Nugaev, Shafikov to Meet in IBF Eliminator on ESPN Friday Night Fights and Noche de Combates

Lightweights Nugaev, Shafikov to Meet in IBF Eliminator on ESPN Friday Night Fights and Noche de Combates
Noche de Combates In-Studio Guest: Former Three-Division Titlist Abner Mares

The August 15 edition of ESPN Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra and ESPN Deportes’ Noche de Combates presentado por Corona Extra will feature an IBF eliminator between Lightweight contender Rustam “The Mongoose” Nugaev (27-6-1, 17 KOs) and former Lightweight title challenger Denis “Ghengis Khan” Shafikov (33-1-1, 17 KOs).

The winner of the 12-round fight will be ranked No. 1 by the IBF and become the mandatory challenger for IBF Lightweight titleholder Miguel Vazquez. Friday’s show from the Chumash Resort & Casino in Santa Ynez, Calif., will air live at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2, broadband Spanish-language ESPN Deportes+ and WatchESPN. ESPN Deportes will air the fights on Saturday, August 16, at 8 p.m. The card is promoted by Gary Shaw Productions.

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New Picture (7)Commentators:
Todd Grisham will be ringside with analyst Teddy Atlas describing the action for ESPN2, while studio host Doug Kezirian will provide all the latest boxing news and highlights. Pablo Viruega and analyst Leopoldo González will call the fights for Noche de Combates on ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes+, while Claudia Trejos will anchor the studio.

In-Studio Guest: Former Three-Division Titlist Abner Mares:
Former three-division titleholder and 2004 Mexican Olympian Abner Mares will join Trejos as a special guest on Noche de Combates.

Main Event:
Los Angeles’ Nugaev has won his last five fights, including a fourth-round TKO over Marvin Quintero on Friday Night Fights in March. Shafikov, who hails from Russia, is looking to rebound from a 12-round unanimous decision loss to defending titlist Vasquez.

“Shafikov recently fought for the IBF world title but came up short against Miguel Vasquez,” Nugaev said. “That is his only loss, so I know he can fight. He does a lot of things well in the ring, and I’m going to have to be smart when we fight. I feel I have the power to slow him down and get him out of there before the final bell rings. This will be an all-out war and the fans will be pleased with my performance.”

Friday’s 10-round co-feature will pit undefeated Jr. Lightweight José “The Sniper” Pedraza (17-0, 11 KOs) of Puerto Rico, against Mexico’s Juan Carlos “El Pez” Martinez (19-14-1, 6 KOs). In his last outing, Pedraza scored a first-round TKO over Arturo Uruzquieta. Martinez is looking to score another win following a 10-round split decision win over Alejandro Perez.

Upcoming Schedule:

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Time (ET)

Main Event



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Fri, Aug 15

9 p.m.

Rustam Nugaev (27-6-1, 17 KOs) vs. Denis Shafikov (33-1-1, 18 KOs) — 12 rounds, Lightweights

Chumash Resort & Casino,
Santa Ynez, Calif.

ESPN2, ESPN Deportes+, WatchESPN

Fri, Aug 22

9 p.m.

FNF Season Finale: Austin Trout (26-2, 14 KOs) vs. Daniel Dawson (40-3-1, 26 KOs) — 10 rounds, Jr. Middleweights

Pechanga Resort & Casino
Temecula, Calif.

ESPN2, ESPN Deportes+, WatchESPN

*Schedule subject to change

Friday Night Fights and Noche de Combates Social Media:

· Follow ESPN Friday Night Fights on Twitter @ESPNFNF or like it on Facebook.

· Score the fights round-by-round with the “Live Friday Night Fights Facebook Voting App,” an application on the ESPN FNF Facebook page that allows viewers to score the fight round-by-round.

· Follow ESPN Deportes’ Noche de Combates on Twitter @ESPNBoxeo.

· For the latest boxing news and analysis follow @ESPNBoxing.