Abel Sanchez Has 'A Monster' in Denis Shafikov

By Steve Kim

Trainer Abel Sanchez has been working with lightweight contender Denis Shafikov for the better part of the last five months and he's more than pleased by what he's seen as they prepare to go to China for their July 18th fight.

"It's been a real pleasure because I finally got a guy in the gym that wants to work as hard as Gennady (Golovkin)," said Sanchez via cell-phone from his gym, 'the Summit' on Monday. The Russian southpaw helped Jose Zepeda get ready for his shot at the vacant WBO lightweight crown versus Terry Flanagan.

"Zepeda called him a 'beast', called him a 'monster' in the gym," said Sanchez, who is also working with light heavyweight Nadjib Mohemmedi who takes on Sergey Kovalev on July 25th at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas as the main event on HBO. But first he has to make a trip to Asia.

"We were happy with the fact we were going to Macau, I wish it would've been for a title but unfortunately Mikey Bey vacated (the IBF135-pound title) so now we're going to fight a ten-rounder and then some time in September for the vacant title."

Shafikov (35-1-1, 19 KO's) is now slated to face Indonesian Roy Mukhlis (27-4-3, 21 KO's).

Steve Kim is the news editor for

Tags: Denis Shafikov image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by HEND on 07-07-2015

Shafikov is nothing extra, imo not even on second rate Eastern-Euros level like Provodnikov or Gradovich. Just look at the Vazquez vs Shafikov fight. Okay, it's hard to look good against a spoiler like Vazquez but Vazquez made him look…

Comment by richardt on 07-07-2015

This guy is like a buzzsaw. He looked great on Friday Night Fights last year.

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