Long Islander Jamel Herring takes another step toward a title shot, and gets the honor of headlining on ESPN, against vet Denis Shafikov, a former world title challenger.
Herring walks in the footprints of other Fighting Marines, like Leon Spinks and Ray Mercer, though his fighting style features more sweet science than bruising brawling.
I asked Herring to respond to the honor and also give a scouting report on the foe: “Well, we know he's definitely tough, and durable, even though he tends to get cut open but he never stops coming forward. Everyone mainly agrees that he's tough also but no one mentions anything about his skill or technique. I don't see him outboxing me but I believe this fight will come down to conditioning, and everyone who knows me knows I'm in shape for every fight. He's by far my biggest test but I'm more excited for this fight than anything since it'll place me in position to compete for a world title. It's also an honor to be placed in the main event, especially right before Independence Day, so I hope to thrill the crowd but at the same time I'm going to fight smart.”
Here is a release which went out touting the PBC scrap.
READING, PA. (June 14, 2016) – Unbeaten lightweight contender and 2012 U.S. Olympian Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring (15-0, 8 KOs) will take on former title challenger Denis Shafikov (36-2-1, 19 KOs) in the 10-round main event of Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN & ESPN Deportes Saturday, July 2 from Santander Arena in Reading, Pa.
The Fourth of July weekend action begins at 9 p.m. ET with undefeated Polish prospect Patryk Syzmanski (15-0, 9 KOs) taking on former title challenger “Silky” Wilky Campfort (21-2, 12 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight bout.
“I am just excited about the fight. I have been looking for a big step up to get me in title contention,” said Herring. “I started training before I got the call before the fight. I have been training in D.C. with Mike Stafford, Barry Hunter, Patrice Harris and Levi Smith and I feel after this fight, it will get me up to a championship fight. He is a tough guy. If you train hard and stay ready, you can make the fight a lot easier on yourself.”
“I am looking forward to facing Jamel Herring,” said Shafikov. “He is undefeated and a former Olympian. I have the experience of fighting for a title and I know with a win, it will get me another opportunity.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by King's Promotions, are priced at $20, $35, $55 and $75, and are on sale now via Ticketmaster.
“This should be an outstanding and intriguing bout,” said Marshall Kauffman of King's Promotions. “It's a real test for Herring as Shafikov is a former world title challenger and Herring is looking to get there. We look forward to putting on a great show on ESPN.”
The 30-year-old Herring represented the United States at the 2012 Olympic games after winning the U.S. National Amateur title the same year. Fighting out of Cincinnati but originally from Coram, New York, Herring picked up four victories in 2015 including a dominant triumph over Yakubu Amidu in October. A former member of the U.S. Marine Corps, Herring started 2016 with a dominant victory over Luis Eduardo Flores in February.
Having fought in eight countries throughout his pro career, the 31-year-old Shafikovbrings a full career of experiences with him into this matchup on July 2. Born in Miass, Russia, he won three fights in a row over Rustam Nugaev, Miguel Mendoza and Roy Mukhlis before dropping a world title fight against Rances Barthelemy.
Undefeated at just 23-years-old, Szymanski will look to build on his perfect resume on July 2. The Konin, Poland-born fighter picked up three victories in 2015 with a second round TKO over Yoryi Estrella, a first-round stoppage over Maurice Louishomme and a decision victory over Richard Gutierrez.
Born in Haiti but fighting out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Campfort has only lost once since his second pro fight in 2009 when he was defeated by Jermall Charlo in November 2015. The 31-year-old has fought professionally in the U.S., Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic and his native Haiti. He's won six fights since the beginning of 2014 including stoppages of Milton Nunez, Devon Moncrieffe and Ronald Montes.