By Mark Elezaj
BROOKLYN NEW YORK — Former two-division champion Danny Garcia returned with a dominant performance over Ivan Redkach, winning via unanimous decision in the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions card at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The judges scored the fight 118-110, 117-111 and 117-111. The Fighting Voice scored it 118-110 for Garcia.
Garcia improved to 36-2 with his second straight win. His last fight was back in April 20, 2019, when he knocked out Adrian Grandos.
Garcia landed hard punches throughout the fight, moving around the ring while waiting for openings. Garcia landed jabs and countered Redkach for most of the fight, landing the harder punches throughout.
Redkach spent most of the fight against the ropes.
In the fifth round, Garcia applied the pressure, hurting Redkach with a right hand late in the round.
In the seventh, Redkach sustained a cut over his left eye after Garcia landed a hook.
As the fight continued, Garcia stuck to his game plan, and staggered Redkach with a hard shot in the eighth.
At the start of the ninth round, referee Benjy Esteves called a timeout so that the ringside doctor could examine Redkach.
They allowed the fight to continue and it was business as usual for Garcia continued to beat up on his opponent, landing big shots with ease. As the round was winding down, Redkach, whil in a clinch, bit Garcia on the left side of his neck.
“He bit me,” Garcia said. “He said, ‘Mike Tyson,’ and he bit me. “I said, ‘Ref, he bit me!
“I thought I needed stitches or something. That’s my first time ever getting bit in a fight. Things happen though. I’ve been in a street fight before, so I did it all.”
Redkach did show his toughness throughout, especially in the final rounds, but was never able to hurt Garcia, who cruised his way to a unanimous decision victory.
According to CompuBox, Garcia landed 195 of 568 punches (34%) and Redkach landed only 88 of 578 (15%).
“I thought the referee was gonna stop it because I felt like I was punishing him,” Garcia said. “He’s a tough guy. He hung in there. I wanted to get the KO, but I didn’t get it. I feel like I boxed smart, and I feel like that’s what I needed after this layoff. I really wanted the knockout bad, but I’ll accept this.”
Garcia said he had to lose 25 pounds in eight weeks for this fight.
“I’m not gonna lie, I felt good, but I didn’t feel my best,” Garcia said. “I did lose a lot of weight for this fight, so maybe that played a factor, from a long layoff, and just losing so much weight.
“I promised myself that I’m going to stay in the gym now and stay in shape. I felt regular, but then when I got on the scale a few weeks ago, I was like whoa! So maybe that played a factor, maybe it didn’t. I make no excuses. I didn’t feel my best, but I felt good.”
“I thought the right hand was going to stop him and I feel like I was punching him but he’s a tough guy,” Garcia said. “I wanted the KO and I went for it but I feel like I outboxed him and I accept this.”
“This was very good experience for me,” said Redkach.
“He never had me hurt, and I was able to learn a lot. I’m thankful to be in this position that my team put me in and I’m going to keep growing from here. I’m going to get back in the gym and get stronger and better.”
After this performance, Garcia hopes to land a fight with Errol Spence Jr. or Manny Pacquiao next.
“Either or,” Garcia said of his preference. “Either of those fights I would like to have. My style looks great with both fighters.”
~ The Fighting Voice ~