PBC on ESPN: Herring-Shafikov breakdown

9:19 AM ET

This Saturday, unbeaten lightweight contender and 2012 U.S. Olympian Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring (15-0, 8 KOs) will take on former title challenger Denis Shafikov (36-2-1, 19 KOs) in a 10-round bout live on ESPN (9 p.m. ET) as part of Premier Boxing Champions from the Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania. The undercard will feature undefeated Polish prospect Patryk Szymanski (15-0, 9 KOs) versus former title challenger “Silky” Wilky Campfort (21-2, 12 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight bout.

Jamel Herring vs. Denis Shafikov: By the numbers

Jamel Herring and Denis Shafikov meet Saturday on Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN. It should be the toughest test to date for the undefeated Herring.

Currently Vegas is not offering odds on either fight, but Herring is listed as -140 and Shafikov +120 overseas.

Herring made his debut in 2012, but he’s had only 15 fights. Most of his opponents have had losing records or were at the end of their careers, as in his fight vs. Hector Velasquez. Herring seems to have talent, but a lack of activity and real competition has stalled his career to this point.

Herring fights out of Cincinnati, Ohio, and is backed by Al Haymon. The boxer is taking a big step up in competition against Shafikov, who has been in the ring with far better competition (such as Miguel Vasquez and Rances Barthelemy). Shafikov was really competitive in those two fights, although he lost in both cases, and he brings talent to the ring and stiffer competition for Herring. The problem is that it’s pretty much a no-win situation for Herring because he’s projected to win, and if he does come out on top, people may just say, “Well, you were supposed to.”

On the undercard is Campfort vs. Szymanski in what figures to be a competitive junior lightweight bout. Campfort enters the ring coming off of a loss to IBF champion Jermall Charlo. Campfort had won 20 fights in a row before he was stopped in the fourth round by Charlo. Across the ring is undefeated rising Polish star Szymanski, who won seven of his last eight fights by knockout. This is his 10th time fighting in the United States.

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