It was never going to be an easy fight for Raymundo Beltran. The Scottish crowd were less than welcoming from the beginning, booing so loudly through the Mexican National anthem that members of his team had to ask for it the volume to be raised. We were treated to ‘Flower Of Scotland’ sung by reality TV star, Michelle McManus, which obviously went down a storm.
There was a lot at stake, Ricky Burns not only defending his WBO belt, but fighting for the title of Scotland’s most successful boxer. Also, I’m sure he felt he had a lot to prove amid claims that his wife’s pregnancy and the birth of his new baby would have made him lose his focus. This is something that Burns himself has denied but was brought up throughout the commentary regardless.
Beltran had been written off by everyone, Burns, the bookmakers, the crowd and the broadcasters. This is a man who is ranked 6th by WBO and spars with Manny Pacquiao.
In the first round, Burns looked very strong. His speed and strength seemed much improved and he obviously felt the hunger, Beltran answered a few times but it was nothing to be noted and certainly it wasn’t enough to win the round.
The second round seemed to go very much the same way, but Beltran looking a a little stronger in the second half.
Round three seems to be where it changed for Burns, all his punches are being answered, he leaves himself open and his work is looking very sloppy. This is the story for rounds 4, 5 and 6. Burns keeps ending up against the ropes, and is very lucky not to have points deducted for holding, which is about the only thing he seems to be able to do when Beltran gets him on the ropes.
Round 7 sees a better performance from Burns, with Beltran looking a little tired and this continues in the first twelve seconds of round 8, until Burns gets knocked down! Rounds 9 and 10 looking very much in favour of Beltran, who dominates the ring, forcing Burns against the ropes and looking cool and collected. Round 11 Burns seems to regain some of his fire and this continues into round 12 but is not enough to win, surely.
No, not enough to win, but its enough to draw? What?
The have been many controversial decisions recently (and throughout the history of the sport) but this is ridiculous, even the crowd are stunned into silence. Hearn looks uncomfortable and Beltran looks devastated. He fought amazingly well, and although it is understood that Burns sustained an injury to his jaw in the second round, surely that is the nature and intention of the sport? Burns should have had points deducted for holding, and he should not have won.