By Ian S Palmer
Southpaw Ivan Redkach of Ukraine meets former world title challenger John Molina Jr. of Covina, California in a 10-round junior welterweight bout in Lancaster, California this Friday, December 15th. The fight can be seen live in the USA on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Deportes. Redkach last fought in May when he dropped a 10-round split decision to Argenis Mendez while Molina’s last fight took place in December of 2016 when he was stopped in the eighth round in a WBO and WBC title shot against Terence Crawford.
The 31-year-old Redkach, who now fights out of Los Angeles, climbs into the ring with a mark of 20-3-1 along with 16 Kos. He’s a relentless puncher who likes to go to the body, but has won just two of his last six bouts along with three losses and a draw. His best wins have come against Tony Luis,
Sergey Gulyakevich and Yakubu Amidu. Redkach had an extensive and impressive amateur career, but has struggled as a pro over the past couple of years.
His losses have been by fourth-round TKO to Dejan Zlaticanin in 2015, a 10-round unanimous decision to Tevin Farmer in 2016 and the split decision defeat to Mendez in May. Of this year. His lone draw was a 10-round affair with Luis Cruz in April of 2016. Redkach turned pro back in 2009 and 114 rounds under his belt since then. He’s just over 5-feet-9-inches tall with a reach of 71 inches. He possesses pretty good power with a current knockout ratio of 64 per cent.
The 34-year-old Molina has been out of action for a year since losing to Crawford. His previous fight was perhaps the best of his career when he beat the hard-hitting Ruslan Provodnikov by 12-round unanimous decision. He enters the contest with a record of 29-7 along with 23 Kos and has struggled lately with six losses in his last 12 bouts. He has a slight size advantage as he’s just over 5-feet-10-inches tall and has a 71-inch reach. He’s a tough guy with a lot of experience and has been in several slugfests.
Molina’s best days are behind him now even though he managed to surprise many fans by beating Provodnikov. Molina’s other losses have been against Martin Honorio by unanimous decision in 2009, to WBC lightweight titleholder Antonio DeMarco by first-round TKO in 2012, to Andrey Klimov by majority decision in 2013, to Lucas Matthysse by 11th-round stoppage in 2014, to Humberto Soto by unanimous decision in 2014 and to Adrien Broner by unanimous decision in 2015.
His best wins have been against Provodnikov, Mickey Bey, Hank Lundy, Efren Hinojosa and Frankie Archuleta. Molina turned pro in 2006 and has gone 173 rounds since and his knockout ratio currently stands at 64 per cent. He’s got good power, but unfortunately his chin isn’t as solid as his fists, and that’s what makes him an exciting and fan-friendly fighter. It’s not really in Molina’s nature to utilize his boxing skills as he can easily be drawn into a brawl and that’s why this bout could be a treat for the fans.
Both boxers have power and can be hit without having to be chased around the ring. It’s hard to say what Molina has left in the tank now after being in several gruelling fights. He has tons of heart, but will also need a solid chin to be successful against Redkach. He may want to try and jab and get in and out as soon as possible rather than digging in the trenches and going toe-to-toe, but he’ll eventually have to stand his ground. Molina has plenty of experience against top boxers over the years, but other than beating Provodnikov, he’s fallen short. If Molina’s chin holds up I think he has the power to stop Redkach, but it’s a big if.