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!