Former lightweight titleholder Ray Beltran has brushed away any thoughts of retirement and plans to return to the ring in early 2019, according to ESPN.
Beltran, 37, lost the WBO 135-pound title to Jose Pedraza on Aug. 25 in Glendale, Arizona, and with it lost a chance of fighting Vasiliy Lomachenko in a big unification bout, which Pedraza will now do on Dec. 8 in New York, televised on ESPN.
Beltran (35-8-1, 21 KO) was simply outboxed by Pedraza, but he never gave up on the fight, which resulted in him opening himself up late and getting dropped in the 11th round. He gave his usual valiant effort, but it just wasn’t his night, and Pedraza executed well throughout the bout.
But Beltran thinks he can get back to a world title shot, according to manager Steve Feder:
“He was really dealing with some depression after that loss, but he’s far from done. (He) knows that he should have won that fight but you can’t rewrite the past. He desperately wants another title shot. He knows it’s an uphill climb but his whole career has been uphill.”
Beltran plans to return “no later than March,” according to Feder.