Barthelemy-Shafikov Finalizing IBF Lightweight Title Fight

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Rances Barthelemy is moving back down to 135lbs after a very successful move up to 140 lbs. back in June when he completely shutout Antonio DeMarco through 10 rounds. The two fighters headlined PBC’s first ever Sunday afternoon show on CBS at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas the day after Shawn Porter defeated Adrien Broner.

Barthelemy put on a boxing clinic and it was clear that he lost absolutely nothing in the move up in weight, which makes it all the more curious that his manager, Luis De Cubas, confirmed with Tha Boxing Voice.com that his fighter will indeed come back down to lightweight.

However, the move is not a long-term one, but instead it is part of a plan to win multiple titles in multiple weight classes.

De Cubas told Tha Boxing Voice that a fight is being finalized for Barthelemy to fight Denis Shafikov for a vacant lightweight title. The two will fight for the vacant IBF belt at 135 lbs., and if all goes according to plan Barthelemy will move right back up to 140 lbs. in an effort to claim another title in the weight class.

“[Rances] beat DeMarco pretty easy, but DeMarco is a hell of a fighter. Not too many people have beat him that easy. It was a good fight for him. He’s actually going back down to 35; he’s fighting for the 135 lb. title against Shafikov.

“We’re closing the deal now for that fight. He’s going to win the title at 135, and he’s going right back up to 140 to win a title at 140 lbs. The plan is to have two titles at the same time,” De Cubas told Tha Boxing Voice.com

Shafikov unsuccessfully challenged Miguel Vazquez for the IBF lightweight title in February 2014, losing a 12 round unanimous decision. Since that loss, Shafikov has won three straight bouts, including an IBF eliminator in August of last year when he stopped Rustam Nugaev in 9 rounds.