After ending his last fight in spectacular fashion with a devastating knockout, top-rated Lightweight contender Ray Beltran (34-7-1, 21 KOs) retained his NABF and NABO lightweight titles with a 10-round majority decision victory over Bryan Vasquez (35-3, 19 KOs) at the Microsoft Theater on Saturday night.
Beltran vs. Vasquez served as the co-featured bout on the Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Miguel Marriaga fight on ESPN.
Beltran opened the fight with a solid Round 1, landing 41 percent of his punches. In the second and third round, Beltran began wearing down Vasquez with pressure and landed some hard left hooks.
Vasquez landed a good uppercut followed by a solid right hand in the fifth round as he continued to fight back, but Beltran’s size was evident as he backed down Vasquez with power shots.
“He is very strong,” said Beltran. “He can take a punch very well, stronger than I thought he was going to be.”
Vasquez remained active, but Beltran continued to back him down. Vasquez made it a competitive fight, slipping punches and giving Beltran a hard target to hit with all his movement. In Round 8, Vasquez turned to southpaw to confuse Beltran.
Beltran suffered a cut on the corner of his right eye in the ninth round and and cut in the middle of his forehead from a headbutt in the 10th round, which left his face a bloody mess. Vazquez landed a right hand which seemed to hurt Beltran in the final seconds of Round 10.
“He hurt me a little bit because there was a lot of blood in my eyes,” said Beltan. “I could not see. I didn’t see the punch.”
The judges scored the bout 96-94, 95-95 and 95-95.
“I am just motivated and I don’t put pressure on my shoulders,” said Beltran. “When you have pressure you have doubts. I just believe in myself and enjoy the moment.”
Header photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank