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Jose Uzcategui-Vladimir Shishkin added to Frank Martin-Michel Rivera card on Dec. 17

Uzcategui (right) on the attack against Andre Dirrell in their rematch. Photo by Edward Diller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Fighters Network

Two more fights will be added to the December 17 Showtime Championship Boxing card, Premier Boxing Champion (PBC) announced.

Former IBF world super middleweight Jose Uzcategui will face unbeaten Vladimir Shishkin in a 12-round world title elimination bout inside the Chelsea Ballroom at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada. Opening the Showtime telecast (10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT) will be a clash of bantamweights contenders Vincent Astrolabio and Nikolai Potapov in another IBF world title elimination bout.

Both fights will precede the main event bout between unbeaten lightweight contenders Frank Martin and Michel Rivera. 

“I am thrilled to be returning to fight on Showtime on December 17,” said Uzcategui. “I am looking at this fight against Shishkin as my chance. I’m leaving it all in the ring in this fight. It’s all or nothing for me once I step between the ropes.”

Uzcategui (32-4, 27 knockouts), who is originally from Venezuela and now resides in Tijuana, Mexico, lost to Caleb Plant by unanimous decision in February 2019. Uzcategui was attempting to make the first defense of the IBF title after the sanctioning body elevated Uzcategui to full titleholder after James DeGale vacated the title in July 2018. 

Since the loss to Plant, Uzcategui has won four of his last five bouts. In his last bout on May 20, the 31-year-old knocked out Felipe Romero in the second round. 

Shishkin (13-0, 8 KOs), a native of Stepnoe, Russia and now residing in Detroit, Michigan, will take a major step up in opposition against Uzcategui. In his last bout on March 5, Shishkin stopped Jeyson Minda in the sixth round. He is currently ranked No. 10 by The Ring at 168 pounds.

“This is an incredible opportunity for me to get closer to my ultimate dream of becoming a world champion,” said the 31-year-old Shishkin, who is trained by SugarHill Steward. “My opponent is a strong former champion with a proven record and an excellent skill set. However, me and my team are doing everything we can to be 100 percent on December 17. I believe that I’m facing a great opponent, who will allow me to showcase my style of fighting.”

Potapov (23-2-1, 11 KOs) has not fought since June 27 of last year, defeating Oscar Duge by unanimous decision. Potapov, who is originally from Podolsk, Russia and now resides in Brooklyn, New York, has won his last three bouts since losing to Joshua Greer in July 2019.

Astrolabio (17-3, 12 KOs), who resides in General Santos City in the Philippines, notched the biggest win of his career in his last bout on February 26, defeating former world titleholder Guillermo Rigondeaux by unanimous decision. 

The 25-year-old has won his last five bouts since losing by majority decision to ZongLe He in December 2018.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]