PBC on ESPN Preview: Shafikov vs. Herring, Szymanski vs. Campfort
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night at the Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) series will partner up with ESPN to broadcast the next installment of their series. Kings Promotions will be the lead promoter of the card.
At least two fights are expected to be televised. Denis Shafikov will face off against undefeated prospect Jamel Herring in a ten round lightweight bout in the main event of the night. The co-main event will be between Patrick Szymanski and Wilky Campfort in the junior middleweight division.
The following is a preview of both televised bouts.
Patrick Szymanski (15-0) vs. Wilky Campfort (21-2); Junior Middleweights
On paper, this appears to be an evenly matched fight.
Campfort is thirty one years old and eight years older than his opponent. They are both 5’11 and have similar builds. They both have traveled the globe to fight. Szymanski has fought in places such as Poland, Germany, Puerto Rico, and the United States. Campfort has fought in places such as Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cayman Islands, and the United States.
Szymanski appears to have a slight edge in amateur experience, as he was a former Polish Amateur Elite Boxing Champion.
They are also both about even in power. Szymanski has nine stoppage victories and Campfort has twelve, but Campfort has been in eight more professional fights than Szymanski.
Both boxers have been active the past two years. Szymanski fought three times in 2015 and 2014, while Campfort fought three times in 2015 and four times in 2014.
Szymanski has not faced any significant opposition so far. His best wins have come against Richard Gutierrez, Andrei Abramenka, and Mate Hornyak; and none of them are well known. Campfort has been in the ring with better competition. He has defeated the likes of Ronald Montes, Richard Guiterrez, Molton Nunez, and DeCarlo Perez by split decision.
One of Campfort’s two losses came early on in his career, in his second professional fight. His other loss was the Jermall Charlo in a world title bout.
It’s a hard fight to pick a favorite, and not many have seen enough of Szymanski to get a good gauge of his talent. Campfort is coming off of a knockout loss to Charlo and it can be quite difficult for a boxer to bounce back from that. But Campfort has to be given a slight edge based solely on experience.
Denis Shafikov (36-2-1) vs. Jamel Herring (15-0); Lightweights
The main event will feature a similar story line to the opening televised bout of the night. It will feature a rugged, tested veteran facing off against a relatively untested prospect.
Shafikov’s professional experience is far superior to that of Herring. Shafikov has fought all over the world, including places such as China, Russia, the United Kingdom, Finland, Latvia, Belarus, and the United States. Herring has fought exclusively on US soil as a professional.
Shafikov is thirty one years old, and despite the fact his professional experience far outweighs Herring’s, he is only one year older than his opponent. Shafikov will have a large physical disadvantage in that he will be giving up five inches in height to Herring.
They both has successful amateur careers, but Herring was able to compete in the Olympics for the United States in 2012.
Both boxers are southpaws, and both boxers have been fairly active the past two years. Herring has fought four times in 2014 and 2015, and once in 2016. Shafikov has fought twice in 2015 and three times in 2014.
Shafikov has defeated the likes of Roy Mukhlis, Miguel Mandoza, Alisher Rahimov, Albert Mensah, and Brunet Zamora. His losses were to Miguel Vasquez and Rances Barthelemy in world championship fights. Herring has defeated nobody of note, but his most notable victories have come against Luis Eduardo Florez and Yakubu Amidu.
Shafikov has nineteen stoppage victories while Herring has eight.
Both boxers seem to realize that this is a big fight for them if they want to fight for a world title in the near future.
They stated, “I am just excited about the fight. I have been looking for a big step up to get me in title contention,” said Herring. “I started training before I got the call before the fight. I have been training in D.C. with Mike Stafford, Barry Hunter, Patrice Harris and Levi Smith and I feel after this fight, it will get me up to a championship fight. He is a tough guy. If you train hard and stay ready, you can make the fight a lot easier on yourself.”
“I am looking forward to facing Jamel Herring,” said Shafikov. “He is undefeated and a former Olympian. I have the experience of fighting for a title and I know with a win, it will get me another opportunity.”
Even though Herring doesn’t have the professional experience of Shafikov, his amateur experience should not be discredited and neither should his experience serving as a United States Marine.