Pepe Reilly, trainer of WBO lightweight champion Ray Beltran (35-7-1, 21 KOs), feels very confident in his boxer's ability to upset the odds in a unification encounter with WBA champion Vasyl Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs).
Last month, Lomachenko moved up to 135-pounds and overcame his first career knockdown to stop Jorge Linares for the WBA world title at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Beltran will likely return on August 25th, in a voluntary defense against Puerto Rico's Jose Pedraza.
The veteran coach feels more confidence after watching Lomachenko's debut at 135-pounds.
It's Lomachenko third division after capturing world titles at featherweight and super featherweight - and the fight against Linares was not the usual dominating performance by the two-time Olympic gold medal winner.
Beltran's trainer has compared his fighter's style to a very familiar name - Orlando Salido, who handed Loamchenko his first and only career defeat in 2014.
Salido used his size and a very rough inside style to pull out the win. Beltran is much physically bigger and stronger than Salido.
"I think that considering that Linares did so well against Lomachenko, our confidence went up after watching them fight. Because we have the size advantage and because we see openings now. We see things we can take advantage of now. As opposed to before when he was making everyone quit. So going back to the Salido fight [which Lomachenko lost in 2014], Ray’s style is similar to Salido’s but with the weight advantage it would make a big difference I think,” the trainer said to Boxing News.
“You’re going to take shots, Ray’s got a great chin. Ray wouldn’t quit. If he got hit by the body shot he would have got up and kept going. That’s the difference between these two guys. Nothing against Linares. I just think that Ray might have been a little more gritty, a little more involved, especially when things got tough down the stretch.”