By Jake Donovan
Ivan Redkach came in riding a two-fight win streak against an opponent in desperate need of turning around his career.
Yet, he was the one who was nervous about his PBC on FS1 headlining bout versus former two-division titlist Devon Alexander.
“I was a little bit nervous to move up to 147, but my team told me I was ready,” revealed Redkach (23-4-1, 18KOs), who registered a career-best win with a 6th round knockout of Alexander in his welterweight debut Saturday evening at Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, Calif. “I am more fresh and I am stronger at this weight.”
The 33-year old southpaw from Los Angeles by way of Ukraine had previously campaigned in the lightweight and super lightweight division before moving up to a new weight division. There, he met Alexander (27-6-1, 14KOs) a former titlist at super lightweight and welterweight but who came in just 2-3-1 in his last six starts.
Alexander entered the fight with legendary former four-division titlist Roy Jones Jr. as his new head trainer Roy Jones Jr., replacing Kevin Cunningham who has been Alexander’s coach ever since first learning how to box as a youth in St. Louis, Mo.
Redkach had plenty of fire power of his own in his corner, armed with retired former three-division titlist Shane Mosley whom encouraged his charge to fight like the bigger man.
“We felt that going the distance with the champion doesn’t go in your favor,” said Mosley. “I told him, ‘You need to go out there need to go out there and knock him out.’ That is what we practiced and that is what he did.”
Three knockdowns in round six sealed the win for Redkach, who has quickly taken a liking to the welterweight division.
“This feels unbelievable,” said Redkach. “I was ready to fight and now I am ready to face anyone in this division. I want anyone at 147. Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter. Anyone.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox