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Beltran Gets MD10 Win Over Slick Vasquez on ESPN Co-Feature

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Ray Beltran, battling for so much more than a mere purse, took on Costa Rico’s Bryan Vasquez Saturday night in Cali, and on ESPN.

The stakes were higher than usual; the Mexican boxer came to the US on the sly years ago and has been a solid citizen since then. To get a visa to stick around though, he needs to be more than a “solid citizen,” he needs to be a top tier professional. In short: he needed this win, big time. He got it, in workmanlike fashion, not in a flashy way to blow away immigration admins. After ten rounds, the judges decided that Beltran’s work rate and power edge gave him the edge. Narrowly…

The scores were 95-95, 96-94, 96-94.

Props to the judges for seeing what was actually happening…

In round one, at the Microsoft Theater in LA, Beltran (134.4; 33-7-1 entering; living in AZ; age 36) stalked the mover Vasquez. V went lefty after a spell then went back to righty.

In round two, we saw Vasquez (136.8, 36-2 entering; age 29), who came in over weight, not a good sign, moving moving moving. They traded twice with 40 seconds to go, with the Mexican landing the harder toss.

In the third, Vasquez led and flurried; he hopped and popped, offered that front shoulder as shield, slid right, left, boxed cute. But Beltran was closing the distance…

To round 4; Vasquez popped a weak jab. His pep was dropping off a bit. A right uppercut was eaten by the CR man. He ate two or three pretty hard tags from Beltran.

In round five, Beltran was looking to land nastier left hooks, more frequently. Vasquez was still himself, having fun. He landed a sharp overhand right and the crowd gave him props. Good round for the CR cutie…

To 6; Vasquez was moving less, working right in front of Beltran. Was he getting tired? In the seventh, Vasquez was having fun and winning minutes of rounds. In the eighth, Beltran was moving forward, but not with urgency.

In round nine, we saw Beltran with the same work rate, and (lack of) urgency. He was not pressing on the gas much, and didn’t know Vasquez had an injured left hand, for the last six rounds. Blood seeped some from Beltran’s right eye, not an unknown sensation to him. In the tenth, Beltran amped it up some, to maybe try and get a KO.  But he was now bleeding more heavily, and wiping at it. There was a gash in the center of his forehead, between the eyes.

He was now protecting the lead. And he got tagged late! They went to the cards…

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About Michael Woods

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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