Undefeated and world ranked welterweight contender Taras Shelestyuk is ready to go big game hunting in 2018.
The 2012 Olympic Bronze medal winner from Sumy, Ukraine, who now fights out of Los Angeles, California, has won the major regional titles, and he feels he has been overlooked by the perceived elite of the 147 pound division.
Shelestyuk, 16-0 with 10 knockouts, continues to work on his craft while he waits for a major fight to materialize.
"I want to fight Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, Errol Spence or the winner of the Jeff Horn - Terence Crawford fight," said Shelestyuk.
"I know that I have the skills and pedigree to beat those guys. I just need my opportunity, and I know that will be coming soon. I have been working hard in the gym, and I sparred with Victor Ortiz for his bout with Devon Alexander, as well as WBA Super Welterweight Champion Brian Castano."
Shelestyuk also has been helping with the career of his wife Alina. Alina is a runway model, who has done numerous photo shoots in Los Angeles.
Shelestyuk is co-promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing.
IN OTHER NEWS: Many in the boxing world best remember Brazilian lightweight William Silva for his gutsy 2016 performance against Felix Verdejo. In the HBO televised bout, Silva showed tremendous heart and toughness but was outpointed over ten rounds in front of a sold out pro-Verdejo crowd.
“I didn’t have the right team or training camp at the time,” said Silva, who entered the Verdejo bout 23-0.
Since relocating to Florida from Arizona, Silva linked up with Jose Rodriguez at the Plant City Boxing Gym and inked a promotional agreement with Tampa-based Fire Fist Boxing Promotions. In November 2017, he returned to the ring after a year and a half layoff to outpoint Ariel Vasquez. Thus far, everything has paid off and Silva’s currently in top form.
“He’s been training at a fantastic pace, said Rodriguez. “His balance and power are extraordinary – he’s ready to fight!”
On Saturday, March 3, Silva faces tough Rogelio Casarez in the 10 round main event of a Fire Fist Boxing card at Banquet Masters in Clearwater, FL. Silva-Casarez is for the NBA World and IBO Continental lightweight championships. Casarez, who has a deceiving 13-6 record, faced excellent opposition including Jamel Herring and multi-division title contender Cesar Seda, who he took the distance last August.
“I don’t know much about him besides that he’s a tough lefty that comes at you,” Silva said of his opponent.
Even with limited information about the man he’ll swap punches with Saturday evening, Silva’s confident he’ll defeat his Arkansas-based foe before setting his sights on the 135 pound division’s elite.
“(With a victory) I hope to get ranked and fight the top fighters at 135. This is my time to make it happen because I’ve got the right people behind me that believe in my career.”
The card starts at 7 pm and also features 7 other bouts including local standouts Nicholas Iannuzzi, Antonio Tarver Jr., Joseph Fernandez, Ricky Tomlinson and Ozodek Aripov.