Robert Easter in tough-looking defense versus Denis Shafikov
Unbeaten lightweight world champion Robert Easter (19-0, 14 KOs) will defend his title in his hometown when he takes on mandatory challenger Denis Shafikov (38-2-1, 20 KOs) in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on Bounce live from the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio on Friday, June 30.
Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will be headlined by the hometown star Easter, who last defended his title in the same venue and on Bounce by knocking down Luis Cruz three times on his way to a unanimous decision.
“I am always happy to fight at home, but I think the excitement in Toledo will be even bigger this time and I can’t wait,” said Easter. “I also have a baby on the way and the due date is June 5, so I will be able to fight knowing my son is here and I am extra pumped because of that. I know that I have a tough opponent, but I am not afraid of any fighter. This is what boxing is about. Shafikov is coming to take my belt, but I know that I will be victorious once again.”
“I’m looking forward to this fight on June 30,” said Shafikov. “I know that I have a very tough opponent in front of me. I have been waiting for this opportunity to get this belt and I plan on doing everything in my power to make it happen.”
“This is going to be Robert’s biggest challenge yet,” said Ravone Littlejohn, CEO of About Billions Promotions. “Shafikov is a tough fighter and this is exactly the type of fight Robert needs as he steps up to the next level of championship boxing. This fight is going to prepare him for his future and we’re excited to be back in Toledo for it.”
“This bout has Fight of the Year written all over it,” said Leon Margules, President of Warriors Boxing. “Both fighters gained their position by beating the same fighter, Richard Commey, by identical split decisions. That, plus the enthusiasm of Robert Easter’s hometown fans, will make June 30 a night to remember.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by About Billions Promotions in association with Warriors Boxing, are priced at $225 $125, $100, $75, $55 and $35, and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, or by calling 1-800-745-3000.
An accomplished amateur who was a 2012 U.S. Olympic alternate, the 26-year-old Easter picked up five-straight victories dating back to the beginning of 2015 before earning his world title opportunity against Richard Commey in September 2016. Easter was successful in holding off the unbeaten Commey as he was able to earn a split-decision victory in a memorable fight. Now, Easter will step into the ring as the fighting pride of his hometown for the second time, looking to dispatch arguably his toughest opponent to date.
A 31-year-old brawler from Russia, Shafikov brings an exciting style to the ring as he prepares to capitalize on his third world title opportunity. A pro since 2003, Shafikov was unbeaten in his first 34 pro contests and has challenged Rances Barthelemy and Miguel Vazquez in his previous title fights that both went to decisions. Shafikov impressed in his two outings last year, first earning a stoppage victory over then unbeaten Jamel Herring in July before earning this title fight by beating Richard Commey in December.