Middleweight Ivan Redkach (23-4-1,18 KO) made a statement as he knocked down former world champion Devon Alexander not one, not two, but three times in the sixth round of a scheduled 10-round bout, forcing referee Thomas Taylor to wave off the fight at 1:10 of the sixth round in the main event of PBC on FS1 and FOX Deportes from Soboba Casino in San Jacinto Calif.
In a duel of all-time great fighters turned trainers, Alexander emulated future Hall of Famer Roy Jones Jr. to start the fight, who served as Alexander’s head coach for the first time. In the opposite corner, “Sugar” Shane Mosley guided Redkach to the knockout victory, reminding him the importance of the knockout and encouraging him to use his power.
“This feels unbelievable,” said Redkach. “I was a little bit nervous to move up to 147, but my team told me I was ready. I am more fresh and I am stronger at this weight. I was ready to fight and now I am ready to face anyone in this division.
“I practiced that punch every day,” continued Redkach. “Every single day we worked on that left hand and it did what I needed it to do. I want anyone at 147. Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter. Anyone.”
“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.”
St. Louis’ Alexander, had thrown more punches than Redkach leading into the sixth, as he came out swinging, controlling through the third round, but by the fourth, Ukraine’s Redkach started to turn up the heat throwing punches in bunches, which led to three devastating knock downs one of which sent Alexander through the ropes.
“I threw a lazy uppercut and he caught me,” said Alexander. “I thought I could have kept going. That was my first time in my career hitting the canvas like that in my career. Of course, I am a warrior I had to get up. I am okay now. I know what happened. I know what I got hit with. It is just a shock. I am devastated.”
In the co-main event, Hugo Centeno Jr. (27-2,14 KO) of Oxnard, Calif. lost via unanimous decision against the hard-hitting Willie Monroe Jr. (27-4-2,17 KO) of Rochester, NY in a middleweight bout scheduled for 10 rounds. Monroe controlled the bout from the beginning of the fight, getting on the inside and forcing Centeno to miss. Centeno shook off the powerful punches being thrown by Monroe in the fourth until a hard left caused Centeno’s nose to bleed.
Centeno did his best to prevail and continue to throw punches, landing several that did not appear to affect Monroe. To kickoff round six, Monroe unleashed on Centeno landing multiple overhand lefts, but as the round continued, Centeno regained some energy and teed some shots off to the head of Monroe. The California-native continued to close the gap in round eight, throwing several combinations and letting his hands go. In the end, Monroe’s power and precision was too much for Centeno. Monroe won via unanimous decision with score totals of 98-92, 97-93, 96-94.
“I think I stepped it up a little bit more with the pressure,” said Monroe. “People are used to seeing me box and I wanted to walk to him. I am in his backyard, so I wanted to make sure that I took the rounds solidly. Tell Charlo I am coming for him. No more excuses. Monroe v. Charlo, let’s get it.”
The night started out with a bang as Rodney Hernandez (13-7-2, 3 KOs), who was the underdog heading into the heavyweight fight, landed two massive lefts to the head of the highly touted Onoriode Ehwarieme (17-1, 16 KOs), sending the previously undefeated native of Nigeria thundering to the canvas. Ehwarieme appeared to beat referee Rudy Baragon’s count, but Baragon waved it off, determining that the towering African was unable to continue at 2:59 of round one.
“I want to dedicate this fight to all of the people,” said Hernandez. “Here I am. I am not surprised by the first round KO. I am a very confident person. I like to smile, but I also like to throw punches. Please anyone in the heavyweight division, fight me. I will be prepared to the fullest, I won’t disrespect anyone. I will work hard. I am ready. This is my time.”
“I was ready to continue. The referee made the wrong call,” said Ehwarieme. “There was one second to go. I would have been fine. I was ready to fight and I was and I am still ready to fight. I will get back in there again soon.”
In an exciting swing bout, Santa Maria, Calif.-native and undefeated prospect Jose Balderas (7-0, 2 KOs) showed poise and skills as he dropped Julio Garcia (3-1, 2 KOs) twice in both rounds three and four before referee Ray Corona waved off the fight.
“The game plan was to use my distance,” said Balderas. “I learned to be more confident in myself. I am excited to continue in my career. It is back to the drawing board and we will see what’s next.”
In the PBC Prelims on FS2 and FOX Deportes, Marlon Tapales (33-2, 15 KOs) of Tubod, Philippines defeated Roberto Castaneda (23-12-2, 16 KOs) of Mexicali, Mexico via TKO stoppage in the third round of a super bantamweight bout. Undefeated Jhack Tapora (23-0, 17 KOs) who also hails from the Philippines, showed no ring rust after 11 months out of the ring as he defeated Jose Luis Gallegos (16-7, 12 KOs) via unanimous decision.