By Jake Donovan
For a fighter who’s lost four of his last six contests,
Jerry Belmontes is certainly loving life right now.
The lightweight contender is actually coming off one of
the best performances of his career, even if the record books don’t properly
reflect it. His first major title fight came this past April, pushing Omar
Figueroa to the brink before coming up on the wrong end of a disputed split
decision in their Showtime-televised bout.
As a consolation prize, Belmontes headlines a Fox Sports
1-televised card live from his hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas. The
opportunity comes on August 7 when he faces Abner Cotto in a scheduled 10-round
lightweight bout. It’s a credible enough fight to where the 25-year old boxer
knows not to look too far beyond fight night, yet he can’t help but feel
something will be missing when he next enters the ring.
feel that I’m the WBC champion right now,” Belmontes (19-4, 5KOs) believes. “Back
in the day I wasn’t taking boxing seriously. But now I beat an undefeated guy
in Will Tomlinson, and I beat Omar but they didn’t’ give it to me.
was very disappointed that I didn’t get the win. It felt good to do it on
national TV. Everyone saw what happened, but I have to live with the result and
prove that I’m the best.”
loss to Figueroa came less than two months after scoring a major upset over
Tomlinson, unbeaten at the time and whom was being groomed by Golden Boy
Promotions as its next big star. Belmontes ruined those plans in scoring a wide
unanimous decision win in their March fight, coming on the undercard of Saul ‘Canelo’
Alvarez’ stoppage win over Alfredo Angulo in Las Vegas.
seven weeks later, Belmontes was in California for his first ever title fight,
despite both he and Figueroa hailing from the Lone Star State. Coming that close
to claiming the crown is a taste he’s not yet ready to wash away, serving as
motivation for a planned strong showing versus Cotto (17-2, 8KOs).
a win on August 7, Belmontes has every intention of revisiting old business and
emphatically proving who is the best lightweight not just in Texas, but in the
would love to fight (Figueroa) in Texas,” Belmontes insists. “I’d fight him in
his (Westlaco) hometown. Right now my mind is on Abner Cotto, but after that I’m
ready for whoever wants it.”
Jake Donovan is the
Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the
Transnational Boxing Ratings Board
and a member
Boxing Writers Association of America
Tags: Golden Boy Promotions , Abner Cotto , Omar Figueroa , Jerry Belmontes