Lightweight contender Denis Shafikov of Russia signed a deal with Las Vegas-based promotional giant Top Rank Boxing, RingTV.com learned on Wednesday.
Shafikov will make his Top Rank and American debut on the Aug. 17 card headlined by Juan Diaz-Adailton de Jesus, which takes place in Laredo, Tex.
The card will be televised by UniMas on Solo Boxeo, but no word yet whether or not Shafikov’s fight will make air. Along with the Diaz bout, Olympian Jose Ramirez fights
Shafikov (32-0-1, 17 KOs) last fought in March, dominating Ali Rahimov before a couple of deliberate punches below the belt got Rahimov disqualified in the 11th round.
It was the Russian’s 135-pound debut after campaigning mostly at junior welterweight prior to the victory over Rahimov. He holds wins over Albert Mensah, Brunet Zamora, and Lee McAllister among others.
Shafikov is in his 10th year as a professional but is only 28 years old. With Top Rank’s current stable at 135 and 140 pounds pretty deep, Shafikov could find himself in a meaningful bout sooner rather than later.
Shafikov is ranked #8 by THE RING at 140 pounds, and there is no word as to which weight class he will campaign in after signing with Top Rank.
Mark E. Ortega is a contributing writer to RingTV.com and has been featured in esteemed boxing publications RING Magazine and Boxing Monthly. He is a member of the Boxing Writers Assoc. of America and can be reached via e-mail and followed on Twitter.