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.
Here is what the fighters had to say Wednesday from world famous Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn:
“Everything in training camp has been very smooth. Sparring, the diet and running, it’s all gone perfectly. We’re on weight and ready to put on a great performance Saturday.
“As a veteran, you learn during every fight that you have. I’ve been the underdog and won, I’ve been the top dog and won, and I’ve been in the biggest magnitude of fights. You have to fight every fight like it’s your last, because it could be. You never know what’s going to happen. You have to be 100% physically and mentally.
“This is a very important fight for me and my future. My future starts on Saturday night. I’ve already been in a lot of big fights in my career, so it’s nothing new to me. I know Redkach is hungry, but I know what it takes to win on this level and I’m hungry.
“I feel like I have unfinished business here in Brooklyn. This is my house and I plan on making a statement in front of my fans on Saturday.
“I’ve been boxing for 21 years. All of the big fights and all of the pressure, sometimes you get tired of it. Sometimes it takes something happening to wake you back up. I’ve fallen in love with the sport of boxing again. Sometimes you forget what made you love the sport in the first place. Fighting is what makes me happy though.
“My last camp before the Adrian Granados fight, I felt really good. I was happy again in this training camp. At this point in my career, I’ve been through it all already. I have to count my blessings and give my fans a great fight.
“My mind was set on a southpaw so after we couldn’t have the Errol Spence Jr. fight, I wanted the next tough southpaw. We’re not looking past Redkach at all, but we wanted the southpaw work for that fight or a Pacquiao fight. We’ll be all ready when those fights come up.”
“The biggest weakness I see in Danny is that he’s not taking this seriously. He’s counting on this as a tune-up fight, and that’s a big mistake. This is not going to be a tune-up fight for him.
“Like a lot of fighters, I’m usually in training camp focusing on cutting weight. Fighting at welterweight, I don’t have to do that. I feel strong and I’m going to put on a strong performance.
“Danny is already looking ahead to a fight with Errol Spence Jr. or Manny Pacquiao, but before he gets to them, he picked me. I know it’s because I’m a southpaw. But he’s going to get a rude wake up on fight night.
“This win will change my life and I’ve already worked my whole life to get to this moment. I want to win this fight and then the biggest fights at welterweight will be open to me. Right now I’m only focused on my fight Saturday night.
“I’m going to knock him out. That’s how I see this fight going. We’re going to leave it all in the ring and I’m going to come out victorious.”
“I’m so focused on taking care of Francisco Santana. I can’t look past him. He’s a guy who comes forward. This is a fight where I want to see how things work out with my new trainer Kay Koroma, but Santana comes to fight just like Jeison Rosario did. I have to be on my toes.
“People say this is the new Jarrett, but I feel like it’s the old me and I’m just getting back to it. I used my defense and my height against Frank Galarza and other earlier fights. But when I was training for Erislandy Lara, I was developing this pressure style and we didn’t have enough of the fundamentals set behind it.
“I look back at my fights and it kind of scares me all the hits I was taking. I had back to back Fight of the Year battles. Those were back and forth fights. I don’t want those each and every year. I want to win in one-sided fashion.
“I was close to becoming undisputed champion at 154-pounds and that’s still a goal of mine. I want to accomplish that feat in this division before we move up. I know I had a bad night against Julian Williams, but it was just a small hiccup. I’m coming back for my number one spot.
“I’m not worried about the Julian Williams fight last weekend. I have to focus on January 25 or the same thing can happen to me. It just wasn’t his night that night. But he’s bounced back before and I’d count on him bouncing back again.
“There’s not too much of a difference for my training, other than being away from home. We’ve worked a lot on fundamentals with my new trainer. It’s not that we didn’t have them before, but we’ve focused on them much more. It’s not all about heart and will in a fight. Sometimes you have to get back to the basics.”
“I always rise to the occasion before any training camp and we’ve had a great camp because we know what we’re up against. I’m about as big of an underdog for this one as I was before I beat Felix Diaz, so I have that same mentality. It’s not my first rodeo.
“You can never count out the underdog. You saw what happened last week in the Julian Williams vs. Jeison Rosario fight. I have the utmost respect for Julian, but if you have two good hands, anything is possible.
“When the opportunity presented itself to fight someone like Jarrett Hurd, I couldn’t turn it down. I’ve faced a lot of elite fighters, but I know they chose me for a reason. But I also picked him for a reason. I’m trying to display a side that no one has ever seen from me before.
“I think Julian Williams was just the better man when he got in there against Hurd. I’ve seen some stuff on film about Hurd that I can take advantage of, but he also has a lot of strengths. You’ll just have to tune-in on Saturday.
“I’m fighting the biggest 154-pounder out there, but we prepared with intense sparring. That’s the key because it’s the closest thing to a fight. I sparred with tall fighters and big guys who could push me around. I needed to get comfortable with that.”
“A win on Saturday means everything to me. This is another undefeated fighter that I’m going up against. This is going to be the start of my stardom and this is going to boost my level all the way up.
“I’m going to end his winning streak on Saturday. I’m going to get the win for Philadelphia on Saturday. You’re going to see a little bit of everything Saturday. I’m going to put on a show and perform.
“People think they can pressure me and take me out of the fight. But I’m a mentally strong fighter first. I know that my opponent will bring a lot of aggression, but that alone will not beat me. He needs to show more if he wants to beat me.
“I’m knocking on everyone’s door. The whole super bantamweight division can come out and play. I’m putting them all in time out.
“This is the first time I really brought my weight down well ahead of a fight. I feel great and I have a lot of energy left to do everything I need. That aspect of my camp has been great.
“Philadelphia boxing is coming in full effect. I feel like we’re all working together in our own ways to lift each other up. We’re always in the gym and Saturday is another great opportunity to display our talents.”
“I believe that I can land my power shots against Fulton. I can land the punch that will change the fight and I can do it in any moment. We’ll find out if he can stand up to the power on Saturday night.
“Fulton is a good fighter, but so am I. We’re both undefeated and very hungry. I think it should make this a great fight for the fans.
“I might be considered the underdog, but this is boxing. Anything can happen. We’re going to fight. It’s just the two of us in the ring, man vs. man. No one’s opinion matters.
“I trained for the first time in California with Marvin Somodio ahead of this fight. It was a great training camp and I learned a lot. I’ve been following all of his instructions and learned about the strategy it takes to win a 12 round fight.”
“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.