Ray Beltran has been through it all in his career. Peter Wells breaks down this weekend’s fight for him with Paulus Moses for the vacant WBO lightweight title.
His story has been of being the nearly man for many years now, but on Friday (16th) night, Raymundo Beltran 34-7-1(21KO’s) will have his greatest opportunity to finally reach the heights of being a world champion.
Former WBA Lightweight champion Paulus Moses 40-3(25KO’s) is no pushover, but at 39-years old, the well-respected Namibian veteran is seemingly here as part of a bigger picture for Bob Arum and Top Rank.
The landscape seems to be set for Beltran to win the vacant title, and then should Vasyl Lomachenko be unable to secure a match-up with Jorge Linares or Mikey Garcia in the meantime, then the pound-for-pound sensation will likely be matched with the winner to claim a world title in a third different weight class.
That should be the motivating factor that can push Moses for one final assault to reclaim the title of world champion, but the man in his opposite corner has just as much motivation – and probably more.
For Beltran, the Mexican has been fighting for his right to continue to live and go by his trade in the United States.
He has been left with an ultimatum whereby he must not only win for pride, but to also prove to be of elite athlete status which would grant him a visa renewal to work in the country that he has made his home.
His spectacular win over Jonathan Maicelo was testament of his will to prove that, wiping out his opponent in the 2nd round. And then he clung on to his hopes when he narrowly beat Bryan Vasquez last August.
That contest was a scary reminder of just how close Raymundo and his family are to potentially losing everything they have built and the life they have strived for across his 19-year professional career.
Barring a handful of fights in Mexico and one each in Panama and Scotland, Beltran has fought his entire career in the States.
Moses on the other hand has fought almost exclusively out of Namibia, but he has still managed to carve out somewhat of a reputation, and a name that is recognised by many keen observers of the pugilist sport.
It has however been a great deal of time since he mixed with top class opposition, and his 2015 points loss to another wise head in Malcolm Klassen is all the proof one needs to devise a conclusion here.
Moses’ only loss inside the schedule came at the once devastating fists of Miguel Acosta, but having faced many punchers before and since, the belief is that he is smart enough to avoid the same fate on this night.
It will be a cagey beginning, and once Beltran has established his dominance on the front foot, then I see Moses’ drive draining as the fight wears on.
Realisation that he is no longer able to perform at this level will take over and the fight to simply see out the contest will begin.
Beltran would like to impress, but with so much at stake, a win will be more than enough for the 36-year old.
The result will be predictable at the end of 12 rounds, as will the sheer joy on the face of Beltran who has once again secured his immediate future and potentially set up a life changing fight for the summer.