Two-division world champion Danny “Swift’’ García returns to the ring to take on hard-hitting slugger Ivan “El Terrible’’ Redkach in a 12-round WBC welterweight title eliminator Saturday, January 25 live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
In the co-feature, former unified 154-pound champion “Swift” Jarrett Hurd will return to battle all-action Francisco “Chia” Santana in a 10-round super welterweight contest, plus sensational super bantamweight Stephen “Cool Boy Steph’’ Fulton will face undefeated Arnold Khegai in a 12-round WBO Super Bantamweight title eliminator to open SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING action at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
García’s blend of power and sublime boxing skills has made him one of the most popular boxers of the last decade and secured him as a box-office fixture at Barclays Center, where he holds the record for the largest crowd for a boxing event. He set the benchmark when 16,533 attended his welterweight title unification match against Keith Thurman on March 4, 2017 in a bout that aired in primetime on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING on CBS. The fight against Redkach will be Garcia’s eighth appearance at Barclays Center.
“Barclays Center fan-favorite Danny García is back in Brooklyn as he continues his quest for the top spot in the welterweight division,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Danny has been in the biggest fights at Barclays Center and on January 25 there are sure to be fireworks when hard-hitting Ivan Redkach looks for a career-defining win. Redkach has upset the odds before and there’s no doubt he’ll leave it all in the ring with this opportunity to move closer to a world title fight. Combined with a former unified champion known for action fights in Jarrett Hurd, plus a rising star in Stephen Fulton, this card is loaded with intrigue from top to bottom.”
“Danny García and Jarrett Hurd are two of the biggest stars in the sport because they have consistently taken on the toughest challenges and they are always in all-action, exciting fights,” said Stephen Espinoza, President Sports & Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc. “On January 25, both men are fighting to maintain their place at the top of two of boxing’s deepest divisions in important, must-win fights. Add in two undefeated, promising contenders in the opener and we have the recipe for an explosive night of fights on SHOWTIME.”
“We’re thrilled to host our first boxing event of 2020 by welcoming Danny García back for his eighth fight at Barclays Center and have Jarrett Hurd return to the arena where he’s had some memorable victories,” said Keith Sheldon, EVP of Programming and Development for BSE Global. “Danny specifically has built an enthusiastic fan base in the borough, becoming one of the most popular fighters in our arena, and we can’t wait to see his supporters out in full force as he steps back into our ring against Ivan Redkach.”
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and DSG Promotions, are on-sale now and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com and barclayscenter.com. Tickets also can be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP. The Fulton vs. Khegai bout is promoted in association with Salita Promotions.
García (35-2, 21 KOs) is the latest in a long line of great boxers from Philadelphia who have made their mark on the sport. His run through the super lightweight division and two-year reign as a unified champion is one of the most impressive in modern history as he defeated a string of champions, including Nate Campbell, Kendall Holt, Erik Morales, Amir Khan, Zab Judah and Lucas Matthysse.
After dominating the super lightweight division, the 31-year-old García moved up to welterweight where he won the vacant WBC title with a unanimous decision over Robert Guerrero in 2016. He lost a split decision to Thurman in a unification match in 2017 and dropped a narrow unanimous decision to Shawn Porter for the WBC title in 2018. García and many pundits thought he won both those matches. In his last fight, García scored a spectacular knockout victory over Adrian Granados on April 20 to get back into position to regain the welterweight crown.
“I’m very excited to be headlining another SHOWTIME card and to go back to Barclays Center, my home away from home,” said García. “I can’t wait to step in the ring in Brooklyn and give fans the Danny García show. I watched a few of Redkach’s recent fights and he had a great knockout win over two-time champion Devon Alexander. So, I know he’s a tough fighter and competitor who I expect to bring the best out of me, and he’s someone who deserves this opportunity. But January 25 is tax season, so I’m going to have to tax him and pay him with a reality check.”
Redkach (23-4-1, 18 KOs) has his sights set on winning a welterweight title and will face the toughest challenge of his career when he steps in against Garcia. The 33-year-old Redkach, who was born in Shostka, Ukraine and now lives in Los Angeles, is accustomed to stern tests. He started boxing as an amateur in Ukraine where he had over 300 fights. When he turned professional he traveled to Mexico to train and develop the “Mexican Style’’ – a style that emphasis standing in the pocket and throwing hard shots to the body.
Things started out slowly for Redkach, but soon he began to hold his own in Mexico and prevailed, earning the nickname “El Terrible’’ from his training partners. Redkach won 14 of his first 18 professional fights by stoppage and has won three in a row, including most recently knocking out former world champion Devon Alexander in June.
“I’m very motivated to take a massive step in my career and get closer to becoming world champion against a strong and accomplished fighter like Danny García,” said Redkach. “I have been to a lot of Danny’s fights and now I get the chance to test myself against him. I am training very hard so that I am the best that I have ever been on January 25. I’m going to shock the boxing world just like I did against Devon Alexander. I’ve never been this hungry before and I’m confident I will win this fight.”
