Robert Easter Jr's second consecutive hometown title defense is officially secured as both he and mandatory challenger Denis Shafikov made weight for their 12-round lightweight battle.
Neither fight had any issue coming within the 135-pound divisional limit. Easter Jr. (19-0, 14KOs) tipped the scales at a lean and fit 134-pounds. Despite boasting a good six inches in height over his opponent, the defending champ was slightly lighter than Shafikov (38-2-1, 20KOs) who checked in at a fighting ready 134.5 pounds.
The bout will air live on Bounce TV from the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio.
The very same venue played host to Easter Jr's triumphant homecoming this past February, scoring a lopsided 12-round decision over Luis Cruz in front of nearly 9,000 rabid local fans. The win marked the first defense of the lightweight strap he claimed in a gutty split decision win over Richard Commey in their thrilling vacant title fight last September in Reading, Pennsylvania.
A swarm of Easter's fans made the trek to Reading from Toledo, prompting the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) brass to take the act much closer to home. With the first event a huge success, the hope is for lightning to strike twice for 26-year old.
Standing in his way is a rugged contender hoping that the third time will be a charm in terms of title opportunities. Shafikov's lone two losses have come in pursuit of alphabet hardware. dropping 12-round decisions to Miguel Vazquez and Rances Barthelemy.
The squat Russian southpaw has since punched his way back into contention, scoring a 10th round stoppage of Easter Jr stablemate Jamel Herring last July. The 32-year old has since added a 12-round win over Commey last December to earn a mandatory #1 ranking for Easter's title.
Also on the show, super welteweight contender Julian "J-Rock" Williams attempts to bounce back from the lone loss of his career as he faces Joshua Conley in a scheduled 10-round clash. Williams weighed 157 lbs. for his first fight since a knockout loss to then-154 pound titlist Jermall Charlo last December; Conley was a full pound lighter at 156 pounds.
Opening the telecast, Cincinnati's Jamontay Clark faces Brooklyn-based Ukrainian slugger Ivan Golub in a battle of unbeaten welterweight southpaws. Both boxers weighed 148.5 pounds for the scheduled eight-round affair.