Mexican IBF lightweight beltholder Miguel Vazquez could make the sixth defense of his title on Feb. 22 against Russian Denis Shafikov in Macau, according Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, who promotes both fighters.
IBF president Daryl Peoples said Vazquez (33-3, 13 knockouts) had been ordered to face Shafikov (33-0-1, 18 KOs), a 28-year-old who is coming off a seventh-round stoppage victory over Santos Benavides in Texas, which marked his debut in the United States.
Negotiations must be concluded by Dec. 8, according to Peoples. Arum said, “We’re working on it.”
A 26-year-old technical, mobile boxer, Vazquez’s lone defeats came by decisions against Canelo Alvarez (twice, the first being Vazquez’s pro debut in 2006 and the second in 2008), and Tim Bradley in 2007.
Vazquez is coming off a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten prospect Mercito Gesta in December of 2012 for his 12th straight win during a run that includes three stoppages.
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Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org