The former WBA and IBF champion at 154-pounds, Hurd (23-1, 16 KOs) returns to action for the first time since losing his belts via decision against Julian Williams in one of 2019’s best fights. The 29-year-old from Accokeek, Maryland captured his first title by stopping current WBC titlist Tony Harrison in 2017 and then added the WBA belt by defeating Erislandy Lara in 2018’s consensus Fight of the Year. Hurd earned his title opportunity by going on a run of knocking off unbeaten fighters including Frank Galarza and Oscar Molina, and also owns a successful title defense against Austin Trout at Barclays Center in 2017.
“Just because I fell back, doesn’t mean I fell off,” said Hurd. “I’m back and excited to fight at Barclays Center for the third time. I’m bringing the storm back on January and I’m going to make a statement everyone is going to see. You’re not going to want to miss this fight and the best Jarrett Hurd anyone’s seen.”
Santana (25-7-1, 12 KOs) has taken on the toughest challenges at 154 and 147 pounds and has made his name with an all-action action style throughout a long career as a contender. The 33-year-old will look to bounce back from a close decision loss to Abel Ramos in March, in a fight where Santana dropped Ramos in the second round. Prior to the setback against Ramos, the Santa Barbara, California native was coming off of a victory over Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz in April 2018. Santana has faced former champions Jermell Charlo and Sadam Ali while also owning a six-round draw against Julian Williams in 2011.
“This is a great opportunity for me against a fighter like Jarrett Hurd,” said Santana. “When you get an opportunity like this, it’s hard to turn it down. My job is to rise to the occasion and have the best moment of my career on fight night. This is my Super Bowl. When I last fought at 154-pounds, I was basically self-trained. Now I have my coach Joseph Janik training me and I really think he’s the missing piece of the puzzle for me. I’m going to go in there and leave it all in the ring January 25.”
The 25-year-old Fulton (17-0, 8 KOs) has made a rapid rise through the super bantamweight ranks with superb boxing skills, befitting a slick fighter from Philadelphia. Lately Fulton has shown flashes of power that have caught his opponents off guard. In his last fight he stopped Isaac Avelar with a body shot to end their fight in the fifth round on August 24.
Fighting out of Odessa, Ukraine and training for this fight in Los Angeles, Khegai (16-0-1, 10 KOs) will make his third start in the U.S. on January 25, after a successful U.S. debut in in May 2018 when he defeated Adam Lopez on the prospect developmental series ShoBox: The New Generation. The 27-year-old has already been victorious twice in 2019, stopping Haidari Mchanjo in March and most recently winning a unanimous decision over Vladimir Tikhonov in August on ShoBox.
Here is what the press conference participants had to say Wednesday from Barclays Center:
“This is my eighth fight at Barclays Center and I’m excited to be back. I’ve fought in a quarter of the events here at Barclays Center, so you could say this is my house. I’ve had some historic fights in here. I love walking in the tunnels and seeing my pictures next to Jay-Z, DMX and Rihanna.
“Come January 25, this is going to be another great night of boxing. I know Ivan is coming to fight. We’ve followed each other’s careers. I know he’s hungry and he wants to show the fans that he belongs on this level.
“I’m excited to share the card with my Philadelphia brother Stephen Fulton, who I’ve known since he was a kid. Plus, Jarrett Hurd, who’s journey I’ve been watching. It’s been great and he’s going to show everyone that a loss doesn’t mean anything. Just like I have.
“I just think the culture here in Brooklyn is great and I fit right in with it. Lots of hip-hop and Puerto Ricans. It’s the perfect market and we just go together.
“If the top welterweights want to fight me, I’ll be ready whenever. Redkach makes a lot of sense because he’s a southpaw and that would have me ready for Errol Spence Jr. or Manny Pacquiao.
“We picked Redkach because he’s dangerous and we knew he’d be tough. I’m definitely not overlooking him. I’m training hard for this fight. For me, this is a big fight. If I overlook him, it could ruin everything. I want to show everyone I’m still one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world.
“Redkach has a big heart and he’s going to come forward. I think it’s going to be a really entertaining fight. I can’t overlook him.
“I always feel like I’m the best. They need me, I don’t need them. I’m one of the best fighters in the world and I’m going to be here for a while.”
“I want to give thanks to my team and everyone involved in making this fight and for believing in me, which give me the belief that gives me the strength to go in the ring and give it my all.
“This opportunity fighting at Barclays Center is huge for me. I accept the opportunity with honor and I want to thank Danny Garcia for taking the fight.
“My friends and family provide me with the will to win. That support, along with my experience, is what I’ll need to win this fight.
“I want Danny Garcia’s fans to all come out on January 25 because you’re going to see a great fight and you’re going to be welcomed into the Ivan Redkach family.
“The victory over Devon Alexander was important because he was a well-known opponent. Winning in the fashion that I did catapulted me to where I am right now.
“Danny made a mistake if he thinks this is a tune-up. I’m going to give everyone a great fight and we’ll see what happens on January 25.
“Training alongside Leo Santa Cruz was great motivation. I’m going to knock Danny Garcia out. That’s the plan. Simple.
“I’m training very hard because this fight is extremely important to me. I have to give the best performance of my professional career.
“The energy in the building on January 25 is going to give me the extra motivation to not only put up a great performance, but to leave Brooklyn with the victory.”
