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Abel Sanchez: Shafikov Has "Extremely Tough" Task With Easter

By Steve Kim

Denis Shafikov gets his third crack at a lightweight title this Friday night at the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio, when he faces IBF lightweight belt-holder Robert Easter.

And after falling short against the likes Miguel Vazquez and Rances Barthelemy, Easter might be Shafikov's most difficult assignment to date.

"It's extremely tough," admitted Abel Sanchez, who trains Shafikov (38-2-1, 20 KO's) in the mountains of Big Bear, California. ''We're well-prepared, we had a great camp, no injuries everything is on plan but Easter is a very good champion, very tall, very rangy, very long, great right hand. So we've got a fight on our hands."

easter-mendez (3)

So has Shafikov grown from those past losses?

"I think he has grown in both of those fights but I also think he grew in the (Richard)Commey fight. In camp he just seemed like a more determined guy that understands this could be his last opportunity. So he understands exactly where he sits in the lightweight division. He's 31 years old so this may be his last chance at it,"said Sanchez.

Like Vazquez and Barthelemy, Easter is a tall and rangy fighter with good reach. It's the type of stature that troubles Shafikov, who is listed at 5'5. The game plan is very simple - pressure and smother Easter.

Sanchez states - "Denis is always going to be the shorter guy with anybody. He's the shorter guy, period. His style is to come forward and throw punches and smother trying to do what he did against (Jamel) Herring, try to do what he did against Commey and hopefully we can wear him down, catch him with a shot and put him out. It's going to be tough coming out with a decision in Toledo. So Denis understands that, we have a very experienced guy that's going into a fight who knows what he's up against."

Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Hatesrats on 06-28-2017

Looking forward to this fight... It's gonna be a hard fight for both.

Comment by richardt on 06-28-2017

[QUOTE=Kigali;17807634]America is still at the top and always will be:bottle: An old eastern european population cannot topple the USA...they don't have the youth...pedigree...and lineage to do so Have another:bottle:[/QUOTE]Where did I say eastern europeans in this post? Fact. America is…

Comment by richardt on 06-28-2017

[QUOTE=Kigali;17807623]Keep dreaming........[/QUOTE]I have $5,000 that says they will win titles. I'm talking real money, not this points crap. Bet? If not, lets bet our accounts. Which bet do you want to take? It is a fact that they fight for…

Comment by Kigali on 06-28-2017

[QUOTE=richardt;17807083]Americans are not superior, they are just the same as other countries otherwise NO FIGHTERS could beat Americans!! Fighters from other countries have HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of wins against Americans and other countries. FACT! There is NO ownership when it…

Comment by Kigali on 06-28-2017

[QUOTE=richardt;17806994]And [B]more Russians will come back, kick some a$$ and take some names. [/B]Sit back and enjoy the ride. They will be around long after you are dead and buried in your grave.[/QUOTE] Keep dreaming........

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