News May 2019

Ray Beltran : I broke Burns' jaw! He didn't break it himself!


By @John_Evans79

Ray Beltran may have finally won his battle to be accepted as a genuine world class talent but the 32 year old lightweight is being forced to wait a little longer for the recognition he really craves; recognition as the lightweight champion of the world.

In September, Beltran travelled across the Atlantic to take on WBO champion Ricky Burns. After twelve rounds the vast majority of observers agreed that the 32 year old from Phoenix, Arizona had done more than enough to rip the title away from Burns. Sadly for Beltran, the three people whose opinions count the most – the judges - managed to concoct a split draw.

Burns' return to action is pencilled in for March and although names like Terence Crawford and Miguel Vasquez have been bandied around as possible opponents, the signs are that Beltran will get a richly deserved rematch.

“We’re still working on it. It’s not confirmed,” Beltran told Livefight recently. “It’s a fight that I don’t really feel like I need to fight because I won the fight, you know? The only reason is the title. It’s just business you know.

“I could fight [Terence] Crawford or a couple of other guys here in the US and I have the option to fight Burns again. It seems we may fight Burns again. I’m just waiting to see.

“The first fight wasn’t about the money, it was about the titles. I wasn’t the mandatory so I was like ‘Hey, they gave me the opportunity. I’ve gotta go and what they give me, ah, whatever.’

“It’s just hard for boxers. When you win a fight – and there’s no doubt about it – and they just play with the game and we have no control over that. We control over whatever we do in the ring. It’s just hard. I don’t get discouraged. I get pissed. I get mad and frustrated you know?

“If I go back, I wanna go back with good money but they don’t offer good money still. If I go back, it’s to make a statement you know. It wasn’t a lucky punch. It wasn’t because Ricky broke his jaw. I wanna go and prove that I deserve to be a world champion. I expect a hard fight from Ricky because he’s gonna be even more motivated and hopefully his jaw’s gonna be alright.”

Since the fight, Burns’ lacklustre display has been largely apportioned to the broken jaw he suffered during the fight. The overwhelming majority of people reading this will never have to endure the ordeal of boxing with a broken jaw and Burns’ bravery must never be underestimated. Nonetheless, to be extremely simplistic, boxing is about inflicting more damage upon your opponent than he does to you and Burns’ jaw wasn’t broken by accident, it was broken by Ray Beltran.

“That kind of bothers me a bit because it’s taking credit away from me. He didn’t break it himself! I broke his jaw,” Beltran says. “When you fight, you get injured. I also injured myself in the fight but I didn’t say anything. I was limited. That’s no excuse though and I’m not gonna talk about it. We all get injured in a fight. I broke his jaw! What excuse is that?

“Let me tell you something. I’ve got respect for him, don’t get me wrong, but Ricky didn’t break his jaw in the second round. I think it was in the eighth. If you see, when I put him down he was on his knee and he opened his jaw to move his mouth.

“I’ve broken my jaw twice before. If you’d broken it in the second round then by the eighth round you wouldn’t be able to move it at all because it’s so much pain, you don’t wanna move it at all. It’s not true. I’ve been there. It’s not true. Don’t take my credit away. I still did good before the eighth round and after that I kept continuing.

“I broke his jaw. He didn’t break it himself. They’re trying to take my credit and points away from me. That’s not right.”

Although British fight fans have a reputation for being amongst the most vociferous in the world, they are also some of the most fair minded. The announcement of a draw was met with outrage by many British observers and although the likes of Crawford and IBF champion Vasquez were mentioned as possible opponents, calls for a rematch with Beltran followed immediately. Beltran is appreciative - and a touch surprised - by the goodwill his performance generated.

“A little bit!” he says. “You go to somebody’s hometown and everybody was with Ricky, I accept that. After the fight, everybody was very good. The Scottish people have honour. They are true warriors and have honour to accept me. It’s a big compliment and something I really respect a lot.

“The fans are the ones who give us the power and they asked for the fight. It’s all thanks to my Scottish fans and my fans in the UK because they are the one who made it happen. If they hadn’t put the pressure on and weren’t real, loyal boxing fans then it wouldn’t happen because they would get away with it if they can.”

And so, on to the fight itself. Should the final details be ironed out and Beltran gets a deal he is happy with, how will the rematch play out. Listen carefully and you can alrady hear the prefight sound bites. Beltran will surely say that it will be a case of repeat and revenge while Burns is likely to suggest that he now knows the key to beating Beltran.

“They can say whatever they want,” says Beltran. “It’s not the first time. Even before the fight I saw the media and they said how the fight would happen and that I’d get knocked out in the eighth round. I was like, ‘really?’

“When I fought [Hank] Lundy it was the same situation. He was supposed to win and I was the underdog in many of my fights. They plan to do whatever they want. It doesn’t count. None of that counts. In the ring, I don’t care how many plans you’ve got. You’re not gonna be able to beat me. You’re not.

“I kind of know and kind of expect what Ricky is gonna do next time so I wanna get ready for that. He only has one thing he can do. He can’t have another gameplan because if he does it’s gonna be even worse for him. If he stands and fights with me it gives me more opportunities and he knows that. He’s not gonna stand in front of me.”

“I wasn’t surprised [by the effect his power had in the first fight]. I’ve been an underdog my whole life because nobody picked my opponents, I had to fight anybody in front of me and I hurt most of my opponents. I’m not surprised because mentally I was very confident and when you believe in yourself nobody is gonna stop you. If you have self confidence you make things happen no matter what.”


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