Ray Beltran, a generally well-liked and oft hard luck veteran isn't doing himself any favors. It's now being reported that he tested positive for anabolic steroid stanozolol following his bout with Takahiro Ao last month in Las Vegas. He now faces a suspension and fine from the Nevada State Athletic Commission and his June 27th fight with Humberto Soto has been canceled. His dominating win over Ao will almost assuredly be declared a no contest as well.
"Just disappointed. I'm disappointed for Beltran and I'm disappointed for us, but eventually fighters are going to learn not to try to cheat the system," Carl Moretti, vice president of Top Rank, Beltran's promoter, told ESPN.com. "I feel worse about it that it happened to [Ao promoter] Mr. [Akihiko] Honda and our friends from Teiken Boxing and that their fighter, Ao, was hurt by all this."
What was supposed to be a fight for the vacant WBO lightweight title between Beltran and Ao on May 1st went awry when Beltran failed to make the 135lb weight limit. The title fight went on as scheduled, but with Ao the only one eligible to win the belt. As it so happens, Beltran pretty much trucked him with a second round TKO.
Beltran's manager, Cameron Dunkin, says he spoke to Ray about the failed test and states that he didn't think he took any banned substance - so it must've been given to him by a member of his training team.
"He's devastated about the Soto fight. Who wouldn't be? He feels betrayed by somebody who was working with him, but he doesn't know by who. He has three different guys who work with him but somebody really let him down. Someone didn't look out for him. This is terrible. There's nothing else to say."
With Beltran a no-go for the foreseeable future, HBO, Top Rank, and Golden Boy are looking for a replacement to fight Humberto Soto on the June 27th card that the network still plans to air. It's being rumored that Jose Felix Jr. (29-1-1, 24 KOs), could possibly get the call.