By Ryan Maquiñana
Raymundo Beltran is enjoying a career resurgence, and the unlikely lightweight contender is on the verge of making a move that could expedite the process to a title shot.
“We’re talking to Top Rank right now toward finalizing a [promotional] contract,” said Steven Feder, Beltran’s manager. “It’s a very good family feeling over there. We were down there in Texas with [CEO] Bob [Arum] for a presser with George Foreman. Ray really enjoyed that. Bob took us to lunch afterward, and it really meant a lot to Ray.”
After gutsy back-to-back wins over Hank Lundy and Ji-Hoon Kim, Beltran (27-6, 17 KOs) has gone from being most known for his exploits as Manny Pacquiao’s sparring partner to a fighter making his own name in the sport.
“That’s our goal by the end of the year, to get Ray a title shot,” Feder said. “Manny’s going to be real excited about that because he’s been in his corner for some time.”
Until then, Feder has a few names in mind in terms of Beltran’s next foe.
“We were looking at the winner of the [Miguel] Vasquez-[Ricky] Burns fight, but that fight fell through,” Feder said. “We’d like to fight Burns. Ray won’t shy away from anyone.
“It’s going to come down to the offer and the guy. Ray deserves to take care of his family at this point. It’s all risk when you look at opponents. It comes down to the reward. Either way, we want that title fight.”
Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for NBCOlympics.com during London 2012 and writes a weekly column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at [email protected], check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.