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Ricky Burns vs. Raymundo Beltran on September 7th

Ricky BurnsBy Scott Gilfoid: After a close call against Jose Gonzalez last May in a fight that he would have lost had Gonzalez not suffered an injury and gassed out, WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns (36-2, 11 KO’s) will be taking things back into the safe mode with a fight against #8 Raymundo Beltran (28-6, 17 KO’s) on September 7th in Glasgow, Scotland, according to STV.

There were much better options than the 31-year-old Beltran to fight, such as #1 WBO Sergio Thompson, #2 Omar Figueroa or #5 Terrence Crawford, but those guys would have an excellent chance of beating Burns, so I’m kind of not surprised that he’s being matched up against Beltran.

Crawford is probably the best fighter in the lightweight division right now, and once Burns meets up against him, I can’t see him holding onto his title. I also think Figueroa beats Burns by knockout. This kid is an impressive puncher and he’d really put on Burns if that fight gets made, and with him ranked #2, he’s going to get a shot sooner or later.

Crawford is ranked low enough to where it might take him a couple of years to get a title shot against Burns, but you can’t say that about Figueroa. He’s going to get his title shot and it’s going to be awfully tough for Burns to get through this fight without taking a loss.

Beltran is trained by Freddie Roach, and he’s a decent fighter. He was beaten last year by Luis Ramos Jr. He was also beaten by Sharif Bogere, and Ammeth Diaz not long ago, but he’s won his last three fights in defeating Henry Lundy, Ji-Hoon Kim and Alejandro Rodriguez.

Beltran is good at beating the fringe contender types of fighters. Where he has problems is when he steps it up a level against the quality fighters. That’s where he gets beaten.

Burns looks like he’s slipped a little in terms of talent. I’m not sure if it’s age or ring wear starting to show the effects or possibly he was always flawed to begin with. We don’t know because Burns never really faced anyone good all these years. He had the chance to fight Adrien Broner twice but opted not to, and he never fought Richard Abril, Sergio Thompson or Miguel Vazquez. The rest of Burns’ wins have come against guys like Kevin Mitchell, Paulus Moses, Michael Katsidis, Nicky Cook, and many other flawed fighters. None of the guys that Burns has fought compare to the guys that he hasn’t fought. Call it skillful match-making that he didn’t fight them or whatever, but the fact he’s going to have to face someone good really soon because he can’t just sit on the title fighting Beltran-types for the next five years. He’s going to have to fight someone really good and I don’t think it’s going to work out well for him.

The lightweight division has gotten a lot better recently with young guys like Terrence Crawford and Omar Figueroa rising up. Those guys are the new breed in the lightweight division and they won’t be stopped. Whichever champion one of those guys fights will end up losing, and that obviously includes Burns.

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