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Shafikov-Lauri on 6/10; Khurtsidze-Miranda on 6/11; More

By Alexey Sukachev

It looks like everything is set for a fight between Russian southpaw stylist Denis “Genghis Khan” Shafikov (26-0-1, 15 KOs) and Italian veteran Guiseppe Lauri (51-7, 31 KOs) to land in Italy on June 10. Varese, near Milano, seems to be the most possible place of the contest, which will be sanctioned for a vacant European light welterweight title. The belt was vacated by Paul McCloskey before his unsuccessful challenge to WBA champion Amir Khan last month.

“The fight is all but set. Contracts are here. Actually, it has been postponed twice but we were prepared to this, and now [we] are finally eager to take our chance and to win this big”, commented Shafikov’s manager Oleg Bogdanov in a short talk with this reporter. “Denis is presently in Moscow, taking part in sparring sessions with Alexander Bakhtin, Roman Seliverstov and some other Russian fighters. He is fully prepared, and my perception is that he develops rapidly under a guidance of such a renowned coach as Alexander Zimin. We are ready to deliver an A-game on June 10. And we won’t let the fight to be postponed for a third time”.

Shafikov was held to a much controversial draw in his penultimate fight against Italy-based WBA #2 Cuban Brunet Zamora in October, which was his first career blemish. Lauri’s biggest victory came eleven and a half years ago against another well-known ex-Soviet fighter Andrey Sinepupov (38-5-1). The last year he lost his EBU bid with a crushing kayo to McCloskey in Belfast.

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Meanwhile, Sinepupov is currently a head coach for Kiev-based Elite Boxing Promotion. This Ukrainian stable will put forward another interesting show on June 11 at Sport Palace in its hometown, which is also Ukraine’s capital.

In the main event of the show, IBO middleweight champion Avtandil “Tornado” Khurtsidze (24-2-2, 14 KOs) will conduct the first defense of his belt against hard-hitting Colombian Dionisio Miranda (21-6-2, 18 KOs). WBA #1 160lber acquired his belt with a unanimous decision over tough Pole Mariusz Cendrowski in March. This stocky slugger is best known for a hotly disputed loss to France-based Cameroonian Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam for the WBA interim belt in October. WBC #6 and IBF #11 Miranda is just 3-4 in his last seven fights, which hasn’t prevented him from getting some high international ranks despite crushing losses to Renan St. Juste, Roman Karmazin and Giovanni Lorenzo. The Colombian fighter is ranked thanks to his upset split calls over fringe contenders and former Arthur Abraham’s victims Sebastian Demers and Lajuan Simon in his ultimate bout.

In another possible fight, lightweight Rustam Memetov (6-2, 1 KOs) will try to get a vacant national title against WBA #11 Valentyn Kuts (22-2, 8 KOs). The contest isn’t set yet. Cruiserweight prospect Dmytro Kucher (11-0, 9 KOs) and light welterweight Victor Postol (13-0, 8 KOs) are other participants of the show alongside several local talents.

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A slight change can be in for the big May 21 “Battle of Two Empires” fight card in Krylatskoye, Moscow, Russia. Russian super bantamweight champion Andrey Bogdanov (12-1-1, 4 KOs) can take on Ruslan Berchuk (4-2, 1 KO) instead of Moldovan veteran Ghennadie Delisandru (18-15-1, 6 KOs). Roy Jones (54-7, 41 KOs) fights Denis Lebedev (21-1, 16 KOs) in the main event.

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A vacant Russian middleweight belt will be at stake on May 27 in Kemerovo, Russia. Kirill Pchelinkov of GT&KP Boxing Promotions, brings on an interesting boxing affair between little-tested 21-year old Maks Limonov (15-0, 8 KOs) and tough-as-nails brawler Karen Avetisyan (3-2-1, 1 KO).

WBO European beltholder and WBO #15 Vyacheslav Gusev (18-2, 5 KOs) takes on Shavkhat Madaminov (9-4, 3 KOs) in an eight-round featherweight clash, WBC #10 light heavyweight Roman SImakov (16-1-1, 8 KOs) and lightweight prospect Fedor Papazov (6-0, 4 KOs) will also be parts of the show in two separate bouts.

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On May 27, highly regarded former world title challenger Lukas Konecny (46-3, 22 KOs), who is now ranked WBO #2, IBF #3 and WBC #6, battles Husseyn Bayram (34-3, 19 KOs) in an important collision for his EBU light middleweight crown and for a vacant WBO I/C belt. Ulf Steinforth of SES Boxing promotes the entire event, which will be held in Usti-nad-Labem in Czech Republik.

Two more female fights have been recently added to the show. Athletic champion Christina Hammer (9-0, 7 KOs) will defend her WBO and WBF titles against previously unbeaten Swede Maria Lindberg (5-0-2, 1 KO). And local favorite Arleta Krausova (4-1, 1 KO), who is coming off a spirited loss to super featherweight multi champion Ramona Kuehne in her latest fight, will take part in an eight-rounder.

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