Winning is typically a cause for celebration. It improves a boxer’s record, it confirms their superiority over an opponent, and it may even result in a world title or two.
For Ray Beltran and Jose Pedraza, however, a win this Saturday will be something of a bittersweet experience. The good: it will deliver one of them a WBO world lightweight title (currently owned by Beltran). The bad: it will also lead to a December 1 unification fight with WBA champion Vasyl Lomachenko, perhaps the finest fighter in the sport today.
Beltran and Pedraza, of course, will dispute there being any downside to victory this Saturday night. They have signed to fight Lomachenko, 11-1 (9), in December – both of them – because they not only would like a bumper payday before Christmas but because they feel they can do the unthinkable and beat the gifted Ukrainian.