IBF lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr. (19-0, 14 KOs) has reached a deal with mandatory challenger Denis Shafikov (38-2-1, 20 KOs) to defend his title on June 30 at the Huntington Center in his hometown of Toldeo, Ohio. The deal, reported by RingTV, cancels the need for the bout to head to purse bid.
According to father/co-trainer Robert Easter Sr., television rights for the bout are still being worked out while one other source suggests the fight is likely headed to Bounce TV. Easter Sr. also expects his son to sell out the 9,500 seat venue for the second time.
“We’re going to try and sell it out again,” he said in a phone interview. “The reason why is Robert is a very likable person. In Toledo, everyone loves him both young and old. Robert has brought boxing back to Toledo.”
Shafikov earned his mandatory position by beating Richard Commey (who Easter Jr. beat for the vacant title last September) in an IBF eliminator. Easter Sr. says his son will target a lightweight unification bout after getting this mandatory title defense out of the way.