“I enjoy working with Joel Diaz,” said Shelstyuk, who brought home a bronze finish in the 2012 London Olympics to his native Ukraine. “He’s a great communicator. He knows how to bring out the best in boxers.”
Shelestyuk (15-0, 9 KOs), who on Saturday headlines Thompson Boxing’s “Locked n’ Loaded” 8-round main event from Omega Products in Sacramento, Calif., is currently ranked No. 5 by the WBO.
At 31, Shelestyuk can ill afford a slip up on his way up the official rankings. His opponent, Jesus Alvarez Rodriguez (15-2, 11 KOs), is all too eager to play the spoiler on Saturday night.
“I know I can’t sleep on Rodriguez,” said Shelestyuk, who is promoted by Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions. “I have to make a statement early in the fight to let him know what I’m about.”
Shelestyuk vs. Rodriguez and the entire 8-bout card will be streamed live on TB Presents: Locked n’ Loaded. Watch the action on ThompsonBoxing.com and Facebook Live beginning at 6:30 p.m. PST / 10:30 p.m. EST.
Tickets for “Locked n’ Loaded” are priced at $40, $60, & $100 and are available for purchase online at ThompsonBoxing.com, or by calling 714-935-0900.
Shelestyuk is coming off a unanimous decision win against Jaime Herrera in November. The fight, televised on SHOWTIME, had championship implications with Shelestyuk winning the WBO-NABO welterweight title.
Since teaming up with Diaz several months ago, Shelestyuk, who is a southpaw, has tightened his punching ability and plans to be assertive throughout the 8-round fight.
“I think most people know that I’m more of a boxer than a puncher,” said the Los Angeles-based Shelestyuk. “You can still have an aggressive style with a technical game plan and that’s what we’re working on. How to be aggressive in a methodical fashion.”
In the co-feature, standout amateur Ruben Villa (5-0, 3 KOs) of Salinas, Calif. looks to stay undefeated against Jonathan Alcantara (7-15-2, 1 KO) in a fight set for 6-rounds.
Villa has all the tools to become the next world champion at featherweight. He cleaned up the amateur ranks with back-to-back National Golden Gloves championships prior to turning professional last year.
He inked a promotional contract with Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions last July.
TB Presents: Locked n’ Loaded broadcast team consists of Beto Duran on play-by-play and Steve Kim provides expert, color commentary.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. local time with the first bout at approximately 6:30 p.m. Omega Products International is located at 8111 Fruitridge Road, Sacramento, CA 95826 and can be reached at 916-635-3335.