On February 16th, Raymundo Beltran finally gets his chance at World Championship glory when he takes on Paulus Moses for the vacant WBO World Lightweight Title.
Beltran (34-7-1, 21 KOs) is also fighting to become a green card resident of the United States, and winning a World Title will push him one step closer to becoming a recognized citizen in the country he has occupied for 20 years.
The Mexican’s first attempt at a World Title ended in a controversial loss to Ricky Burns in 2013. Beltran broke the Scot’s jaw in the second round and dropped the Champion in the eighth, but despite appearing to edge the bout, it ended in a split decision draw.
In the 36-year-old’s next World Title fight he came up against pound-for-pound great Terence Crawford in 2014. The challenger encountered a Champion in imperious form, losing a unanimous decision to the talented switch-hitter.
The Phoenix, Arizona resident has since worked his way back into World Title contention, winning five bouts in a row and is now set to face Paulus Moses for the WBO crown that Terry Flanagan recently vacated.
Moses is no pushover though, holding a record of 40-3 (25 KOs). He’s a former World Champion and will want to return to the top of the pile with a win in Nevada.
He first won a World Title at Lightweight against Yusuke Kobori in 2009, and defended the belt once before surrendering it to Miguel Acosta in a sixth-round stoppage.
Moses, like Beltran, also fought Burns in March 2012. However, Moses suffered a wide decision loss to the Scottish Champion. Since that reverse, the Namibian has rebuilt his career, winning 13 of his next 14 bouts.
Both men will be desperate to win and set up potentially lucrative unifications with the likes of Mikey Garcia, Jorge Linares and Robert Easter Jr.