Nabeel Ahmad/Premier Boxing Champions
FORMER title challenger Denis Shafikov (37-2-1, 20 KOs) defeated previously unbeaten 2012 United States Olympian Jamel Herring (15-1, 8 KOs) via stoppage in the final round of a 10-round lightweight main event of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on ESPN and ESPN Deportes from Santander Arena in Reading, Pa.
The action heated up in round two as Shafikov landed a leaping right hook that drove Herring onto the ropes for a ruled knockdown. Shafikov of Miass, Russia continued to land hard power shots in round three as he cracked several straight left hands to Herring’s head.
Round five proved to be one of Shafikov’s best, as he hurt Herring with an overhand left that set off a flurry of power punches on the ropes. Herring, who fights out of Cincinnati, showed an immense amount of heart as he emerged from the attack with blood coming from his mouth, but a determination to prevail. By round seven, Herring was cut around his right eye, but he continued to battle on the inside, trading with Shafikov.
In round nine, Shafikov pummeled Herring with hard power shots, and the fight looked to be seconds from being stopped, but referee Gary Rosato let the action go on. Later in the round, Shafikov landed a vicious left hand that had Herring out on his feet, but he was able to make it to the end of the round.
Shafikov landed one more crushing overhand left that had Herring’s corner on the ring apron and the fight was halted at 36 seconds of the final round
“He was a tough opponent,” said Shafikov. “I kept hurting him, but he kept coming back. After I knocked him down, I felt that I was in control of the fight, but my corner wanted the stoppage as they did not think that I could get a decision here. I was very comfortable in the ring and now I feel that I deserve another title shot. This time I will not let that slip away.”
Said Herring, “I fought his fight and could not make the adjustments. I got caught pulling out with my hands down. I was surprised by his punch rate. Every time that I felt that I was slowing him down, he was just come fight back.
“I did not want the fight to be stopped, but my corner did the best thing for me. Losing is part of the game and all the greats have taken losses. I will be back.”
Televised coverage kicked off with unbeaten Patryk Szymanski (16-0, 9 KOs) winning a 10-round unanimous decision over “Silky” Wilky Campfort (21-3, 12 KOs) in a super-welterweight bout. Szymanski boxed well early by using his height and reach to score with combinations in round two. Campfort began to score in round three as he started to mix up shots to the body and landed a solid over hand right to the head. One of those right hands caused Szymanski’s nose to bleed. Szymanski hurt Campfort early in round four when he landed a hard right hand that buckled the native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Campfort came back at the end of the round landing a flush right to the face.
In round five, Campfort continued to find a home for his straight hand as he landed five hard ones during the frame. Szymanski and Campfort took turns landing hard power shots in round six, much to the delight of the crowd gathered at Santander Arena. Szymanski boxed well in rounds seven, eight and nine, as he was able to land some nice punches and get out of the way of any offense Campfort attempted to mount.
In the final round, Szymanski momentarily hurt Campfort with a right hand, but that momentum was stopped when he hit Campfort on the break which caused a break in the action.
Szymanski of Konin, Poland won by scores of 99-91 twice and 98-92.
“He was an experienced guy and put pressure on,” said Szymanski. “He was a tough test but I came through and I did well. He landed some good shots, but he never hurt me.”
Said Campfort, “It was a good fight, but he didn’t come to fight. He came to run and hold, and the referee was not on my side. I have no excuses. He won the fight.”