Today at 3:00 pm EDT on Sky Sports in the UK and AWE (formerly WealthTV) in the United States, Matchroom Boxing's latest big fight card is live from the Scottish Exhibition Centre in Glasgow, with Ricky Burns defending the WBO lightweight title against Raymundo Beltran in the main event.
Burns (36-2, 11 KO) has been on a really strong run since a 2010 upset of Rocky Martinez, which gave him his first world title at 130 pounds, later vacated to move up to 135. His last time out, however, Burns had serious trouble with Chepo Gonzalez, an unheralded Puerto Rican, and had to dig down very deep and force a fight that wasn't really his style. It worked, but some feel that the yellow flags came up, if not the reds.
Beltran (28-6, 17 KO) is a veteran battler once best-known as a sparring partner for Manny Pacquiao, which obviously did him some good, as he's been a strong fringe contender for a while now. With the depletion of the lightweight division playing a role, but also his own hard work and tough fighting deserving most of the credit, Beltran is a serious, solid contender at lightweight right now, and by no means a true longshot in this fight.
On the undercard, cruiserweights Stephen Simmons (8-0, 4 KO) and David Graf (10-0, 7 KO) will meet in a battle of unbeatens. Other than that, it's a hunk o' junk, featuring Scott Cardle, Jon Slowey, Michael Roberts, Paul Appleby, David Brophy, Callum Smith, and Chris Jenkins in should-win fights.
We'll have live coverage this afternoon, so join us!