Mickey Bey vacates IBF lightweight title

03/07/2015 09:32

Mickey Bey (21-1, 10 KOs) has vacated the IBF lightweight title instead of facing mandatory challenger Denis Shafikov (35-1-1, 19 KOs) in Macau, China on July 18.

The American claimed the belt by a controversial split decision against Miguel Vazquez last September on the Floyd Mayweather-Marcos Maidana II undercard.

However, Bey has never defended the title. He was scheduled to face Shafikov in April but he turned down the purse offered and the bout was canceled.

Then Shafikov's promoter Top Rank won the promotional rights to the bout and scheduled the fight for July 18 in Macau.

Russia's Shafikov stopped Rustam Nugaev in the ninth round last August to earn the title shot and stayed busy with an eight-round decision win against Miguel Angel Mendoza on the Timothy Bradley-Diego Chaves undercard in December.

Shafikov, who will still fight on the July 18 card against Roy Mukhlis in a 10-round bout, has been ordered to face former IBF super featherweight champion Rances Barthelemy for the vacant belt. Shafikov will be getting his second shot at a world title after losing a competitive unanimous decision to then champion Vazquez in February 2014.