Barthelemy beats Shafikov to claim IBF lightweight belt
Rances Barthelemy (24-0, 13 KOs) defeated Denis Shafikov (36-2-1, 19 KOs) by unanimous decision to win the vacant IBF lightweight title on Friday night at the Pearl at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
Barthelemy boxed from distance and outlanded Shafikov to win by scores of 116-112 twice and 119-109.
The Russian took the fight to Barthelemy in the early rounds and landed shots to head and body.
However, the Cuban was always landing the heavier blows and Shafikov was troubled by a cut over his right eye that he suffered in the 8th and Barthelemy came on strong as the fight progressed.
Barthelemy utilised his size advantage and used footwork to avoid Shafikov's punches and dominate the later rounds.
With the win, Barthelemy claimed his second world title in as many divisions, having previously held the IBF super featherweight belt.