Opinion: Does Gabriel Maestre deserve a possible title alternative?

Gabriel Maestre (left) vs. Mykal Fox. Picture credit score: Sean Michael Ham/Premier Boxing Champions

Boxing suffered a black eye from the end result of the Gabriel Maestre-Mykal Fox combat on August 7. Quick ahead to this Friday night time and Maestre is again within the highlight, though it could be arguably undeserved contemplating what’s on the road.

Maestre will sq. off in opposition to Taras Shelestyuk in a 10-round bout at Montreal On line casino, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The combat might be a WBA welterweight title elimination bout.

The truth that Maestre might be one win away from combating for a significant title isn’t solely an injustice but additionally ludicrous, contemplating the fallout from the combat in opposition to Fox.

What ought to have been a unanimous choice win for Fox, who dropped Maestre within the second spherical, again on August 7, left him dejected and past disenchanted after leaving the ring that night time. The three judges’ scorecards didn’t replicate the motion through the 12 rounds, particularly the 117-110 scorecard for Maestre from choose Gloria Martinez Rizzo. Martinez’s scorecard mirrored that Fox solely gained two of the rounds on her card.

Because of the end result of the combat bringing condemnation from the boxing group, the WBA quickly after started consolidating the beltholders in every division, which included “Tremendous,” “Common,” “Interim” and “Gold.” Whereas the media and followers of the game principally applauded this transfer, it was lengthy overdue, a lot much less been an issue to unravel within the first place.

Maestre (4-0, 3 knockouts), who’s initially from Venezuela and now resides in Barranquilla, Colombia, fought his first three bouts as a junior middleweight, then confronted Fox as a welterweight with an interim title on the road.

Have been there no different welterweights ranked increased than Maestre obtainable to combat on this elimination bout? Is Friday’s combat a comfort prize, contemplating the winner of the Radzhab Butaev-Eimantas Stanionis [ranked Nos. 9 and 7 respectively by The Ring] combat on April 16 is remitted by the WBA to face the winner of the unification bout between IBF/WBC beltholder Errol Spence Jr. and WBA titleholder Yordenis Ugas?

Shelestyuk (19-0, 11 KOs) stands in the best way of Maestre. He lately signed a promotional cope with Probellum. Shelestyuk returned to motion on October 16, stopping Ernesto Espada within the tenth spherical.

The 36-year-old, initially from Ukraine and now lives and trains in Los Angeles, has fought a handful of occasions on “ShoBox” telecasts. In January 2020, Shelestyuk defeated Argentina’s Luis Alberto Veron by unanimous choice. He additionally has notable choice victories over Jaime Herrera and Aslanbek Kozaev.

Shelestyuk represented Ukraine on the 2012 Olympic Video games, successful a bronze medal.

Additionally on the GYM Promotions card, junior flyweight Kim Clavel (14-0, 2 KOs), of Montreal, will sq. off face Bolivia’s Mariela Ribera Valverde (11-6, 8 KOs) in a 10-round bout. Clavel, 31, a nurse who labored in nursing properties through the COVID-19 pandemic, is ranked No. 3 by The Ring at 108 kilos in its girls’s rankings.

In an eight-round junior welterweight bout, Mathieu Germain (19-2-1, 8 KOs), additionally from Montreal, will sq. off in opposition to Erick Inzunza Angulo (8-2, 8 KOs), of Culiacan, Mexico.



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



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