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Raymundo Beltran vs. Paulus Moses – Official weights

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By Jim Dower: Raymundo Beltran (34-7-1, 21 KOs) weighed in at 134 ½ pounds on Thursday for his fight against #2 WBO Paulus Moses (40-3, 25 KOs) for the vacant WBO lightweight title this Friday night at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino, Grand Theatre in Reno, Nevada. The 39-year-old Moses weighed in at 134 lbs.

This is a Top Rank promoted card for ESPN. This is an important fight for the promotional company, as if the 37-year-old Beltran wins, he’ll potentially be making his first defense of his WBO 135 lb. title against Vasyl Lomachenko on May 12. That’s the general idea. Lomachenko needs a belt when he moves up to lightweight to help validate him in the eyes of the casual boxing fans, and Beltran will be the easiest option for him without Top Rank having to work with the other promoters to make fight.

In other weights on Friday’s card, unbeaten welterweight contender Egidijus ‘Mean Machine’ Kavaliauskas (18-0, 15 KOs) weighed in at 146.5 lbs. for his scheduled 10 round fight against former WBA World welterweight champion David Avanesyan (23-2-1, 11 KOs). For his part, the 29-year-old Avanesyan weighed in at 147 lbs.

Kavaliauskas, 29, is a 2-time Olympian from Lithonia. He turned pro in 2013, and he’s had a lot of hype about him up. Kavaliauskas hasn’t been matched against the best opposition, so it’ll be interesting to see how well he performs against Avanesyan. In the Olympics, Kavaliauskas outclassed and eliminated twice quickly. At the pro level, it’s going to be difficult for Kavaliauskas to compete with the better welterweights like Errol Spence Jr. and Keith Thurman. If Top Rank is going to keep Kavaliauskas only fighting for the WBO belt, then he might not ever have to worry about fighting guys like Spence, Thurman, Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter, as those guys fight for the IBF, WBA and WBC belts.

2016 U.S Olympic Silver medalist Shakur Stevenson (4-0, 2 KOs) weighed in at 125.5 lbs. for his 8 round fight against Juan Tapia (8-1, 3 KOs). Tapia weighed in at 124.5 lbs. This is a fight for the featherweight division. Stevenson, 20, is being slowly groomed by Top Rank to build him into an eventual world champion. Right now, he’s still a prospect that is being moved slowly by Top Rank.

Stevenson has looked good against the opposition that he’s been matched against since turning pro in 2017. It’s still too early to tell if Stevenson will pan out or not. Being an Olympian is meaningless. It helps with hyping a fighter, but if that guy doesn’t have the talent to beat the seasoned pros, then they end up like a lot of former Olympians with disappointing careers.

Heavyweight contender Bryant Jennings (21-2, 12 Kos) weighed in at 221.5 lbs. for his 8 round fight against Akhror Muralimov (16-3, 13 KOs). The 30-year-old Muralimov weighed in at 259 lbs. He’s lost his last 3 fights to Jermaine Franklin, Jarrell Miller and Derric Rossy. Top Rank is trying to rebuild the 33-year-old Jennings career to put him in a good money fight against IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Jennings is ranked No.13 with the World Boxing Association. If Top Rank can be careful who they match Jennings against, he could get a title shot against Joshua at some point in the next 2 years. It doesn’t matter if Jennings gets beaten. He’ll make retirement money fighting the highly popular Joshua. Getting a title shot against Joshua is like hitting the lottery. A lot of money to be made fighting the British heavyweight.

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