Ivan Redkach: ‘Today Was Very Painful For Me And I Cried’
In this NYFights Exclusive, Ivan Redkach opens up about his situation and the events leading up to him being removed as an openent for Adrien Broner.
This was an interesting Monday as boxing’s drama meter was at an all-time high. Earlier today, I posted an article that summed up the tweets of 36-year-old Ukrainian fighter Ivan Redkach (23-6-1) and his frustrations with the status of his February 25th fight against Adrien Broner (34-4-1). Within that story, Redkach’s promoter Joe DeGuardia from Star Boxing weighed in on the situation and hoped that a fight would still happen between his guy and “The Problem.”
Shortly after the article was posted, Redkach went on Twitter again to express his displeasure while saying he was no longer fighting Broner in February. A few minutes after the posts, Joe DeGuardia called me back to tell me that Redkach was officially off of the main event, and although he read the tweets, he felt as though they were out of frustration and didn’t feel the need to comment on them.
Here at NYFights, we try our best to present both sides of the story so that you, the readers, can decide who to point the finger at if you desire to do that. Redkach reached out to me so that he could have the opportunity to talk about the situation from his standpoint.
As mentioned in the earlier article, I was alerted that there was trouble in paradise, so to speak, last week. I asked Redkach when exactly did things start going south? Redkach told NYF, “I would say about 2-3 weeks ago. Joe (DeGuardia) decided to be fully involved in the negotiations, but everything was negotiated already, which is why I flew to Nebraska. I was verbally released for this fight, so I flew to Nebraska (for the press conference). The deal was done, I flew back from Nebraska to start training camp, and all I was waiting for was the bout agreement. Suddenly, Joe decided to get involved in negotiating the bout agreement. Then we started to receive emails from Joe that we weren’t allowed to have any communications with BLK (Prime). We decided not to complicate it and hoped he would represent my best interest.”
Redkach continued, “My advisor (Charles) received the bout agreement, and Joe became very upset as he did not receive it. Charles forwarded the agreement to him, and Joe assured us he was working on it. He said, ‘tomorrow you will get a bout agreement; I just have to make some changes.’ We then found out that he only negotiated on his side and never negotiated anything on my side. Finally, he sent us the fight agreement, but it had nothing about BLK.
Basically, what Joe did, was he created his own bout agreement on top of his promotional agreement, which takes all rights from me. In the contract, if Broner were overweight, Joe would negotiate it, and he would be entitled to 50% of whatever is negotiated. If I were to find some sponsorships, Joe would be the one to decide whether the sponsor is allowed to be on my trunks and or any merchandise with financial interests.”
The weight situation has been a thing for Broner lately, and it tends to change as the fight gets closer. Although DeGuardia mentioned that the fight was originally at 144 lbs, Redkach said it was always at 147. Redkach told NYF, “Joe was being pushy for me to sign the contract without having me consult with my team about it. The bout agreement from BLK was never sent to us, as we only received the one that Joe gave us.
Meanwhile, he sent us one agreement and BLK a totally different agreement where he wanted to be listed as a co-promoter of the event. At that point, we reached out to BLK to find out why we were receiving different agreements and to see what was really going on. He even tried to add one of his boxers to the card, and when that was refused, Joe asked for more money. The offer was made, and the deal was done before I went to Nebraska.”
Redkach continued, “From 20% to 25% to 30% to 35% to finally 40% is what Joe wanted out of my purse. BLK was not going to sign that agreement with zero obligation. Every time Joe reached out to BLK, he would ask for more, more and more. For the last two weeks, we have been asking to release us for this fight. Since signing the promotional agreement in August, Joe hasn’t provided a valid offer. This fight was offered to us directly. All he needed to do was get his percentage and release me for this fight. I emailed Joe and asked if he wanted to take $35,000 from my purse or I would fight for free but release me for the fight; Joe didn’t agree. There was a noon deadline today for Joe to send BLK my release for the fight, and he didn’t send them anything.”
For a guy like Redkach, who is closer to the end of his career rather than the prime, being pulled away from this fight is a hard pill to swallow. “I’ve been training three times a day, every day, and today, nothing. Today was very painful for me, and I cried. My dream has collapsed. I felt devastated. Unfortunately, today, my hands were tied. No matter how hard I fought for this fight, I could not make it happen because I’m under such a contractual relationship,” said the Ukrainian veteran.
This fight meant more to him than just a purse as he has his parents and a 13-year-old daughter who live in Ukraine. The purse would be used to prove further financial stability, which is needed to attempt to bring his family to the U.S. Regardless of the current situation, Redkach is grateful for the opportunity that BLK Prime tried to give him. Redkach said, “BLK did nothing wrong. They were very reasonable. I respect BLK, as they tried really hard all day to work it out. I want to thank Adrien Broner and the BLK team for the opportunity.”
It's hard not to ask about possibly retiring, as Redkach is considered a bit old for boxing. What does the future hold for Redkach? “I have to first get rid of this slavery contract, and there is no way I am going to fight under his promotional agreement. We are going to have the same issues over and over again for every fight. I have to calm down and make up my mind.”
My Three Cents:
You heard from Redkach’s promoter Joe DeGuardia earlier today, and now you read what Ivan Redkach had to say. The decision is up to you to determine what you want to believe or not believe. One thing that is a fact in all of this is that the hunt for Broner’s opponent has started, and in the coming weeks, we will know if this card is happening on the 25th or not.
You can follow Abe on Twitter @abeg718 and subscribe to “The Boxing Rush Hour Show” podcast on all streaming platforms.