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Taras Shelestyuk and Gabriel Maestre fight to a draw on Friday

Taras Shelestyuk vs. Gabriel Maestre
Fighters Network

Unbeaten welterweights Taras Shelestyuk and Gabriel Maestre fought to a draw, Friday night, at Montreal Casino in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Scores were 97-93 Shelestyuk and 96-64 Maestre, while the third judge scored the bout 95-95.

Friday night marked the second straight fight in which Maestre (4-0-1, 3 knockouts) was involved in questionable scoring. In his most recent bout, on August 7, Maestre was awarded a unanimous decision victory over Mykal Fox. The result drew a cascade of deserved criticism as Fox clearly outboxed Maestre, even scoring a knockdown in the second round. The backlash also prompted the WBA to begin eliminating the excess amount of beltholders in each weight class.

Against Shelestyuk, Maestre, originally from Barcelona, Venezuela, and now residing in Barranquilla, Colombia, won the early rounds as he was the more effective fighter, letting his hands go and connecting to Shelestyuk’s body and head.

It wasn’t until the fourth round when the southpaw Shelestyuk let his hands go with more consistency. He did his best work on the inside, countering the 35-year-old Maestre with one and two-punch combinations.

Both fighters did well during the second half of the fight. Shelestyuk excelled in spots as Maestre continued being the aggressor, utilizing lateral movement to avoid getting countered by Shelestyuk. As the fight entered the last two rounds, both fighters showed fatigue but continued fighting to their strengths until the final bell sounded.

The fight was a WBA title elimination bout. The winner was not immediately mandated a shot at the WBA world title, which is held by Yordenis Ugas. The winner of the unification bout between Ugas and IBF/WBC unified titleholder Errol Spence Jr. is mandated to face the winner of the Radzhab Butaev-Eimantas Stanionis fight, both of which will take place on the same card, April 16, at AT&T Stadium, in Arlington, Texas.

Shelestyuk, originally from Ukraine and now residing in Los Angeles, holds fast at 19-0-1 (11 KOs). The 36-year-old is a 2012 Olympic bronze medalist and recently signed a promotional deal with Probellum.

In the main event of the card promoted by Yvon Michel, junior flyweight Kim Clavel, of Montreal, improved to 15-0 (3 KOs) by battering Mariela Ribera Valverde before the fight was stopped after the fourth round.

Clavel was in control throughout the entire fight, landing at will and snapping Ribera’s head back several times. After Ribera took a beating during the fourth round, her corner told referee Alain Villleneuve to stop the fight, saving her from further punishment.

Clavel. 31, was honored with an ESPY award in 2020 for working non-stop during the coronavirus pandemic at nursing homes in and around the Montreal area.

Ribera, who resides in Trinidad, Bolivia, drops to 11-7, 8 KOs.

Junior welterweight Mathieu Germain (20-2-1, 9 KOs), also from in Montreal, stopped Mexico’s Erick Inzunza Angulo (8-3, 8 KOs) at 1:11 of the eighth and final round.

Middleweight Derek Pomerleau was successful in his pro debut, knocking out Daniel Beaupre (1-1, 1 KO) at 14 seconds of the first round.



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




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