Monday, October 02, 2023  |


Denis Shafikov-Rene Alvarado set for Salido-Roman undercard

Fighters Network

Lightweight contender Denis Shafikov is coming off a loss in his last outing, against Robert Easter, who now holds the IBF’s 135-pound crown.

The Russian-born Cali resident, trained by Abel Sanchez, seeks to get back on the ‘W’ track, and will glove up on Dec. 9, we’ve learned. At Mandalay Bay, underneath a Tevin Farmer clash with Kenichi Ogawa, with the vacant IBF 130-pound title up for grabs. Also on the slate, Francisco Vargas meets Stephen Smith, in another junior lightweight clash. Orlando Salido will try to steal the show against Miguel Roman, in yet another 130-pound faceoff, in the HBO-televised main event.

Shafikov, a 38-3-1 southpaw, will collide with Rene Alvarado, a 27-8 Nicaraguan. The bout will be part of an HBO Latino telecast that will air after the HBO triple header portion of the card.

The card is interesting in that Golden Boy and K2 (Tom Loeffler), and Zanfer and Lou DiBella and Matchroom all have talent on the event; this is a league of nations sort of deal. Alvarado has a bunch of losses, as you can see, on the ledger, but has won three straight after losing a decision to Yuriorkis Gamboa. He isn’t up there in the rankings, but boxing can be a political game, and so he will find himself on the edge of a title crack.

The Shafikov-Alvarado winner could quickly find themselves fighting the winner of the Farmer-Ogawa fight, and whoever holds the belt if that guy next fights Billy Dib (No. 3), who’s been waiting patiently. The IBF has their top two slots, and the throne at 130 open, for the record. Shafikov is rated No. 12 by the IBF.

Shafikov trainer Abel Sanchez weighed in, on his perception of Alvarado and other matters Shafikov.

“Alvarado is tough and experienced, but if I am going to drop him to 130, I need to find out if we belong,” the trainer said.

Yes indeed, Shafikov is looking to see if he can carve off a few pounds and excel even more so at a lighter weight. He debuted as a pro in 2003 as a junior welterweight. So, how has Shafikov responded to the drop down?

“Like a pro,” said Gennady Golovkin’s tutor.

“Yes, at those weights five pounds could be something obvious,” he continued, noting that he wants to make sure the Russian has ample stamina and energy. “And it’s also a safety issue.” But if it works, and his body cooperates with the move, it could be the difference-maker, especially late in fights, when a re-hydrated Shafikov perhaps can exert a bulk and strength edge on a rival. Time tells…


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