By Steve Kim

On May 1st, Ray Beltran was scheduled to fight Takahiro Ao for the vacant WBO lightweight title. But after failing to come in at the 135-pound limit, he relinquished his right to fight for the belt. He stopped the Japanese veteran in two emphatic rounds but came away without the coveted championship.

But Beltran who's already back in the gym training says he is staying in the 135-pound class.

"Yeah, I'm going to stay at lightweight," he confirmed to on Monday morning at the Wild Card Boxing Club. "I'm just going to do some adjustments in my workouts and my exercises. I gained some muscle and my muscles were way too heavy. So I'm going to make 135."

Beltran, who's spent the good bulk of his prime as a lightweight said he was right around his customary 139-pounds a day or two before the weigh-in.

"But this time, I don't know, my body didn't respond no more. I went running, I wasn't sweating, I went to the sauan, man, I was there for four or five hours - it didn't come off. I just didn't feel it in my body," said the 33-year old Beltran, who has a mark of 30-7-1 (18 KO's).

You wonder, though, at this stage of career and life, perhaps it was his body's way of telling him to move up in weight?

He insists he can still make 135.

"I'm positive,'' states Beltran."I think we trained so hard, we pushed the body so hard and I think - like I said - I'm positive we gained some muscle and that was the problem."

Beltran says he hopes to get back into the ring in late June or July.

Steve Kim is the news editor for