Ricky Burns (36-2-1, 11KO’s) was fortunate to hold onto the WBO Lightweight world title after the judges reached a controversial draw decision following his bout with Raymundo Beltran (28-6-1, 17KO’s) last night at the SECC in Glasgow, Scotland.
Burns was having to undergo surgery this morning on a broken jaw, but managed to hold on to keep hold of his title.
GMS contributor Tom Stretton gives us a round by round review.
The fight began with Burns landing well from range, moving very well around the ring and scoring good combinations to both the head and body of his Mexican opponent. A good start to the fight and an easy round to score. Burns 10 : 9 Beltran
The second round began in the same manner in which the whole of the first played out, with Burns out moving Beltran and scoring with good combinations, although he seemed to be trying too hard and at times was telegraphing unnecessary wide shots at Beltran.
Burns looked good behind the jab but when he opened up he was beginning to get caught with lovely left hooks from Beltran. In the last minute of the fight Beltran landed one of those left hooks and Ricky Burns really did grimace. A close round after the good ending from Beltran but the Scottish fighter just did enough early on. Burns 10 : 9 Beltran.
The third began with Burns charging out throwing a little wildly at Beltran while the Mexican just covered up and weathered the storm for around 30 seconds, before beginning to pick his shots very well and landing regularly on Burns. A clear round for Beltran. Burns 9 : 10 Beltran.
Burns came out well for the fourth, landing a good combo and then following it up with a good right hand counter when Beltran tried to respond. That was the most success Burns would have this round though, as Beltran doubled up his jab and was looking to really load up with a left hook that was clearly causing Burns lots of problems.
Coming towards the final minute of the round Beltran landed a very hard left hook that shook Burns and made him look to clinch, but Beltran broke free immediately and then again landed a hard left hook, this time sending Burns reeling across the ring.
Beltran spent the rest of the round walking Burns down and landing occasional shots to the body as the champion held a high guard. Easily a Beltran round. Burns 9 : 10 Beltran.
Beltran has a wealth of experience having sparred with the great Manny Pacquiao, and that experience showed in the fifth as he slowed the pace a little now he was in clear control and saved some energy whilst Burns was expending lots loading up shots and missing rather wildly all the time with Beltran landing the odd counter.
In the final minute Burns did land a few decent jabs but Beltran responded with a good left hook again, this time to the body and Burns had to hold on to his opponent. Another Beltran round, that 3 in a row. Burns 9 : 10 Beltran.
Beltran came out for the sixth walking Burns down, pushing him back towards the ropes and landing some nice body shots whilst he was there. Then going into the second half of the round Burns managed to move away from the ropes and began to score some good straight shots and was now starting to make a slightly tired looking Beltran miss.
Beltran threw his big left hook wildly coming toward the end of the round only for Burns to avoid it well and land a good left hook of his own. A good end to the round for Burns who really needed some confidence, and took it for me. Burns 10 : 9 Beltran.
The 7th round was another good one for Burns as he came out making Beltran miss and was landing well on the 32-year-old Mexican. A few hard exchanges followed which Burns got the better of and for the first time in the fight it was Beltran who was moving backwards and Burns was on the front foot chasing him down and out-punching his tough opponent .
Burns had now straightened up his shots and was reaping the rewards for that. A good round for Burns who looked to be taking back over the fight. Burns 10 : 9 Beltran.
In round 8 disaster struck for Ricky Burns as he threw a couple of nice jabs but then for some reason dropped his right hand and got caught flush with another left hook, this time knocking him straight to the canvas.
Burns showed some good maturity by getting himself to one knee immediately but then staying there until the referee reached the eight count, giving “The Rickster” chance to clear his head, which he did.
The problem was that Beltran knew this too and rather than coming wildly swinging at Burns risking getting caught himself he kept his distance and scored some nice hard shot, each one clearly hurting Burns as he winced in pain over and over. Burns tried to throw a few hard shots of his own towards the end of the round only for Beltran to again counter with a good left hook. A very good round for Beltran. Burns 8 : 10 Beltran.
A few good exchanges got round nine underway but again it was Beltran that was the stronger looking fighter as he started to push Burns back more and more, really putting pressure on the champion who was now visibly in danger of losing his title.
Every time Burns was firing shots, Beltran was taking them and moving into position to land his own hurtful shots on Burns and this round, whilst not the most eventful, was a clear one for Beltran. At the end of the round Burns told his corner that he had serious pain in his jaw. Burns 9 : 10 Beltran.
Beltran was again the aggressor going into the tenth. He was taking a few jabs from Burns but was landing his own hard shots to both the head and body, particularly that left hand that had caused Ricky nightmares all night long. Each and every time Beltran landed in this round Burns looked in agony and Beltran took the round clearly without using very much energy at all. Burns 9 : 10 Beltran.
The eleventh started with an untidy exchange and then both men clumsily stumbled around the ring whilst holding onto to each other. Tiredness was creeping in now and understandably so, everything was just starting to look a little ragged.
Burns did start to have some success with some jabs and straight right hands but again Beltran took them well and landed harder shots on Burns forcing the champion to again hold and then move backwards.
Close round with probably equal punches landed, but I gave it to Beltran on clean effective work. Burns 9 : 10 Beltran.
The final round began and Burns looked as though he knows he needed something out of it as he came forward trying to set a fast pace and landing a few good jabs and then moving and making Beltran miss.
There was very little landed from Beltran in the 12th, but I felt despite taking the round it was too little too late from Burns although he looked to be clearly having problems in there all night, grimacing with every shot that landed from Beltran. Burns 10 : 9 Beltran.
My final Score was Ricky Burns 112-115 Raymundo Beltran with Beltran taking a good close fight by a couple of rounds and a knockdown.
The three men that mattered though scored the bout 115-113 for Beltran, 115-112 for Burns and 114-114 even. A draw was called and Ricky Burns in my eyes was lucky to hold onto that belt despite showing tremendous bravery battling through what seemed a painful injury.
That injury was today confirmed by Burns’ promoter Eddie Hearn to be a broken jaw and pictures of the X-Ray were broadcast on Sky Sports News this morning, where you could clearly see a clean break in the jaw.
When asked whether there would be a rematch Hearn was unsure whether Burns would ever box again.
He said: “I can't guarantee Ricky will ever box again. It's a major operation. We don't know how he will recover from that and the jaw is an integral part of a boxer's make-up.” He continued "Right now, my main concern after seeing him in hospital is Ricky Burns' health. His career will come second. My gut feeling is he will come back but it will be some time before he's ready again."
Meanwhile Raymundo Beltran was left feeling gutted by the outcome as he had this to say to Sky Sports following the fight: "There is money involved, it is business, every time they have a chance to protect their investment they do it. They play with the business, they have the power."
The 32-year-old Mexican then confirmed he would consider a rematch but insisted it be in America, adding: "I fight anybody but I want to fight in a fair place, I want to fight in America.
"Let's do it in America, I think I deserve a chance. Let's go to America and have a fight there - I am a champion."
I personally would love to see a rematch but for now we will have to wait and see if Ricky Burns is now even capable of continuing in the sport. After last night’s entertainment I do hope so.
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