Dan Rafael: Yakubu Amidu

Lightweight Ivan Redkach, tabbed by many as a can’t-miss prospect, is now 28 and coming off a 2014 in which he remained unbeaten, though he only fought twice. He is at that stage of his career when it’s time to step up into meaningful fights and see if he can live up to his great potential.

Now living in Los Angeles, Redkach (17-0, 13 KOs), who was a top amateur in Ukraine, has moved a bit slowly since turning pro in late 2009, but he is aiming to make an impact in 2015.

“This is my year. This is the year I’m going to break out and earn that title shot,” Redkach said.

It will start when he takes on Los Angeles-based Ghana native Yakubu Amidu (21-5-2, 19 KOs), 30, on Friday night in the season debut of “ShoBox: The New Generation” (Showtime, 11 ET/PT) at the Morongo Casino Resort in Cabazon, California.

Also on the prospect-packed tripleheader, Patrick Day (9-0-1, 5 KOs), of Freeport, New York, and Alantez Fox (13-0-1, 4 KOs), of Forestville, Maryland, will meet in an eight-round junior middleweight bout and hot middleweight prospect Ievgen Khytrov (7-0, 7 KOs), a Ukraine native living in Brooklyn, New York, takes on Maurice Louishomme (8-0-1, 4 KOs), of Colorado Springs, Colo., in the eight-round opening bout.

Redkach, an offensive-minded southpaw who loves to attack the body, trained with Robert Garcia for the first time, getting good work at his gym in Oxnard, California.

“I love training with Robert Garcia. The work we get there and his sparring is amazing,” Redkach said. “He has taught me a few of his own tricks. I’m comfortable there. It feels like home. I enjoy everyone that I spar with there and they have become like family to me. It’s the best environment that I’ve trained in. I can’t wait to show how I’ve improved.”

Among the fighters Redkach said he sparred with in preparation for the fight are junior welterweight titlist Jessie Vargas, former lightweight titlist Brandon Rios and lightweight contender Ray Beltran.

Redkach, coming off a seven-month layoff, at one point sparred with Amidu preparing for a different fight and has respect for him. Still, he said he will be trying to knock Amidu out.

“He is a very strong opponent. He punches very hard, but he can’t maneuver,” Redkach said. “He only punches straight and does not have the technique that I have.”

Redkach is hoping a win over Amidu will move him on a path to eventually challenge newly-crowned titlist Jorge Linares.

“I am going to try to knock [Amidu] out so I can get closer to a championship fight in 2015,” he said. “No matter what, we are both very strong fighters and I don’t think it will go 10 rounds.”

Dec. 20 card to air on Showtime Extreme

December, 5, 2014
Interim featherweight titlist Jesus Cuellar (25-1, 19 KOs) facing Ruben Tamayo (25-4-4, 17 KOs) on Dec. 20 on a Goossen Promotions card at Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, Washington, will top a four-fight telecast that will air on Showtime Extreme (9 p.m. ET/PT).

The specific bout lineup for the quadrupleheader, featuring Al Haymon-advised fighters in each fight, was also announced.

In the co-feature, Anthony Peterson (34-1, 22 KOs), the younger brother of junior welterweight titlist Lamont Peterson, will take on Yakubu Amidu (21-5-2, 19 KOs) in the 10-round junior welterweight match.

Junior middleweight prospect Julian Williams (17-0-1, 10 KOs) will face Edgar Ortega (15-2, 10 KOs) in a 10-round bout, and in the 10-round opener, super middleweight Julius Jackson (18-0, 14 KOs) will fight Jonathan Nelson (19-1, 9 KOs).

Among the notable boxers who will appear on the non-televised part of the card, featherweight Gary Russell Jr. (24-1, 14 KOs) will fight for the first time since he was easily beaten by Vasyl Lomachenko in a vacant featherweight world title bout on June 21. Russell will face Christopher Martin (28-4-3, 9 KOs), who has lost two of his past three fights, in a 10-rounder.

Amidu tabbed as Burgos' new foe

July, 15, 2013
Rocky Martinez-Juan Carlos BurgosJoel Colon/PRBBPJuan Carlos Burgos could set up another title shot with a win over new opponent Yakubu Amidu.

After junior lightweight contender Juan Carlos Burgos lost his opponent -- Daulis Prescott, due to a case of kidney stones -- last week, the hunt was on for a new opponent for his July 26 fight (ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes) at Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Sacramento, Calif.

After co-promoters Artie Pelullo of Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing discussed various names with ESPN, the opponent they came to an agreement on was Yakubu Amidu (20-4-1, 18 KOs), who accepted the fight.

Amidu, 28, a native of Ghana based in Los Angeles, has lost two fights in a row, both 10-round decisions at lightweight, to fringe contender Ji-Hoon Kim and Haskell Rhodes.

In 2008, Amidu suffered the only knockout loss of his career, a seventh-round stoppage in Scotland to future lightweight titleholder Ricky Burns.

Burgos (30-1-1, 20 KOs) fought to a disputed draw with 130-pound titleholder Rocky Martinez in January, and a win against Amidu will probably put him in position to challenge for the same belt against the winner of a proposed title fight between Martinez and former featherweight titlist Mikey Garcia.

Other names that were discussed as possible Burgos opponent included Alexei Collado, Marcos Leonardo Jimenez, Hylon Williams, Jr. and Daniel Ruiz.