By Alexey Sukachev
Fresh off his recent two-round destruction of Thai Decho Bankluaygym, junior welterweight contender Denis Shafikov (18-0, 10 KOs) is ready for more. Shafikov, promoted by Finnish P3 Boxing promotional group, will take part in a local tournament, which is scheduled to take place on April 18 in Helsinki, capital of Finland. Shafikov is slated to collide with the reigning Mexican champion Juan Carlos Rodriguez (57-22-2, 41 KOs), who has sound names of former world champions Jose Luis Lopez and Livingston Bramble on his rich resume.
“We have tried to reach for several of European most accomplished fighters in our weight class,” said Denis’ manager Oleg Bogdanov, “Unfortunately, current EBU titlist Gianluca Branco seems to be leaning to Junior Witter as his next opponent. And EBU-EU champion and Branco’s compatriot Giuseppe Lauri (47-6, 28 KOs) has been chosen to collide with the local prospect Juho Tolppola (22-5-1, 9 KOs) on the same card as Denis by our Finnish partners. However, Rodriguez is good for Shafikov on this stage of his career. He is a huge skilled junior welterweight, or even welterweight, who will ask some really nasty questions, Denis should be able to answer on. Our plan is to gain more and more experience with each fight and to compete as often as we can.”