Ray Beltran has done it! After 36 years of life and over 40 fights, Ray Beltran is a world champion. Beltran has made the transition from being a career sparring partner to World Champion. The little 135-pound lightweight engine that could finally did. The fighter that was fighting to provide for his family and fighting and earning anyway he could to make ends meet, will never have that problem again as long as he is halfway smart with his money. Beltran was fighting for so much more than just the WBO 135 pound world title, he was fighting for the opportunity to stay in the greatest country in the history of the world and to stay with his family. The extra motivation Beltran was fighting with was obvious. The fight in the first half was a typical all-action Ray Beltran fight, a fight that appeared Paulus Moses had the momentum in out jabbing and out-quicking Beltran and at least in the eyes of 3DBoxing had taken the lead in the scorecards. With the fight still in the balance and with his world title hopes and green card hopes lying in the balance, Beltran reached back and found the extra gear and swept the final three rounds on all three scorecards. Taking a unanimous decision over Moses by the score of 117-111 twice, and 116-112. In a fight that was ultra-competitive and extremely difficult to score Beltran pulled out all stops in the championships rounds. In proving that after 36 years and countless blood and guts wars he still had enough left and can still operate on the world-class level. 3DBoxing scored in favor of Beltran 115-113 sweeping the last three rounds, being behind by a point entering that 10th round.
Yea, we know that Beltran has had other opportunities to win a world title. Coming up short in a very, very controversial split decision draw to Ricky Burns. A fight in which everyone thought he won. He then got outboxed for the same title to lightweight and pound for pound king Terence Crawford. He also suffered personal demons in missing weight and testing positive in a fight for the vacated WBO strap in 2015 against Takahiro Ao. That was three years ago, and in the interim Beltran became the best fighter he has ever been, doing so in his mid 30’s, running off five straight victories including 4 straight stoppages against increasingly more difficult challenges. This was not only the 36-year-olds last chance at a world title but also his last chance to gain permanent status here in the USA and being able to stay with his wife and children. Beltran proved that four times really is a charm. In his fourth opportunity to win the WBO lightweight strap, he was not going to be denied, he wasn’t going to allow Moses or a badly cut left eye or age deny him what he deserves a world title and the ability to stay in America and with his family.
In the bout for the strap vacated by Englands Turbo Terry Flannagan. Beltran pulled off the gritty, action-packed fight despite a really nasty cut. The fight featured timely surges by both fighters, and non-stop back-and-forth action and changes of momentum. Beltran (35-7-1, 21 KO) out landed Moses (40-4, 25 KO) 197-159, landed at a more accurate rate, 29% to 26%. The new WBO titlist also landed more power shots and body shots 141 total power shots and 52 body shots, to Moses landed 109 power shots and 19 body shots. While Moses appeared to be perhaps the quicker fisted fighter, Beltran applied the pressure and appeared to have more snap on his punches.
Beltran, a Mexican immigrant who has a special work visa, whose ongoing fight for a green card has been well-documented. Now has a litany of big fights in his immediate future, with lucrative paydays. A fight with pound for pound elite Vasyl Lomachenko could be made as both have the same promoter or perhaps a unification fight with WBC champ and pound for pounder Mikey Garcia. Beltran believes he will now acquire his green card, could he also acquire the green belt? Beltran has this and many other options available to him, for someone who came here dead broke and hungry, Beltran has seized on the land of opportunity and proved to be the American dream.