By Ryan Burton
A story that ran on BoxingScene.com yesterday revealed that a lightweight clash between former champion Juan Diaz and #1 rated contender Ray Beltran was close to being finalized to take place on the Terence Crawford-Yuriorkis Gamboa undercard. The story can be found here: http://www.boxingscene.com/juan-diaz-ray-beltran-looms-crawford-gamboa--77524
Promoter Gary Shaw was less than impressed with this potential matchup to say the least. He feels that his fighter, Rustam Nugaev, is as deserving as either of those two fighters to fight on HBO. Nugaev has won six fights in a row including five by stoppage.
"Diaz was retired and he hasn't really fought anyone since coming back. There are other fighters out there that should get a chance. No one wants to face my guy, Nugaev. He would fight any of the four fighters on that card or any lightweight for that matter. All I am saying is that you need to give new fighters a shot. That will create more fan favorites," Shaw told BoxingScene.com.
When I mentioned that perhaps Nugaev has the perception as being just a tough ESPN level fighter, the New Jersey based promoter pointed out WBO junior welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov as an example of a fighter who first made his mark on ESPN who is now excelling on HBO.
"Look at Provodnikov. No one thought he had a chance against Bradley and we saw how that fight turned out. Then he beat Alvarado. HBO created a new star. HBO should continue to give new fighters a chance," said Shaw.
Send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ringsidewriterTags: Gary Shaw , Juan Diaz , Raymundo Beltran , Rustam Nugaev , Diaz-Beltran , Diaz vs. Beltran