Galarza, Redkach march on in Memphis


Frank Galarza wasn't put off by John Thompson's peppy jab and wingspan in round one of their clash in Memphis. To start round two, the Brooklyn-born hitter came out hard and fast, surprising Thompson with a one-two. That buzzed him, and a left hook sent Thompson down for a 10 count in the semifinal on Showtime's "ShoBox" program, which took place at the Cook Convention Center in Tennessee.

The time of the stoppage came at :16 in the second round. You knew Thompson was in deep trouble when he pitched forward, face first. The 28-year-old came in as the underdog, but the loser entered with about 10 times the amateur experience. With just 11 amateur bouts under his belt, Galarza (12-0-2 with 9 KOs) has made up ground working hard in the gym.

Thompson, of New Jersey, slipped to 14-1.

Ivan Redkach, a buzzed-about power hitter, met Tony Luis in the main event.

The Ukraine native, Redkach (15-0 with 13 KOs; living in CA), and the Canadian Luis (17-1 with 7 KOs entering) fought at the lightweight limit, and the two gave fans a spirited scrap with a solid ebb and flow. After 10, the arbiters saw Redkach the winner, via scores of 99-90, 97-92 and 97-93.

Redkach looked to do maximum damage early, landing both hands with zip. A lefty, he fought around 300 times as an amateur, and his experience showed. He was calm while he looked to be hurtful, but he did eat a Luis launch at 1:50 which made him realize Luis was no joke, and maybe could have been ruled a knockdown, as Redkach's glove touched the mat. Luis went down and almost out of the ring, however, at the end of the first.

Luis was a bulldog in the second, always in Ivan's face. The Ukrainian's tendency to swing wide and long didn't do him many favors as Luis crowded him. That took away the stance advantage for the lefty, as both men were squared up for long periods.

In the fourth, Luis touched Redkach, nothing monumental but he was busy. In the sixth, Luis was hurt. He had to hold some, but he then cleared the cobwebs. A clash of heads opened a mean cut on Luis' scalp at 1:50. He then landed a sharp shot on Redkach which had extra mustard on it.

Neither man could pull away as we went to the 10th. Redkach craved a stoppage but couldn't pull it off and we went to the cards.