Beltran Goes Rated R
By Steve Kim, MaxBoxing (Jan 5, 2012) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © Robert Port)
Ray Beltran
[Writer’s Note: Warning: some of the language uttered in this article by and about lightweight Ray Beltran, who faces Luis Ramos on Friday night's edition of “ShoBox” from the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California, is a bit salty and expletive-filled. This is unusual for the mild-mannered Beltran but this is also a desperate boxer who understands that if he wants his career to move forward, he must absolutely come out victorious. Nonetheless, parental discretion is advised.]
This is all so familiar for Ray Beltran. Once again, he faces an undefeated Golden Boy Promotions prospect in the main event on “ShoBox.” Back on May 13th, he was paired against the 19-0 Sharif Bogere in Primm, Nevada on this series.
“It's the same situation the way I look at it,” said “Sugar” Beltran, last week after his day’s work at the Wild Card Boxing Club was finished. “I have to knock this guy out. If not, I'm going to get robbed again, just the same way.”
Versus Bogere, Beltran lost a unanimous decision by the scores of 97-93 and 96-94 (twice) in a fight many observers believed he deserved to win. He also had a knockdown that was missed by referee Robert Byrd. It was a close fight but Bogere was the “house fighter” on this occasion, which meant that any benefit of the doubt would go in his direction. The same rules will most likely apply in this instance.
“The way I look at it, Ramos just has to make it to the end. He just has to survive. Once he makes it, he's going to win- they'll give him the fight. So to me, I gotta knock him out. I'm ready 100 percent and I think about that Sharif Bogere fight and it motivates me. It makes me angry to get my payback. It's payback this time,” said the 30-year-old, who was born in the fighting town of Los Mochis, Mexico. He admits that loss took some time to digest. “It takes time because when you lose, you get over it but when you get robbed, not only in the fight, they rob your money- because I bet money on myself- but most important, they robbed my dreams, my opportunity to make it to the title, to better fights. But y’ know what? I use that for the next step as a motivation: be angry, be more motivated to fight harder.”
Just two months before the Bogere fight, Beltran had captured the vacant USBA title by halting Carlos Vinan in seven rounds and was building some momentum in a career that had stalled in previous years. A victory on national TV over “The Lion” and Beltran would've been on the brink of some really significant fights. With that loss, he was back to fighting at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills (where he battered Darien Ford in two quick innings in September). Nothing against the place. It's a fine venue but at age 30 and with over a decade spent in this game, he's looking beyond club shows.
It will be trainer Freddie Roach's job to keep the whip on Beltran and remind him of what took place in May. “Definitely. It's not enough in today's marketplace just to win,” said the respected cornerman. “You have to win impressively. The best way to win is to win by knockout, get the judges out of the equation.”
That is precisely what Beltran aims to do.

“I'm going to try to f**k him up, bro,” he said, succinctly. “I'm going to try to f**k him up and f**k up the f**kin' judges and the referees and the business. Because it's me against not only Luis Ramos. It's me against Golden Boy, me against the f**kin' judges- they ain't sh*t. I don't trust nobody, even the f**kin' referees- I don't trust nobody. It's me against everybody.”
Beltran, despite going all Mount St. DiBella and erupting in F-bombs, is a nice guy, one not prone to outbursts like this. But desperate times call for desperate measures. The Bogere decision left him a cynical and angry man, one that now fully understands that the nature of this business isn't always just or fair- especially to blue-collar, no-frills individuals like himself.
“I mean, I'm a real fighter. I don't depend on bringing a circus with me, be some kind of an actor or a good-looking guy or somebody’s son or whatever it is. I'm a real boxer and, lately, boxing is about politics, all bullsh*t. So to me, I got to go and break through all the bullsh*t and make it happen, knock this guy out,” he says.

One knock on Beltran is that with his years of sparring the likes of Manny Pacquiao, he may have developed a bit of the “sparring partners syndrome,” where he simply doesn't move his hands enough and is content to just go through rounds, not fully exerting himself fully to win. “I think so, a little bit,” agreed Roach. “He didn't always put the pedal to the medal when he had to [against Bogere]. I feel like if he would've picked it up in the fight in Vegas, he could've put the guy on the deck a couple of times. He's a good puncher. He has a great left hook, so hopefully, he'll pick up the pace a little bit and be a little more impressive.”
Of their young foe, Roach says he’s “a very good fighter but I think he's beatable. Ray has the experience.” Beltran hasn't seen much of Ramos. “I don't even worry about him,” he said, dismissively. “I never worry about my opponents. I just worry about myself here at the gym. I don't have time to worry about my opponents. I worry about myself and get ready for the fights and be the most perfect I can at the gym for every situation.”
To him, Ramos is just “another protected guy like a bunch of f**kin' prospects that are out there. They are not real stars; they're built stars. [Their promoters] made them, they're not even real.”
Regardless, Beltran knows he's running out of time and opportunities to leave his mark.

“I think I got the talent. I still got something to do but it's my last chance,” he admits. “I gotta do everything to finish good because if not, they will not let me go and make it.”
For those who want to attend this show, here's the info from the Golden Boy Promotions press release:
Tickets, priced at $25, $35 and $45, are on sale now and available for purchase at the Fantasy Springs Box Office, by calling (800) 827-2946 or online at Doors at Fantasy Springs will open at 6:00pm PT on fight night and the first bell rings at 6:30pm PT.
I received this email earlier this week in response to my article 12 for ’12 (
Hey, Steve, nice article as always. I always get a kick out of looking up Robinson on boxrec, it really puts things into perspective when guys like Floyd Mayweather claim to be the best of all time. At my last glance, I noted that he weighed in at 145 to LaMotta's 160.75 in the rematch; that also puts the whole "catch weight" thing we've got going on these days into its proper perspective. Also interesting that his "stay busy" (yeah, right) fight before the LaMotta rematch wasn't an easy out according to the scorecards; he won a freakin' 10-round majority decision! What a warrior. Happy New Year,

Yeah, Wilson, you bring up a great point. I don't think people realize just how much weight Robinson was giving up in a lot of his middleweight title defenses. When folks ask me who the greatest junior middleweight is, I answer, “Sugar Ray Robinson” because, essentially, that's what he was for many of those fights.
Forget the fact that many consider Walker Smith Jr. to be the GOAT; what stands out to me is that this guy was of a different era when boxers had to really be hard, tough men. I seriously doubt any of these supposed “pound-for-pound” divas today could survive the yearly gauntlet that guys like Robinson did so routinely.
Showtime is having a free preview weekend, so those who don't subscribe can view this week’s edition of “ShoBox”...Welterweight Ronald Cruz faces Allen Conyers on Feb. 25th at the Grand Ballroom at Bally's Atlantic City...“Snooki” can't be any worse for boxing than most of these TV packagers...If I ever see Holly Rowe coming in my direction, I will get the hell outta the way: fans, I know Andrew Bynum is always a health risk but are you sure you want him dealt alongside Pau Gasol for Dwight Howard?...

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