Written By Bakari Simpson: Turns out Robert Easter Jr. nicknamed “E-Bunny” (19-0, 14 KO’s) is supplying his hometown fans a quick, and meaningful, turnaround bout. Easter, the IBF lightweight champion, will face the dangerous challenge of Denis “Djingis Khan” Shafikov (38-2-1, 20 KO’s) on June 30th. The combustible prize fight will be fought in the Huntington Center although the television station has yet to be announced.
Rated #4 by the Ring Magazine and #1 by both the IBF and WBC, Shafikov is no one’s easy out. After a sparse, but successful, 2016 Denis is aiming to extend his current win streak to three. In July of last year, the pugnacious Russian scored a buzzer beating 10th round TKO of rising talent Jamel Herring. Herring is also a PBC stablemate of Easter. Five months later, Denis burned the second loss into hard punching Richard Commey’s professional ledger.
Commey represents Easter’s and Shafikov’s only common opponent. They both claimed ‘split decision victories over Commey, although Easter picked up the vacant IBF strap in the process.
Prior to the Commey and Herring matches Shafikov suffered his latest loss at the hands of the versatile Rances Barthelemy. Djingis Khan was performing marvelously up until he suffered a long, nasty cut on the lid of eye. After the gash opened Shafikov’s effectiveness tapered off with haste. Enjoying an ostentatious height and reach advantage Rances was able to fend off Shafikov with jabs and movement. On June 30th Robert, who will share these same physical advantages, will look to recreate Barthlemey’s late fight success.
As for IBF lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr., he is riding high on life and enjoying his position to the full. Managed by the sage Al Haymon and promote by About Billions, Easter will continue 2017 in the same red-hot fashion he concluded 2016. After capturing the belt in his final bout of the year, against the aforementioned Richard Commey, Bunny battled Luis Cruz. The fistic ruckus that the two waged delighted the crowd for 12 straight rounds. At the conclusion of the two-man war Bunny walked away with the unanimous decision.
The Cruz battle was the first time in his professional career that Easter had fought in Toledo. I guess it was good to him because he is coming right back!
Given the styles and temperaments of the two boxers, there is little doubt that this match will end in thrilling, expertly crafted violence. Congrats, to both pugilists for remaining neck-deep in stern competition fight after fight. June 30th just can’t get here fast enough…
Stay tuned for further card and television updates.
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