Headlining the card will be devastating Ukrainian lightweight Ivan "The Terrible" Redkach (15-0, 13 KO’s), who takes on once-beaten Tony Luis (17-1, 7 KO’s) in the 10-round main event. In the co-features, unbeaten junior middleweights John Thompson (14-0, 5 KO’s) and Frank Galarza (11-0-2, 7 KO’s) collide in an eight-round matchup and fast-rising and highly regarded up-and-coming prospect Antoine Douglas (11-0, 7 KO’s) squares off against Marquis Davis (8-0-2, 5 KO’s) in an eight-round middleweight showdown. Opening the telecast will be hard-hitting Maurice Hooker (12-0-1, 9 KO’s) against an opponent to be announced in an eight-round junior welterweight matchup.
The card is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, in association with GH3 Promotions, Greg Cohen Promotions and Prize Fight Boxing, and will take place at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, TN. The SHOWTIME telecast will air live at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
"This is a tremendous way to kick off the 2014 ShoBox season. People are going to get the opportunity to see Ivan Redkach, a potential star, along with a number of other undefeated, young fighters, all competing to make a name for themselves. This is what ShoBox is all about," said promoter Lou DiBella.
"We are excited to start the year with a four-fight card full of talented prospects," said Gordon Hall, the executive producer of ShoBox. "This card represents the epitome of ShoBox with each fighter bringing solid amateur pedigree and high hopes of turning from prospects to contenders. Redkach, in particular, holds a lot of promise and he is in for his toughest test to date. He has a fan-friendly style and knockout power. But he can’t underestimate Luis who had over 100 amateur bouts and is a skilled boxer who throws a lot of punches. This should be an all-action affair."
Redkach amassed an impressive 260-40 record as an amateur, which culminated in him being a 2008 Olympic Team alternate for his native Ukraine. Redkach turned pro in November 2009 and has been impressive ever since with his relentless seek-and-destroy style and devastating power. Twelve of Redkach’s 13 knockouts have come in three rounds or less, with six coming in the first round.
After witnessing one of his bouts in 2012, a first-round stoppage, esteemed reporter Doug Fischer, of Ringtv.com, stated, "Ivan Redkach is a stud; best lightweight prospect with less than 20 bouts. I think he can beat most prospects with 20-plus bouts."
After his one-round destruction of Tebor Brosch at Roseland Ballroom on Oct. 24, the highly regarded Michael Woods, who writes for TheSweetScience.com and ESPN.com, proclaimed, "This kid scared me. He put bad thoughts into my head."
The WBC No. 13-rated Redkach, who was included on ESPN’s Dan Rafael’s 2012 "Prospects to Watch" list, is expected to make the transition from top prospect to legitimate world contender in 2014, but he must first get by his toughest opponent to date in fellow prospect Luis, in what will be Redkach’s first scheduled 10-rounder of his career.
Luis was a seven-time provincial champion in his native Canada as an amateur and was also a three-time National Silver medalist before turning pro in 2008. Luis has put together two consecutive victories since suffering the lone blemish on his record, an eight-round upset stoppage loss to Jose Hernandez. Luis knows that a win over the world-rated Redkach on national TV will not only erase the loss to Hernandez but also throw his name directly into the mix of the 135-pound division.
Each time that Thompson has stepped up as a pro, he has looked better and better. In 2012, he scored a second-round TKO in his toughest fight to date against the then-4-1 Jamond Bourgeois. In his first fight of 2013, he stopped the 5-1 Grayson Blake in the fifth round of their scheduled six-rounder. Thompson followed up that performance with a dominant eight-round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Giovany Rodriguez (8-0), which aired on ShoBox. In September, he won a shutout eight-round unanimous decision over the 10-1-1 Brandon Quarels and in his fourth fight of 2013, he scored a third-round TKO over Johnathan Batista. The bout against the undefeated Galarza will be another chance for Thompson to showcase his talents on SHOWTIME and begin moving into even more lucrative fights in the junior middleweight division.
The tall, hard-hitting Puerto Rican Galarza is a boxer-puncher who has power in both hands. The former New York Golden Gloves champion turned pro in 2010 and has gradually progressed along the way. Galarza is coming off his most impressive victory, a sensational fourth-round TKO over previously undefeated Rich Neves (6-0-1) to win the New York State junior middleweight title. A win over Thompson would propel Galarza right into the spotlight as one of the true up-and-coming prospects in the 154-pound division.
A stellar amateur with over 120 bouts, including an appearance at the 2011 World Cup in Russia, the 21-year-old undefeated prospect Douglas is on the fast track to superstardom. Having already gained national exposure appearing on ESPN’s "Friday Night Fights", the bout on Jan. 17 will be Douglas’ twelfth in 15 months since turning pro in October 2012. Douglas has looked more and more impressive with each outing, and appears to be one of the hottest prospects at his age in boxing. In Douglas’ last bout, he absolutely dominated previously undefeated Colby Courter (4-0, 4 KO’s) scoring a devastating third-round TKO.
In Davis, Douglas will be facing his toughest opponent to date and it will be a true litmus test to see just how good at this stage of his career Douglas is. A first cousin of former New York Mets legend, Doc Gooden, Davis is the bigger and likely the stronger of the two. The bout on Jan. 17 will be the first scheduled eight-rounder for both middleweights.
A Dallas Regional Golden Gloves champion with an 85-7 record as an amateur, Hooker went a perfect 5-0 in 2013 and is looking to carry that momentum into a breakout year in 2014. Hooker is serving as one of the lead sparring partners for current IBF super featherweight champion Argenis Mendez for his upcoming title defense. An opponent for Hooker in his eight-round light welterweight bout will be announced shortly.
Barry Tompkins will call the ShoBox action from ringside with boxing historian Steve Farhood and former World Champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
About ShoBox: The New Generation Since its inception in July 2001, the critically acclaimed SHOWTIME boxing series, ShoBox: The New Generation has featured young talent matched tough. The ShoBox philosophy is to televise exciting, crowd-pleasing and competitive matches while providing a proving ground for willing prospects determined to fight for a world title. The growing list of fighters who have appeared on ShoBox and advanced to garner world titles includes: Andre Berto, Leonard Dorin, Scott Harrison, Juan Diaz, Jeff Lacy, Ricky Hatton, Joan Guzman, Juan Urango, David Diaz, Robert Guerrero, Kelly Pavlik, Paul Malignaggi, Kendall Holt, Timothy Bradley, Bernard Dunne, Yonnhy Perez, Yuri Foreman, Andre Ward, Cornelius Bundrage, Austin Trout, Rico Ramos and, most recently, Shawn Porter. Follow us @SHOSports or visit us at www.facebook.com/SHOboxing