Erik Bazinyan: I’ve known Shakeel Phinn for 11 years, but no friendship in the ring

Erik Bazinyan faces Shakeel Phinn live on ESPN+ from Montreal, Canada

Erik Bazinyan faces Shakeel Phinn on Thursday, April 11 at Casino de Montreal in Montreal, Canada. The pair squares off in the scheduled for 10 rounds bout at super middleweight.

Unbeaten Armenian Erik Bazinyan (32-0, 23 KOs) brings to the ring his NABF 168-pound belt. In his previous ring appearance in January at the same venue, Laval, Quebec-based 28-year-old stopped Billi Facundo Godoy in the third round and made the sixth successful defense of his title.

“I respect Shakeel, we’ve known each other for 11 years, but at the end of the day, it’s boxing, it’s business, and in the ring, there’s no friendship anymore,” Bazinyan said at the kickoff press conference on Friday.

33-year-old Shakeel Phinn (26-3-1, 17 KOs) is riding a five-fight winning streak. The Brossard, Quebec native was in action last October, when he stopped Rafael Sosa Pintos in the first round.

“It’s nothing personal, it’s boxing, we’re in the same division, but when I have my hands raised, and they say ‘And new…,’ I’ll be really happy,” Phinn said.

Shakeel Phinn
Shakeel Phinn | Vincent Éthier / Eye of the Tiger
Erik Bazinyan and Shakeel Phinn
Erik Bazinyan and Shakeel Phinn | Vincent Éthier / Eye of the Tiger

The event is also set to see Canadian super lightweight Steve Claggett (38-7-2, 26 KOs). The 34-year-old native of Calgary, Alberta stopped Marcos Gonzalez Barraza in two rounds in January. His next opponent in a 10-round bout is yet to be confirmed.

Other bouts featured on the card are expected to be announced shortly.

Parviz Iskenderov
Parviz Iskenderov is a former Muay Thai fighter, sports manager and editor at FIGHTMAG.

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