By Keith Idec
HOUSTON – Freddie Roach wants Ray Beltran to take some before they’ll decide whether he should continue fighting.
Beltran’s trainer didn’t like much of what he witnessed from the former WBO lightweight champion’s corner Friday night, when Richard Commey knocked him out in the eighth round of a fight ESPN televised. Commey knocked down Beltran four times before referee Eddie Hernandez Sr. stopped their scheduled 12-rounder at Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, California.
That marked the first knockout loss for Beltran in nearly 11 years. His lopsided loss was bad enough for the 38-year-old Beltran to acknowledge that he’ll have to seriously consider whether he wants to box again.
Roach told BoxingScene.com that he and Beltran will reconvene after Beltran takes some time off before making a final decision.
“I’m really worried about Ray a little bit because he took a lot of shots [Friday] night,” Roach said Saturday night, following Brandon Adams’ loss to Jermall Charlo at NRG Arena. “And, you know, I thought it was a good stoppage, to be honest with you. I’m a little bit leery about that right now, and we’re just gonna look to see how he looks. We’ll give him a couple weeks off and he’ll make a better decision in a couple weeks. Because right after a fight, it’s really hard to make a decision one way or the other. You know, so we’ll make a decision and I’ll see how he does. If he prevails and does well, we’ll go on. If not, we’ll retire.”
Roach didn’t notice anything during Beltran’s training camp that led him to believe Beltran (36-9-1, 22 KOs, 1 NC) would take that kind of beating against Commey (29-2, 26 KOs).
“He was fine,” Roach said. “He was boxing well, and he had good sparring partners. Him and Manny Pacquiao were actually in the gym together.”
Ghana’s Commey dropped Beltran twice during the first round, once in the fifth and once in the eighth. Beltran got up from each knockdown and wanted to continue, but Hernandez didn’t like what he saw when Beltran reached his feet that fourth time.
If Phoenix’s Beltran does fight again, he’ll move up from lightweight to junior welterweight. He failed to make weight Thursday for what was supposed to be a shot at Commey’s IBF lightweight title and admitted his body simply won’t allow him to get all the way down to 135 pounds anymore.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.