No longer will Raymundo Beltran be known as Manny Pacquiao’s favorite sparring partner. He’s finally carved his own niche amongst the elite lightweights in professional boxing.
Fresh off his upset win over former top-ranked contender Hank Lundy in July, Beltran (27-6, 17 KOs) pieced together another brilliant performance Thursday night in Las Vegas, defending his North American Boxing Federation (NABF) lightweight title with a 98-92, 98-92, 97-94 unanimous decision win over Ji-Hoon Kim (24-8) at The Mirage Hotel & Casino in the main event of a special Thursday night edition of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights.
“I pray I get a shot at a world title. That’s what I want, and I believe that’s what I deserve,” Beltran said. “This is no time to stop or take easy fights. I have never shied away from a tough fight. I just needed the right fights under the right conditions, and Lundy and Kim were made to order for me.”
Kim entered the fight ranked No. 3 in the International Boxing Federation (...