MEXICAN world title contender Ray Beltran 34-7-1 (21) faces former champion Paulus Moses 40-3 (25) at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada tonight for the vacant WBO lightweight title, for Beltran however, this fight means more than the title. He will be fighting for his dream of becoming a permanent resident of the United States.
Beltran from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico now resides in Phoenix, Arizona and will be fighting to obtain his green card so that he can remain in the US with his family under the Extraordinary Ability as a Professional Boxing (EB-1) Employment-Based First Preference category. A world title victory will all but assure him of his permanent status.
“This is the most important fight of my career, where finally I have the opportunity to make two of my dreams come true in one night. The first is to be world champion, and the second to become a permanent resident of the United States,” said Beltran, who enters this fight having won four of his last five fights by knockout.
“I promise to put on a great show for all the fans and show the world why I am the most dangerous lightweight in the world. I’m bringing 18 years of experience into the ring with me, and my blood, and sweat of 42 fights that I fought to get me to this place. No man will deny me my dreams. This Friday, Moses himself couldn’t save Moses,” added the former sparring partner of eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao.
Moses, from Windheok, Namibia, won the WBA world lightweight title in 2009 when he beat Yusuke Kobori in his hometown of Yokohama via unanimous decision. After one successful title defence against Takehiro Shimada, Moses’ 16-month reign as world champion ended in 2010 at the hands of Miguel Acosta. Since losing to Ricky Burns in their 2012 WBO lightweight world championship fight, he has carved out an impressive record of 11-1, 1NC.
“I’m a chief of police in my country, and I deal with tough guys all the time. Beltran will not be any different,” said Moses, a veteran who has fought professionally in Asia, Europe, Africa, and who will be making his United States debut against Beltran.
“He is an experienced fighter that has faced a lot of good opponents, but I’m here to fight and take the title back home with me,” he added.
The co-main event features undefeated NABF welterweight champion Egidijus ‘The Mean Machine’ Kavaliuskas 18-0 (15), from Oxnard, California defending his title against former world champion David ‘Ava’ Avanesyan 23-2-1 (11) from Pyatigorsk, Russia, in a 10-round bout.
The event will also feature the return of 2016 Olympic silver medallist Shakur Stevenson 4-0 (2) from Newark, New Jersey, who has never lost in Reno, enjoying success in the amateur ranks in the city. Two-time world heavyweight championship challenger Bryant Jennings 21-2 (12), from Philadelphia also fights on the undercard.