Heavy hitters Murat Gassiev and Jordan Shimmell to meet in 200-pound title eliminator

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Murat Gassiev and Jordan Shimmell are a couple of hard-hitting 200-pound contenders who have been on the fast track to a world title opportunity. Well, that track just got a little bit faster.

Jordan Shimmell and Isiah Thomas

Jordan Shimmell, left, will get his first world title shot if he defeats Murat Gassiev in Carlton, Minnesota, on May 17. (Suzanne Teresa/Premier Boxing Champions)

Gassiev (22-0, 16 KOs) and Shimmell (20-1, 16 KOs) will square off May 17 in a 12-round title eliminator at Black Bear Casino Resort in Carlton, Minnesota, as Toe-to-Toe Tuesdays returns to Fox Sports 1 (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). The winner will be in line to face the victor of the May 21 title unification bout between world champions Victor Emilio Ramirez and Denis Lebedev.

Murat Gassiev, a fast-rising 22-year-old from Vladikavkaz, Russia, will be returning to the ring for the first time since December 18, when he faced fellow unbeaten fighter Isiah Thomas in Las Vegas. The bout was ruled a no contest when Thomas was deemed unable to continue after Gassiev landed a punch after the bell ending Round 3.

Entering the fight against Thomas, Gassiev had stopped seven consecutive opponents between May 2014 and June 2015, with all but one of those contests going past four rounds.

Like Gassiev, Jordan Shimmell has also faced Thomas, having dropped a 10-round unanimous decision to the Detroit native in July for his only defeat since turning pro in June 2012. Shimmell, a 27-year-old resident of Hudsonville, Michigan, rebounded in February with a victory over Willis Lockett, who was disqualified in the fourth round.

Also like Gassiev, each of Shimmell’s last seven victories have ended before the final bell, with five stoppages and two disqualifications.

“I’m excited to get back in the ring and fight in another televised bout,” said Shimmell, who became the first heavyweight to win four Michigan Golden Gloves titles during a stellar amateur career. “I know I’m in there with a tough, strong opponent, but with my skills and ability it shouldn’t be a problem.

“As long as I fight smart and do the things I’ve been training to do, I will come out with the win.”

Said Gassiev: “I have seen Jordan Shimmell in the ring, and I feel like this is a good fight for me. I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring after the mistake I made [in my] last fight.

“I’m going to be real sharp on May 17, and I will not disappoint.”

Leading into the main event will be an eight-round heavyweight showdown between undefeated Miami resident Wes Nofire (19-0, 15 KOs) and Minnesota native Joey Abell (31-9, 29 KOs). The card also includes another eight-round, Miami vs Minnesota clash, as hometown prospect Javontae Sparks (13-1, 7 KOs) will take on 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Yordenis Ugas (15-3, 7 KOs), a Cuba native who fights out of Miami.

For complete coverage of Gassiev vs Shimmell, visit our fight page.

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