ESPN anchor Todd Grisham said that the bout between Russian competitors Denis Shafikov vs. Rustam Nugaev could be one of the best fights on “Friday Night Fights” all year and he might have been right.
The bout between Shafikov (34-1, 19 KOs) and Nugaev (27-7-1, 17 KOs) was a slugfest. Shafikov used his technique and speed to outbox and pick apart Nugaev throughout the match.
Shafikov landed more effective punches in the first few rounds, yet Nugaev appeared to be on a comeback in the fourth. The fight was almost stopped in the seventh stanza by Nugaev’s trainer but Nugaev pleaded to continue the fight. Shafikov finished Nugaev in one minute into the ninth round.
This is a good win for Shafikov, who came into the fight after a decision loss against Miguel Vazquez. With this latest victory under his belt, he becomes a mandatory challenger for current IBF Lightweight champion Vazquez. I’m sure Shafikov will have some extra motivation now that he has a chance to not only win his first world title, but also a shot at avenging his loss to Vaszuqez.
What was your favorite fight from last night’s FNFs? Answer with a comment below or send a tweet to @tldaylightsfs.
Friday Night Fight Results
Jose Predrzza def. Juan Carlos Martinez via sixth-round TKO
Francisco Santana def. Luis Alfredo Lugo via fifth-round TKO
Khabir Suleymanov def. Rufino Serrano via majority decision
Edwin Sandoval def. Lyonell Kelly via unanimous decision
Makani Sarellano def. Andrew Tinae via fourth-round KO
Carlos Samuel Lopez defeated Azamat Umarzada unanimous decision