Rances Barthelemy vs Denis Shafikov Preview December 18th
Unbeaten Rances Barthelemy of Cuba will be taking on Denis Shafikov of Russia this Friday, December 18th for the vacant IBF World Lightweight Championship. The 12-round bout will be taking place at the Pearl, at Palms Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada and can be seen live in North America on the Spike television network. This is another Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) broadcast and while it may not feature the biggest names in the lightweight division it has the potential to be an exciting and competitive matchup. Both boxers will be facing their toughest opponent to date.
Barthelemy vs Shafikov Betting Odds
Here are the winner odds from online sportsbook 5dimes.eu
- Denis Shafikov +185
- Rances Barthelemy -225
The 29-year-old Barthelemy will climb through the ring ropes with a perfect record of 23-0 along with 13 Kos while the 30-year-old Shafikov has an impressive mark of 36-1-1 with 19 Kos to his name. Barthelemy has yet to taste defeat as a pro and beat Antonio DeMarco by a unanimous decision in his last outing back in June. He also managed to drop his opponent in the fourth round. The Cuban has a huge height advantage as he stands 5-foot-11-inches tall and Shafikov is just 5-foot-5. His reach advantage is also quite noticeable as Barthelemy’s wingspan is 73 inches and Shafikov has a 68.5-inch reach.
Shafikov, who is trained by Abel Sanchez, is a southpaw who turned pro back in 2003 and has 232 rounds under his belt since then. He needs to get on the inside and put pressure on his opponents due to his short size and reach. However, that’s going to be a lot easier said than done due to Barthelemy’s size advantage. The Cuban should be able to catch Shafikov from the outside and when he’s moving forward. If Barthelemy is successful in this contest it will be his second world title as he is a former IBF Super Featherweight Champion who won the crown with a unanimous decision against Algenis Mendez in July of 2014.
Barthelemy then defended the title with a wide unanimous decision over Fernando David Saucedo before moving up in weight. Since campaigning in the lightweight division he’s beaten Angino Perez by a second-round TKO in March and then outpointed DeMarco over 10 rounds. Shafikov enters the fight with three straight wins behind him including a ninth-round stoppage over Rustam Nugaev in August of last year and an eight-round unanimous decision against Miguel Angel Mendoza four months later as well as a third-round stoppage over Roy Mukhlis this July. Shafikov’s lone loss came at the hands of Miguel Vasquez in February of 2014 when he lost a 12-round unanimous decision in a clash for the IBF lightweight title.
It would appear that Barthelemy will try to establish his jab right from the start and that will make it difficult for Shafikov to get close to him. However, if he can get in range by evading the jab, the Russian will need to punish Barthelemy’s and try to wear him down as much as possible. When it comes to power, neither of them really have big one-punch knockout power as Barthelemy’s current knockout ratio is 54 per cent while Shafikov’s is 50 per cent. Barthelemy has fought 111 rounds since turning pro in 2009, so has the disadvantage when it comes to pro experience.
Shafikov is a skilled and rugged customer, but it’s going to be hard for him to overcome the height and reach disadvantages he has. Look for Barthelemy to outbox him from a distance and take the vacant title by a relatively comfortable decision.
The size advantage should see Barthelemy take the title.
Play: Barthelemy -225 @ 5dimes.eu
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