Photo: Mary Ann Owen

Shakeel Phinn chats about his double-title
​victory over Elio German Rafael

​On June 8, 2019, Shakeel “The Jamaican Juggernaut” Phinn (21-2-1, 15KOs) of Montreal earned the biggest win of his professional career by being the first one to stop Elio German Rafael (15-3-0, 9KOs) of Argentina via Mexico in the tenth round and in doing so won the IBF North American and NABF super middleweight titles. With the win, now rates Phinn in the top 10% of super middleweight worldwide, alongside Chinese standout Ainiwaer Yilixiati (15-1-0, 11KOs) and former EBU European Union and WBC Mediterranean champ Mariano Hilario (17-7-0, 8KOs) of Spain.

“Going out into the last round I knew I was winning the fight, but I didn’t want to leave it up to the judges,” said Phinn. “I knew my opponent was breaking so I gave it everything I had to put him away and be the first man to stop him.” Indeed, by getting the KO, Phinn did something international contenders Marco Antonio Periban (25-5-1, 16KOs) and Adam Deines (17-1-1, 8KOs) could not.

“My body work and relentless pressure ultimately broke him down and led to the stoppage,” said Phinn.

By winning the NABF crown, Phinn will likely be rated by the WBC, putting him within striking distance of names like Callum Smith and Anthony Dirrell. In time, Phinn is confident he can hang in there with the division’s best. “I’ve been boxing for less than 8 years total,” explained Phinn. “Give me two or three more fights and I believe I’ll be ready for anyone.”

With the NABF and IBF North American titles now over his shoulder, Phinn is getting ready for the next step. “It’s been a couple days since my fight,” said the champion. “I’m just enjoying it a bit, but I have 90 days to defend my belts, so it will soon be time to sit down with my team and discuss future plans.”