Vladimir Shishkin faces DeAndre Ware in ShoBox showcase
Super middleweight prospect Vladimir Shishkin is not wasting any time in his goal of becoming a world titleholder. At 28 years of age, he believes he has to win every fight impressively in hopes of fighting for a title in 2020, even if it means a possible fight against one of the best in boxing today.
Shishkin will face DeAndre Ware Friday night at the Central Park Community Center in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. The 10-round bout will headline a three-bout live ‘ShoBox’ telecast (Showtime, 10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT).
At Thursday’s weigh-in, Shishkin (8-0, 5 knockouts) weighed in at 167 pounds. Ware (13-1-2, 8 KOs) weighed 168 pounds.
The Salita Promotions card was originally scheduled to take place outdoors on the city’s Main Street, but because of inclement weather forecast for Friday, the decision was made to move the card indoors.
The fight will pit Shishkin against Ware, who has only lost once as a pro and pulled off an upset in his last bout on Feb. 1 by defeating Ronald Ellis, who entered the fight unbeaten.
In his last bout on Oct. 13, Shishkin stopped former world title challenger Nadjib Mohammedi, who has lost to the likes of WBO light heavyweight titleholder Sergey Kovalev, WBC light heavyweight Oleksandr Gvozdyk, and Fedor Chudinov.
“The fight with Mohammedi opened a lot of doors for me,” Shishkin told The Ring through promoter/ interpreter Dmitriy Salita on Tuesday evening. “It gave me a taste of pro boxing at a different level.”
“I trained at the Kronk Gym (in Detroit) with ‘Sugar’ Hill and his assistant Teautrice Chambers. I had a great time.”
Shishkin will face a fighter in Ware, a 31-year-old who began boxing at the age of 22. Ware, a firefighter who resides in Toledo, Ohio, made his pro debut in December of 2014 at age 26.
Ware suffered the only loss of his career at the hands of unbeaten Cem Kilic by unanimous decision on Sept. 28. Ware pulled off the upset victory over Ellis four months later.
The hard-hitting fighter from Serpukhov, Russia understands Ware has nothing to lose and everything to gain. Shishkin, who has a No. 13 ranking by the WBC, is not overlooking Friday’s opponent, but understands a world title opportunity will take place by beating the likes of Ware.
“Ware (is) a good opponent,” said the former amateur standout, who is promoted by Dmitriy Salita. “This will be a good fight. Since I want to become a world champion, I must beat such opponents clearly or ahead of schedule by knockout. I’ve not been here for long for my first camp, but I’ve gained a lot. Let’s see how must I can show all my newly-learned skills for this fight.”
Shishkin’s amateur pedigree speaks volumes. Even as a pro, he has passed every test thus far as a pro.
Shishkin does want an opportunity to fight for a world title belt, but the idea may be far-fetched with a realistic timetable of late in 2020 or 2021, at the earliest, should he continue winning.
Even a fight against Canelo Alvarez, if and when the Mexican star decides to move up in weight to 168 pounds, is something the unbeaten super middleweight has seriously contemplated over the last several weeks.
Shishkin believes an impressive victory will bring him one step close towards that goal.
“168 (pounds). Everything is possible. This weight (class) is gaining popularity with lost of talented boxers and big names. Maybe next year, I’ll be boxing (against) Canelo Alvarez.”
“My goal is to become world champion at super middleweight then we’ll see what the future holds.”
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and FightNights.com. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing