July 19, 2017
July 19, 2017
Ray Beltran

Mikey Williams/Top Rank

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MEXICAN lightweight Ray Beltran is working to force his way to a world title fight. His next bout will be on August 5, on Vasyl Lomachenko’s undercard at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, against Bryan Vasquez.

“He’s tough, a tough opponent, he comes to fight and he can take a punch. I expect a physical fight. I’ll get ready and prepare myself for a hard fight. We’re getting ready,” Beltran tells Boxing News.

It will be his second fight of the year, after he knocked out Jonathan Maicelo in May. “I think it’s good. I love it. I prefer to stay busy, stay in shape and fighting. I don’t want to spend too much time off. I want to fight and be busy and keep the rhythm,” Ray continued. “We’re working to get another title, hopefully after this fight. We’ll see what we’ve got and what the opportunities are. We’re trying to position ourselves to become mandatory in the most sanctioning bodies possible, because it’s been really hard to get an opportunity, we feel like they’re avoiding us and they don’t want to fight us so we’re trying to become mandatory so they’ve got nowhere to go.”

Beltran is keen to fight the best at 135lbs. “Right now we’re mandatory for the IBF, we also might fight for the WBC. Mikey Garcia, Terry Flanagan, [Jorge] Linares, I’ll fight everybody. I just want to get that opportunity,” he said. “We’ll see what happens in the future.”

The Mexican has fought Ricky Burns and Terence Crawford for the WBO title and would love to challenge their reigning champion. “Terry Flanagan’s a really good fighter, he’s a champion. He’s improving,” he said. “I respect him. I’ve got nothing bad to say about him. He’s a really good champion. He’s just one of the guys on my list and I think I’ve got what it takes to beat him.

“All the champions are good. It’s good for us. I love it. It really motivates me to work hard and become a champion, and get respect.”

However he is concerned about judging and decisions in the sport. He’s been unlucky in the past himself.

“The judges, they do whatever they want and they don’t get sanctioned. They should do something about it. It’s not good for boxing,” Beltran mused. “The only one who gets sanctioned is the boxer. Other than that nobody, not the referee, not the judges, nobody. It’s not fair. If we make a mistake and we pay for it, okay we pay for it. But if somebody else makes a mistake and it’s obvious it’s corruption, they should do something about it. It’s just unacceptable.

“They’re stealing money from boxing fans. It’s not fair. They’re going to kill boxing if they don’t make a change. If they can’t do their job then get them out.”

Ray Beltran

He points to Manny Pacquiao’s recent Australian misadventure as another example. “The referee did a horrible job. Jeff Horn was fighting dirty and the referee didn’t do anything,” Beltran said. “He was fighting so dirty. He did what he had to do to get the win but that’s the referee’s job, to keep a close eye and the judges, it’s stupid, it’s ridiculous. I’m scared what they can do to me.”

He added ominously, “It’s getting worse.”