Miguel Vazquez vs. Denis Shafikov: Preview and Prediction for Lightweight Bout

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Miguel Vazquez vs. Denis Shafikov: Preview and Prediction for Lightweight Bout
Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

February 22 in Macao, China, IBF lightweight champion Miguel Vazquez returns to action after more than a year away from the ring as he faces undefeated challenger Denis Shafikov of Russia. The 135-pound division is wide open, and the winner here should be positioned for big fights going forward in 2014. 

Chinese Olympic star Zou Shiming is the big name on the card for the local fans. Top Rank has worked hard to make the Chinese resort city a kind of Vegas of Asia, with Shiming as their hometown fighter. 

But Vazquez vs. Shafikov is the fight with immediate relevance at the world-class level. 

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