as a 25-1 favorite to beat Redkach (23-4-1, 18 KOs) in a 12-round main event Showtime will televise Saturday night from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
“I like that they’re not taking me seriously,” Redkach told BoxingScene.com, “because in the previous fight, they also weren’t taking me seriously, and we saw what happened. And I think that the same thing is gonna happen here – I’m gonna surprise a lot of people.”
Redkach dropped Alexander three times before referee Thomas Taylor stopped their scheduled 10-rounder 1:10 into the sixth round. Alexander was ahead by the same score, 48-47, on all three cards before Redkach caught him with a left uppercut and an overhand left to the side of his head that floored Alexander the first time.
His surprising stoppage of Alexander came in Redkach’s debut at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds.
Garcia, meanwhile, continues to discuss potential pay-per-view showdowns with Errol Spence Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. Redkach, a onetime lightweight who stands 2½ inches taller than Garcia, still thinks that the former welterweight and junior welterweight champion is one of the few people that actually considers him a dangerous opponent.
“There are a of lot easier opponents Danny could’ve picked if he just wanted to have an easy fight, or a tune-up fight,” Redkach said. “I believe Danny does know who he’s in with. But if he is underestimating me, then it’s gonna be a huge shock to him on Saturday.”
The 31-year-old Garcia will fight for the first time since he knocked out Adrian Granados (20-8-2, 14 KOs, 1 NC) in the seventh round of their April 20 fight at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Garcia-Redkach will be the main event of Showtime’s three-bout broadcast Saturday night (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
In the co-feature, former IBF/IBO/WBA 154-pound champ Jarrett Hurd (23-1, 16 KOs), of Accokeek, Maryland, is scheduled to face Francisco Santana (25-7-1, 12 KOs), of Santa Barbara, California, in a 10-rounder. Showtime’s opening bout will match Philadelphia’s Stephen Fulton (17-0, 8 KOs) versus Ukraine’s Arnold Khegai (16-0-1, 10 KOs) in a 12-round fight for the IBO super bantamweight championship.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.