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PBC on Fox Sports Preview: Dirrell vs. Douglin on a Friday Edition of Toe to Toe


By: Eric Lunger

Premier Boxing Champions presents a special edition of Toe-to-Toe Tuesdays this Friday on Fox Sports One. Headlining the card from the Dort Federal Event Center in Flint, Michigan, is former 168-pound world champion Anthony Dirrell (30-1-1, 24 KOs), who takes on Denis Douglin (20-5, 13 KOs) in a ten round super middleweight clash. Dirrell, 33, is a Flint native, and Friday night will mark his third appearance in his hometown.


Photo Credit: Anthony Dirrell Twitter Page

Dirrell, six-foot-two with an orthodox stance, is a serious professional who held the WBC super-middleweight belt for two years until relinquishing it in a tough majority decision to Badou Jack in April of 2015. Since then, Dirrell has reeled off three wins, including a ten-round unanimous decision over tough Mexican veteran Marco Antonio Rubio.

Denis Douglin, a five-foot-eight southpaw from Marlboro, NJ, has been in the ring with some elite level competition, including George Groves, Jermell Charlo, and David Benavidez, to whom Douglin lost in his last outing by way of a tenth round TKO.

“Douglin has fought a lot of good fighters and I respect him, but he’s standing in the way of my title shot,” said Dirrell via press release. “This is a chance for me to showcase my skills. I’m going for a stoppage, and I think I’m going to get it in the middle rounds. I want to put on a great performance and give the fans something to see.”

For his part, Douglin is not intimidated by the venue or by his opponent: “I’ve taken a lot of fights on short notice and that’s hurt me in the past, but I’ve had ample time and a great training camp to prepare for this fight,” said Douglin. “I think Dirrell has a problem with guys who aren’t afraid of him and who will actually give him a fight. With my style and determination, I’m going to bring a lot more than he’s expecting.”

On the televised undercard, undefeated welterweight prospect Jamontay “the Quiet Assassin” Clark (12-0, 7 KOs) takes on Ukrainian born Ivan Golub (13-1, 11 KOs) in a rematch of their June bout, which Clark won on unanimous cards. The first tilt was an action fight, to be sure, with Golub bringing a sustained body attack, and Clark countering and boxing. Golub will be looking for payback, as he felt the decision by the judges in June was an incorrect one. Having scored seven knockouts prior to the Clark fight, the Ukrainian will be extra motivated to see to it that the fight doesn’t go the distance.

Opening the televised coverage is an eight-round junior welterweight clash between Houston-based Ryan “Cowboy” Karl (14-1, 9 KOs) and Kareem Martin (9-1-1, 3 KOs) of Washington, DC. Karl, 25, was stopped in the ninth round by Eddie Ramirez last February, but since then won an unanimous decision against Carlos Winston Velasquez. Martin, 22, is in a similar position, having lost once and coming off a recent win against Evincil Dixon in August.

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PBC on ESPN Results: Benavidez and Luna Batter their Opponents to Remain Undefeated


PBC on ESPN Results: Benavidez and Luna Batter their Opponents to Remain Undefeated
By: William Holmes

The 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia was the host site for tonight’s telecast of the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on ESPN telecast.

Two highly touted prospects on the PBC roster fought on the televised portion of the card. Undefeated David Benavidez faced off against Denis Douglin in the main event of the night in the super middleweight division, and the co-main event was between undefeated Alejandro Luna and last minute replacement Naim Nelson in the lightweight division.

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Credit: Premier Boxing Champions/Ryan Hafey

Naim Nelson (13-1) and Alejandro Luna (20-0) was the first bout of the night in the junior welterweight division. Stephen Ormond was originally scheduled to face Luna, but he badly missed weight and Nelson, a local Philadelphia fighter, stepped up as a last minute replacement.

Both men started off fighting out of an orthodox stance and Nelson attacked to the body early. It was obvious that Luna had more snap to his punches in the opening stanza, but Nelson was willing to stay in the pocket and exchange with Luna despite the fact he only has one stoppage victory.

Nelson continued to stay in the pocket with Luna in the second round and even caused Luna’s left eye to swell. However, Luna was connecting with good combinations to the body with short uppercuts to the jaw.

Luna had Nelson backing up to the ropes in the third round, but both boxers were exchanging and landing good shots. Luna started off the fourth round focusing more of his attacks to the head out of a southpaw stance, and had some success when fighting from a distance.

