It's sort of like that "if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, does it make a sound" query: If a fighter engages in a Fight of the Year sort of rumble, but there are no TV cameras beaming it to people sitting on their sofas, does it really matter?
Well, surely it does, for the W and for the pride derived from the effort. But yes, getting on TV, and showing the fans and the dealmakers and breakers what you have to offer is a must for a prospect looking to make the leap to contender and then champion.
"ShoBox" this Friday night features two boxers with New York ties who fit this bill. Ivan Redkach, a 15-0 (13 KOs) lightweight with disturbingly heavy hands, and 14-0-2 junior middleweight Frank Galarza will try to make a splash and get to the next step.
Redkach, promoted by New Yorker Lou DiBella, was born in the Ukraine and lives in Cali. He headlines on Showtime, taking on 17-1 (7 KOs) Canadian Tony Luis on a card unfolding from the Cook Convention Center in Memphis. Underneath, Galarza, who grew up in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and lives in East New York, is in with John Thompson of New Jersey, who boasts a 14-0 mark, with 5 KOs.
Expectations grow for a fighter with obvious KO power, as fans and media push them to gun for a knockout each and every time out. But Redkach said he sees his pop as nothing but good. "I just appreciate it," he said. He's amped to get the TV shot and while he won't predict a KO win, he did say he wants to "please the fans." This year, the 27-year-old is hoping, he said, to get a few wins, and lure either Yuriorkis Gamboa or IBF lightweight champ Miguel Vazquez into the squared circle.
Galarza, yet another one of those kids who definitively points to boxing as a godsend, told me he's psyched to be on his first "ShoBox" but said he won't be awed by the cameras or the opportunity to fight Thompson. "He's I think a somewhat slick boxer, always moving, has a good jab," the 28-year-old told me. "I don't really care about the cameras, I just want the fight." He said a win gets him that much closer to bigger name foes, and he said he won't turn down anyone, at any time. Galarza agreed that the "ShoBox" platform is a nice bonus, and refereed to a fan-friendly rumble he had last year with Alantez Fox, which didn't draw the acclaim it should have because it was off TV. "2014 is going to be a big year, and after I beat this guy, I'll be looking for whoever, I don't care at this point," he said, in closing.