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LETHAL LEFT HOOK: Ray Beltran Drops and Stops Maicelo in NYC

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LETHAL LEFT HOOK: Ray Beltran Drops and Stops Maicelo in NYC

Peru was in the house in the TV opener on HBO, at Madison Square Garden, Saturday evening, as their guy Jonathan Maicelo had the patrons raucous and exuberant as he threw combos at Ray Beltran. Seriously, the lung capacity of these folks left a fierce impression on me.

Then, Beltran dropped a hammer, and the mood dimmed. Beltran left a fiercer impression on the loser.

Beltran (134.6; 32-7-1 entering; living in Arizona) in round one stalked. Maicelo is shorter, so he up-jabbed, and then a counter right sent Beltran down. Nope; replay showed it to be a head butt! Blood appeared on the crown of Maicelo’s head at 1:00. A nick also showed on Beltran’s left eye. Maicelo went down, after the bell, though.

Maicelo (134.8; from Peru; 25-2 entering) in round two started strong with a back em up right. The fighting pride of Peru hurled combos and had the building in his hand. Then, the piano dropped on his head. A left hook with velocity did the damage. In came the stretcher, and it looked to be precautionary. He was awake and in fact raised his hand in the direction of his cheering section was he was carted out.

The end came at 1:25 of the second. Beltran is now rated No. 1 by the IBF. Robert Easter, taking on Denis Shafikov next (June 30, in Ohio), holds their strap.

A win, by the way, means that Beltran likely gets a green card, to stay in the US. Talk about high stakes!

Editor/publisher Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the thought to be impregnable 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 for Facebook Fightnight Live since 2017. He now does work for PROBOX TV, the first truly global boxing network.