Nelson was able to tag Luna with a couple of hard right crosses in the fifth round, but Luna’s pressure was relentless and the volume of his punches showed no signs of slowing down.

Luna came back out in an orthodox stance in the sixth round and attacked Nelson with a little more urgency than previous rounds. Luna seemed unafraid of Nelson’s power despite the swelling in his left eye. Even though Nelson was able to land a few decent shots, he was unable to slow down the work rate of Luna.

Luna’s stalking continued into the seventh round as he continued to measure his body shots while chasing Nelson around the ring.

Nelson fought valiantly and with great heart in the final three rounds of the bout and may have stolen the ninth round, but he just couldn’t keep up with the pace of Luna nor match his power. Luna came close to scoring a knockdown in the final round and had Nelson bleeding from his forehead, but Nelson was able to stay on his feet.

Luna wins the hard fought decision with scores of 99-91, 98-92, and 97-93.

Afterwards Luna stated, “Nelson was a tough guy and could bang a little bit. Obviously we prepared for another opponent, but I felt I had a solid performance against him.”

The main event of the night was between the hard hitting David Benavidez (15-0) and Denis Douglin (20-4) in the super middleweight division.

Three of Douglin’s four losses have come by knockout, while fourteen of Benavidez’s fifteen wins have come by stoppage.

Benavidez was significantly taller than Douglin and used his jab and reach to his advantage with sharp jabs and crisp crosses. Douglin, however, was able to do good work to the body and stunned Benavidez with a left hook near the end of the round and finished strong.

The second round was a close one to call. Benavidez was able to land a few hard uppercuts, but also had to hold the back of Douglin’s head in order to land some body shots. This round featured some good exchanges with both boxers landing their fair share of good shots.

Benavidez looked he was starting to wear Doughlin down in the third round. He staggered Doughlin at one point in the fourth round with a straight right hand and Doughlin was forced to hold on.

Benavidez looked like he was in complete control in the fourth and fifth rounds, and he was able to snake his punches around the tight guard of Douglin from a variety of angles and did it well.

Benavidez opened up the sith round with a hard right cross right uppercut combination, and had Douglin reeling on the ropes while he delivered withering body blows and hard shots to the head. Douglin looked like he was close to hitting the mat, but his mouthpiece fell out and he was granted a short break and recovered.

Benavidez opened up the seventh round by backing Douglin to a corner and continuing the damage he inflicted upon him in the previous round. At one point Douglin had Benavidez’s back towards the ropes, but the ring ropes fell down and the fight had to be stopped in order to fix the ring.

Douglin attacked Benavidez immediately when the fight restarted and did some good work to the body when Benavidez had his back to the ropes and may have stolen the round.

Benavidez appeared to win the eighth round after giving away the seventh by sticking to his jab and landing clean shots from the outside.

Douglin needed a knockout in the final two rounds to win the fight, but Benavidez landed several crowd pleasing shots in the ninth round including a combination of uppercuts that finally sent Douglin to the mat at the end of the ninth.

Douglin took several hard shots from Benavidez at the start of the tenth round and looked like he was just trying to survive. Benavidez landed another blistering combination with Douglin’s back towards the ropes before the referee jumped in and stopped the bout.

David Benavidez wins by TKO at 0:45 of the tenth round.

Afterwards Benavidez states, “I knew it was going to be a tough fight. I knew he wasn’t going to go out without a fight. So I came in here and started slower than I usually do, just using my jab a little bit more. I hurt him a lot of times, but I kept my cool. I knew I was going to get him out of here sooner or later and that’s exactly what I did tonight.

Undercard Quick Results:

Jeffrey Torres (1-0) defeated Mariano Rolon (0-1) by KO at 2:23 of the first round in the lightweight division.

Kieran Hooks (1-0) defeated Miguel Martinez (2-2) by decision in the junior middleweight division with scores of 38-37 on all three scorecards.

Darryl Bunting (2-0-2) and Edward Jeramie Ortiz (1-0-1) fought to a draw in the super middleweight division with scores of 39-37 for Bunting, and 38-38 on the other two scorecards.

Tyrone Brunson (23-6-1) defeated Carlos Garcia (10-17-1) by knockout at 0:25 of the fourth round in the junior middleweight division.

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PBC on ESPN Results: Shafikov Batters and Stops Herring, Szymanski Decisions Campfort


PBC on ESPN Results: Shafikov Batters and Stops Herring, Szymanski Decisions Campfort
By: William Holmes

Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) was broadcast from the Santander Arena in Reading Pennsylvania and featured two televised bouts with a rising prospect facing off against former world title challenger.
King’s Promotions was the lead promoter for the card.

