By Frank Walsh
A career spanning 35 fights, 28 of those wins and 17 by KO, Raymundo Beltran has been largely recognized as Manny Pacquaio's main sparring partner. Beltran has won a majority ten round decision over the WBC number one lightweight contender Henry Lundy, to win the WBC NABF Lightweight title. Beltran is also the former owner of the WBC Continental Americas Super Featherweight title. On September 7th, Beltran finally stood out from the sparring partner shadow that followed him. Traveling to Scotland to face WBO Lightweight Champion Ricky Burns, Beltran put forth a career best performance. Burns was on the canvas in the 8th round, and courageously battled through a broken jaw. Many felt Beltran had done enough to win the fight. The draw handed down from the judges meant Burns retained his title.
BoxingScene.com Thank you for taking the time to speak with boxingroundup Raymundo.
First and foremost, is a rematch dead in the water now that Terence Crawford is top of the line? Burns himself has said he would prefer a rematch with yourself over a Crawford bout.
RB : It is a fight that i want, but it would need to be here in America if it happened.
BoxingScene.com Can you recall the shot that broke Burns jaw?
RB : Yes. The punch that broke Ricky's jaw was the shot that put him down in the eigth round, not in the second like many thought.
BoxingScene.com Obviously you feel you should have been given the decision. But, what area do you feel you could have improved on to secure the victory?
RB : It was very difficult to step things up a notch. Ricky was surviving rather than fighting. Don't get me wrong, he is a warrior. But it made things more difficult in there chasing the fight.
BoxingScene.com With your performance against Ricky Burns, do you feel you have stepped out from the shadows so to speak?
RB : Of course! That was the kind of fight and opportunity i had been waiting for. I deserve to be labelled world class and to fight the best in this division. I proved that in the Ricky Burns fight.
BoxingScene.com It is a well known fact that you are a long time sparring partner of Manny Pacquaio. How did you intially end up joining Freddie Roach in the Wild Card Gym?
RB : Freddie Roach was looking for sparring partners for Manny Pacquaio in preparation for the first fight with Juan Manuel Marquez. I was selected and have been working with Manny since that point.
BoxingScene.com Amir Khan previously mentioned in an interview sparring sessions in the Wild Card Gym can become brutal with so many spectators. Would that be an accurate description? Hard sparring is par for the course in boxing, but Amir felt it hurt his preparation more so than progressed it.
RB: Every fighter is different, and has different needs. Personally I like hard sparring. It is the only way to prepare your body and mind for a hard fight. Wildcard is very competitive, with many fighters from around the world. You always got to be in shape.
BoxingScene.com Have you joined Manny Pacquaio in this camp for the Brandon Rios bout?
RB : I haven't been called into the camp for Brandon Rios as of yet.
BoxingScene.com If a rematch with Ricky Burns does not materialize, is there a shortlist of possible opponents?
RB : Juan Diaz, Terrence Crawford, Gamboa, Miguel Vazquez are all on my radar at this point.
BoxingScene.com You have the opportunity to face any Lightweight Champion in history, who would you face?
RB : Julio Chavez or Roberto Duran
BoxingScene.com On the back of your Ricky Burns performance, we wish you the best of luck in landing a quality opponent for your next bout. Have you a message for your fans reading this?
RB : I want to thank all my fans for their support. All my UK fans too for showing me love and making me feel at home. Your real boxing fans. I want the Ricky Burns rematch, so if it does not happen, it would be because the Burns camp don't want it. God bless.Tags: Raymundo Beltran