Raymundo Beltran: “Crawford isn’t the best lightweight and I’ll prove it”
World Boxing Organization (WBO) President, Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel, announced today the officials who will work this Saturday, November 29, in the title defense of the lightweight champion Terence Crawford against Mexican Raymundo Beltran, that will take place at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska, United States, in a Top Rank presentation.
For this bout when Crawford (23-0, 16 KOs), from United States, will make his second defense of the WBO 135 pounds crown versus the #1 ranked Beltran (29-6-1, 17 KOs), the referee will be Mark Nelson, from United States.
While the judges for the fight between Crawford and Beltran will be Adalaide Byrd and William Lerch, both from United States, and Cesar Ramos, from Puerto Rico.
The WBO supervisor for this fight will be John Duggan.
Crawford, who won the title in March when he beat Ricky Burns by unanimous decision, came off a spectacular ninth round TKO win over former world champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in June. This is the second fight in a row for Crawford in his native Nebraska.
HBO’s hit late-night boxing franchise visits Omaha, Neb. for the second time in less than six months to present an all-action doubleheader of world title bouts when HBO BOXING AFTER DARK: TERENCE CRAWFORD VS. RAY BELTRAN AND EVGENY GRADOVICH VS. JAYSON VELEZ is seen SATURDAY, NOV. 29 at 10:00 p.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT) from CenturyLink Center, exclusively on HBO. The HBO Sports team will be ringside for the event, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.
Last June in Omaha, lightweight titleholder Terence Crawford (24-0, 17 KOs) made his long-awaited hometown debut on HBO, scoring a spectacular comeback KO victory over the previously undefeated Cuban star Yuriorkis Gamboa. The 27-year-old has fast-tracked through the 135-pound division, scoring three victories on HBO last year and adding a world title belt in March 2013.
Ray Beltran (29-6-1, 17 KOs) of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico is a formidable opponent on a five-fight winning streak. No stranger to the spotlight, the 33-year-old fought on the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley Jr. undercard last April, winning a 12-round unanimous decision over Arash Usmanee.
The night from Omaha opens with two undefeated fighters hoping to become breakout stars when Evgeny Gradovich (19-0, 9 KOs) of Russia and Jayson Velez (22-0, 16 KOs) of Puerto Rico clash in a 12-round featherweight title fight. Making his fourth title defense, the 28-year-old Gradovich has shown a willingness to meet anyone, anywhere, having fought three times in Macau, China. Like Gradovich, the 26-year-old Velez has a fan-friendly style that should make for a compelling encounter.
The telecast begins with a replay of the Manny Pacquiao-Chris Algieri welterweight title fight from Macau that featured a dominant performance from Pacquiao in his 17th HBO Pay-Per-View event.
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The executive producer of HBO BOXING AFTER DARK is Rick Bernstein; producer, Jon Crystal; director, Johnathan Evans.
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