Reading, Pennsylvania is not known for having nationally televised bouts, but they stacked the undercard with local fighters including former world title challenger Kermit Cintron

Photo Credit: Nabeel Ahmad/Premier Boxing Champions
Photo Credt: Nabeel Ahmad/Premier Boxing Champions

The first televised fight of the night was between Wilky Campfort (21-2) and Patryk Szymanski (15-0) in the middleweight division.

Szymanski had the height and size advantage, and used it in the opening round with a steady diet of jabs followed by an occasional cross. Campfort had trouble finding his target with his punches in the first round, but was able to land an occasional body punch in the second. Szymanski jabs and right crosses were effective in the second.

Campfort pressed the action in the third round and had a good showing. He seemed to be feel comfortable taking the power shots of Szymanski and had some good body shots. Szymanski, however, took control in the fourth round with hard overhand rights that stunned Campfort and had him backing into the ropes.

Campfort continued to press in the fifth round and was likely able to win it with some thunderous right hands. Szymanski’s pace was slowing down and Campfort’s pace was picking up.

The sixth round was action packed and both boxers landed their fair amount of punches, but Campfort looked like the fresher man and his body work was paying off.

Szymanski was able to settle down in the seventh and eighth rounds and used his reach to his advantage by sticking with his jab and keeping Campfort away from his body.

A small mouse formed over the left eye of Campfort by the ninth round and he was unable to get in tight and land body shots like he was in the early part of the fight. Szymanski wisely stuck to boxing and avoided brawling in the final two rounds and used his jab well to close out the fight.

The judges scored it 98-92, 99-91, and 99-91 for Patryk Szymanski.

The main event was between ex United States marine and former Olympian Jemel Herring (15-0) and Denis Shafikov (36-2-1) in the lightweight division.

Shafikov and Herring both fight out of a southpaw stance. Herring stayed on the outside in the opening round and circled to his right for most of the round while sticking his jab in the face of Shafikov. Shafikov was able to land some hard body shots, but did not land enough to win the round convincingly.

Shafikov kept up the pressure in the second round and was not bothered by the jabs of Herring. He was able to catch Herring with a glancing right hook at the end of the second that sent Herring backwards in the ropes. He would have hit the mat if the ropes weren’t there and the referee ruled it a knockdown.

The third round was close, as Herring landed more punches but Shafikov clearly landed the harder shots. Shafikov’s corner was screaming at the referee and claimed Herring was landing low blows, but they appeared to be clean body shots at ringside.

Herring threw a high volume of punches in the fourth round and landed some hard body shots, but he was rocked by a straight left in the fifth round by Shafikov and was almost knocked down. Herring’s mouth was bleeding and wide open by the sixth round. Shafikov’s kept up his relentless pressure and battered Herring when his back was against the ropes.

Shafikov was able to open up a cut by the right eye of Herring in the seventh round and continued to batter his opponent from corner to corner. By the eighth round Herring hardly had any snap in his punches.

Shafikov had Herring on wobbly legs in the ninth round with some brutal combinations. There were some in the crowd who were calling for the referee to stop the fight, but Herring somehow was able to survive the round.

Shafikov opened up the tenth round with a hard over the top right hand, and Herring’s corner wisely stopped the fight. Herring had nothing left in his punches and was taking a lot of punishment.

Denis Shafikov wins by TKO at 0:36 of the tenth round.

Undercard Quick Results:

Kashon Hutchinson (1-0) defeated Robert Ramos (1-5-1) by TKO at 2:44 of the second round in the super lightweight division.

Miguel Martinez (2-1) defeated Antonio Allen (0-2) by unanimous decision with scores of 40-36 on all three cards in the super welterweight division.

Christian Carto (1-0) defeated Rahkeam Parker (0-3) by TKO at the end of the third round in the flyweight division.

Frank DeAlba (19-2-2) defeated Jonathan Perez (35-15) by TKO at 1:50 of the third round in the super featherweight division.

Kermit Cintron (37-5-2) defeated Carlos Garcia (10-16-1) by unanimous decision in the junior middleweight division with scores of 80-72, 79-73, and 79-73.

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PBC on ESPN Preview: Shafikov vs. Herring, Szymanski vs. Campfort


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.

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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.

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