The PBC on FS1 card for June 1 that was in the works about a week ago is coming together and has a location. Lance Pugmire says that the show, headlined by a welterweight fight between Devon Alexander and Ivan Redkach, is headed to Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, California.
The co-feature will be a middleweight fight between Hugo Centeno Jr and Willie Monroe Jr, and unbeaten heavyweight Onoriode Ehwarieme will face Rodney Hernandez.
Alexander (27-5-1, 14 KO) is a former titleholder at 140 and 147, but has had a tough run over the last five-and-a-half years. He lost his IBF welterweight title in Dec. 2013 to Shawn Porter, and after a bounce-back win over veteran brawler Jesus Soto Karass, he dropped back-to-back fights to Amir Khan and Aron Martinez.
The loss to Khan was one thing, but the loss to Martinez, meant to be another bounce-back sort of fight, was another. Alexander later revealed he had dealt with a serious painkiller addiction:
“About the Maidana fight (in 2012), I became addicted — actually, it was after surgery. ... (It went on for) a good two years. The last two years just got worse. My reflexes, everything was just dead. I wasn’t myself. You can see that in my performances. You can see it. The Shawn Porter fight, you can see that it was kinda taking over. Definitely in the Khan and the Martinez fight, it definitely took over. I was just not myself. It had taken over my life, taken over everything.”
Alexander got healthy and came back in Dec. 2017 after two years out of the ring, beating veteran Walter Castillo. In 2018, he had a couple of really bad breaks — he fought to a draw with Victor Ortiz in a fight almost everyone felt Alexander deserved to win, and then lost a very debatable split decision to Andre Berto. Bad Left Hook scored both fights for Alexander, for what it’s worth.
At 32, Alexander now looks to get back in the win column against Redkach (22-4-1, 17 KO), a 33-year-old Ukrainian once thought of as a real lightweight prospect, who has instead settled in as one of the sport’s more reliable action fighters.
Redkach’s bubble was burst via fourth round TKO against Dejan Zlaticanin in 2013, and he has gone 4-3-1 since then, losing to Tevin Farmer, Argenis Mendez, and John Molina Jr in a shootout that ended via fourth round knockout, with both fighters hitting the canvas. He also drew with Luis Cruz in 2016.
He’s won his last two, beating Brian Jones and Tyrone Harris in Los Angeles, and he can always be expected to bring the fight.
Hugo Centeno Jr (27-2, 14 KO) was also once considered a prospect, but a 10th round stoppage against Maciej Suleck in 2016 took his unbeaten record, and a second round knockout loss to Jermall Charlo came in 2018. Between those fights, he did score a beautifully brual knockout win over Immanuwel Aleem in Aug. 2017.
The 28-year-old Centeno now faces Willie Monroe Jr (23-3, 6 KO), a two-time world title challenger who was mowed down by Gennady Golovkin in 2015 and also lost to Billy Joe Saunders in a miserable fight in 2017. Monroe, 32, has won his last two against Carlos Galvan and Javier Maciel.
Nigerian heavyweight Onoriode Ehwarieme (17-0, 16 KO) is a 6’7”, 31-year-old puncher. He’s got a lean build, coming in barely scraping past the cruiserweight limit in his early fights, and at under 215 for his last outing. He did bulk up some in 2016-17, when he fought exclusively in Argentina, weighing between 223 and 228 for four fights, then 239 for his last fight there in May 2017.
He hasn’t fought since April 29 of last year, returning to Lagos for an easy win over a guy who came in 0-2, so really Ehwarieme hasn’t had anything close to a serious fight in about two years.
His opponent will be 30-year-old California prospect checker Rodney Hernandez (12-7-2, 3 KO). The 6’3” fighter has been in the ring with Michael Hunter, Adam Kownacki, Sergey Kuzmin, and Efe Ajagba, and went the distance with all except Ajagba, whom he pushed into the fifth round, Ajagba having otherwise never gone past two in any of his other pro fights. Hernandez has also lost to Zhilei Zhang and Razvan Cojanu. Ajagba remains the only fighter to ever stop him.
The card will be going head-to-head with a DAZN card topped by Anthony Joshua’s U.S. debut at Madison Square Garden, which means it will probably fly way under the radar for most.