Welterweight Taras Shelestyuk, who is now promoted by Probellum, knows victory over Gabriel Maestre will push him closer to a WBA title shot.
The 36-year-old former World Amateur Championships gold medalist meets his Venezuelan rival on Friday might on a GYM show, in association with Probellum, in Montreal.
Shelestyuk is ranked at number nine by the WBA while Maestre, who won the interim belt in controversial fashion last year, is up at number six and the winner will strengthen their case for a tilt at the title.
Unbeaten as a professional (19-0, 11KO) Olympic bronze medalist Shelestyuk is now ready to reach the top in the paid ranks and the Ukrainian knows the stakes are high against Maestre (4-0, 3 KOs) in Canada later this week.
Maestre, regarded as a dangerous opponent, came away with a controversial twelve round unanimous decision over Mykal Fox last August in Minneapolis. The bout was televised by FOX as part of Premier Boxing Champions card. Maestre was dropped in the early going and had a lot of trouble making adjustments to Fox’s style.
Shelestyuk is very motivated to come away with a win.
“This is the step-up I have been craving and I will not waste this great opportunity,” declared Shelestyuk.
“Maestre may have only had four professional fights but I know all about him and he will be a tough opponent.
“He got the disputed decision over Mykal Fox to win the interim title last year but this fight will result in a clear-cut victory for me because my pedigree and skills are superior to his.”
Shelestyuk joined Probellum in October 2021 and expertly boxed to a points win in Mexico later that month, as he waited patiently for his eliminator chance.