I recently wrote an article about how Ricky Burns must ‘Abandon a Rematch with Raymundo Beltran’.
This was on the premise that Beltran, although thoroughly deserving of a rematch, was just too dangerous of an opponent for Burns to once again risk his title against, especially after suffering a broken jaw in their first clash.
But as a writer I am duty bound to entertain alternative angles of a certain argument. So now I will play devil’s advocate and renegade on my original assertion by stating that Ricky Burns should in fact fight Raymundo Beltran in a rematch.
And it is fair to deduce from comments made by his manager that a rematch is definitely on the cards.
"Ricky feels it's the moral thing to do in giving Beltran another shot.
"He wants to put the record straight after fighting for 10 rounds with a broken jaw in that first fight, ” Morrison told BBC Scotland.
This statement tells you Ricky Burns is certainly a man of great moral fabric. It is a testament to his sporting integrity and personal dignity that he is unequivocal in his stance that Beltran deserves a shot at redemption.
He certainly does deserve another chance; Beltran was robbed in Glasgow, pure and simple.
Fortunately for Beltran, Burns and his camp are avowed in their acknowledgement that he should have been awarded the winner of the first clash. On the other hand, they are just as stoic in ensuring the rematch goes ahead on their terms and their terms only.
Whilst it is inequitable, it is also understandable that the olive branch being offered to Beltran is not being extended to his promoters in the negotiation process. You can’t start dishing out world title shots on sentiment, can you?
Alex Morrison, the manager of Ricky Burns, told the BBC: "We want it. Beltran wants it and the fans want it. The deal is done. We're 99% there with it and are just waiting for the final confirmation which will happen any day now.
"We're looking at early February in Glasgow."
So Beltran will have to sail against the tide all the way across the Atlantic once more to try and gain what really should rightfully be his- the WBO Lightweight Championship.
But next time, I suspect it won’t only be the judge’s who will openly try and undermine his tilt at the world title. No, this time he will face a fresh Ricky Burns for the whole fight. Not the inhibited, handicapped fighter who was unable to initiate fire due to a broken jaw he suffered in the second round.
Beltran was dominant throughout the fight, and was consistently the aggressor but his punches were seldom able to penetrate the excellent guard of the champion.
Whereas the ‘Rickster’, when fighting from long range, was able to pick Beltran off at will with his jab, which on occasion he used effectively to set up power punch combinations. His major problem was that Beltran, sensing that his opponents attacking prowess was sufficiently blunted due to the injury, simply stalked him and bullied him onto the ropes time and again.
Yet despite Burns being in survival mode for the majority of the fight, Beltran was still unable to finish his man. I propose his composed performance was homage to Burns ability to sustain a barrage of punishment but still not buckle, and that the trepidation he showed when attacking was out of fear of punching himself out, the way Jose Gonsalez did in Burns' last bout.
Did Beltran learn too much about Burns coming into the fight? Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. But he has certainly learned not to place his fate in the hands of the judges next time. On the contrary, Ricky Burns knows that he cannot expect the judges to bail him out once more against Beltran.
For these reasons, I expect an emboldened Beltran and a back to full health Ricky Burns to really get down to business and set the heather alight in their forthcoming rematch which is valid for Burns' WBO lightweight title.
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