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Taras Shelestyuk stops Jesus Alvarez in three rounds

Undefeated welterweight Taras Shelestyuk connects with a left hand upstairs on Jaime Herrera at the Omega Products International Events Center in Corona, California on November 4, 2016. Photo credit: Esther Lin/Showtime

Taras Shelestyuk wanted to send a message to the rest of the welterweight division on Saturday.

It was done so at the expense of Jesus Alvarez.

Shelestyuk knocked out Alvarez in the third round before a partisan crowd at the Omega Products International in Sacramento, California.

The 31-year-old Shelestyuk, who is originally from the Ukraine and now resides in the Los Angeles area, improves to 16-0, with 10 knockouts. Alvarez drops to 15-3, with 11 KOs.

Shelestyuk, who won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, last appeared in action on Nov. 4, winning a hard-fought 10 round unanimous decision over Jaime Herrera. Alvarez, who resides in the boxing hotbed of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, has lost his last three, all by knockout.

After an even opening round, the southpaw Shelestyuk, who had a four-inch height advantage, began to assert himself in the second round by outboxing Alvarez. Shelestyuk was looking to set up up Alvarez with a left hand, which he did in round three, feinting and countering with a right hook-left cross combination to Alvarez’s head. Alvarez went down against the ropes, prompting an immediate stoppage at 2:06.

The knockout victory brought out a large cheer from those in attendance in Sacramento, where there is a significant population of Russian and Ukrainian descent.

Shelestyuk, who is co-promoted by Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions, is ranked number five by the WBO. He is managed by Vadim Kornilov.

Featherweight prospect Ruben Villa remained unbeaten, winning a four round unanimous decision over Jonathan Alcantara (7-16-2, with 1 KO). All three judges scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Villa, who improves to 7-0, with 4 KOs).

Fringe lightweight contender Jose Roman (24-1, with 16 KOs) won an eight round unanimous decision over Miguel Angel Mendoza (23-13-2, with 22 KOs).

Francisco A. Salazar has written for since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper,, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing