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Easter vs Shafikov to headline PBC on Bounce

The IBF lightweight title bout is 100% official for June 30.

Easter vs. Rodriguez Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Robert Easter Jr’s reported fight with Denis Shafikov is now fully set, as the Toledo-born titleholder will face the Russian challenger on June 30 in his hometown, with Bounce televising the Premier Boxing Champions card.

Easter (19-0, 14 KO) will be making the second defense of his IBF lightweight title, which he won last September, beating Richard Commey for the vacant belt. He made a successful if mundane defense against overmatched Luis Cruz on February 10 in Toledo, and what was useful about that fight was finding out that Easter can move tickets at the Huntington Center, where he will face Shafikov.

Shafikov (38-2-1, 20 KO) is a familiar name in lightweight title talk, with both of the losses in his career coming in IBF title fights. The first was against Miguel Vazquez in 2014 in Macau, the second to Rances Barthelemy in 2015, when the title was vacant.

The 31-year-old Shafikov beat Jamel Herring last July, then followed that up five months later with a win over Commey in an eliminator, a split decision in Moscow. He is, on paper, the biggest test of Easter’s career, but Easter is also the level of fighter Shafikov has struggled against in his career.

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