“This is my first time doing interviews since I fought Julian Williams. Last time I was up here I was an undefeated fighter and then I suffered my first loss.
“We had the rematch set up for this December, but with me going through a switch in trainers and still in the process of searching, I wasn’t in condition for it. It was the hardest thing possible to not take the rematch, much harder than taking it.
“I’ve been training in Colorado with Kay Koroma and getting away from everything. We’re focused strictly on boxing. I cut the hair off too because I was just ready for a change. The work so far is showing me how much work I have left to do and how much room I have to grow.
“I will stay at 154-pounds and fight for my titles again. I’m not looking past Francisco Santana because he’s a great fighter. I’m working hard to get back to the old me.
“This is the fighter who was put in front of me. He has the style that we were looking for with my having my first fight with my new trainer. I had some time out of a gym after the Williams fight but now we’re going strong toward January 25.
“I would never say I overlooked Julian Williams. There’s no excuses. Julian was the better man that night. When I look back there were probably some things that could have affected me, but Julian deserved to win the fight.
“I don’t know if I’m a better fighter now, but the loss opened my eyes to some things. My new coach has really opened my eyes to some things that I need to work on. Using my jab more and my footwork specifically.
“I’m not thinking about anyone but Francisco Santana. I look back at my fights and realize that I won those fights on pure heart and determination. We’re doing things different this time and working behind strategy and skills.”
“Jarrett Hurd is a good solid fighter who’s accomplished a lot. This is my Super Bowl. When someone calls and presents an opportunity like this, you can’t turn it down.
“To fight against one of the biggest names in the division, that’s hard to say no to. Of course I’m going to step up to the plate and on January 25 I’m going to show everyone the definition of never giving up on a dream.
“I’ve had setbacks like Jarrett and I’ve picked myself up and rose to the occasion time and time again. On January 25 I’m going to fight with every ounce of spirit that I have in me so I can go on and become a world champion.
“Jarrett has himself with a new team and when a fighter feels refreshed, you know he’s going to come out strong. I expect nothing less.
“I know that everyone is giving me zero chance come fight night. But that’s okay. I read the comments and what people say. It’s all good. My team believes in me and I believe in myself.
“I’m a big welterweight and people tend to forget that I started my career as a super welterweight, but back then I was self-trained. I used to fight on a couple weeks’ notice and was bouncing from gym to gym. When I met coach Joseph Janik, it all changed and we’ve been together about a decade now. He was the missing piece to my puzzle.
“I’ve often said it’s not how you start a race but how you finish it. I know it’s not an easy task, but I look forward to these big challenges. It will test me as a fighter and a human being. I want to show the whole world my definition of never giving up.
“The minute I stop learning, that would be the time I need to hang them up. I’m still learning and we’re still getting better at our craft. It’s a big challenge. He’s the monster of the division, but this is a great opportunity for me. Sometimes you have to face the monster head on.”
STEPHEN FULTON, JR.
“I’m from Philadelphia and Khegai used to live there, but I truly live in Philadelphia. It runs through my blood. That’s how I’m going to carry on and go about this fight.
“This is not the first undefeated fighter I’ve fought. It will be the seventh that I’ve fought and beat. Six have already fell and I don’t know why these guys keep taking these fights. You’ll see what I’m talking about on January 25
“This means a lot to me, but I’m not a rookie. I don’t look at this like something that will bring my nerves up. This is normal to me. I always get things the hard way.
“People like me have been working hard our whole lives. This opponent is no different than anyone I see walking the streets of Philadelphia. I’m always ready.
“Fans should expect a wonderful and intelligent boxing game plan. Khegai is coming to rumble. He thinks he’s stronger than me, but he’s not stronger or smarter than me. No one in my weight class will out think me.”
DMITRIY SALITA, President of Salita Promotions, Khegai’s Promoter
“Arnold is taking this fight very seriously and he’s going to be arriving in training camp today with Joe Goossen.
“Arnold made his us debut in Philadelphia and I know there will be a lot of fans from Philadelphia here. There’s also a great community in Brooklyn with people from the Ukraine and Russia who will be supporting him on fight night.
“We’re excited for this opportunity and we’re looking forward to making this a great night on January 25.”
CHRIS DEBLASIO, Senior Vice President of Communications, SHOWTIME Sports
“Next week, we will begin a run of eight live boxing events in 10 weeks on SHOWTIME featuring many of the biggest stars in the sport. In Atlanta, on Saturday, December 28, Gervonta Davis, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Badou Jack and Jean Pascal will compete in two world title fights. On January 10, Claressa Shields, the No. 1 star in women’s boxing, faces Ivana Habazin for a unified 154-pound world title. Rising star, Jaron “Boots” Ennis will also be on that card. And, of course, on January 25, we are excited to present two of the biggest stars in the sport, Danny Garcia and Jarrett Hurd, both former unified world champions, both fighting in important, must-win fights to begin a new chapter in their careers.
“SHOWTIME is proud to continue our tradition of televising important, competitive and meaningful world championship boxing in 2020, our 34th year in the business, with these excellent fights and this great series of events.”