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World title shot awaits Pacquiao sparring partner Ray Beltran

At the Madison Square Garden in New York last Saturday night, Beltran rose from a first round knock down to dismantle Jonathan Maicelo in the second round of the well-attended weekend event that featured his former foe Terence Crawford who successfully defended his title against Felix Diaz of Sto. Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Beltran took the referee’s count with a mild complain saying he wasn’t knocked down with a real punch but with a hard headbutt that bloodied the head of Maicelo. But the referee stood by his call and the fight continued to the second round.

In the second round, Maicelo fired a series of left and right combinations that seemed to have dazed Beltran. Later in the round, Beltran threw a power left hook that found its mark on Maicelo’s head, sending the Peruvian tumbling to the canvas as the referee waved off the fight in favor of Beltran.

Before last Saturday’s fight, Beltran, who served as Manny Pacquiao’s sparring partner for many years said Saturday’s fight is very important for him and his team because a win will give him another opportunity to fight again for a world title. Read more:

Aside from the opportunity to become a world champion, Beltran awaits a resolution of his immigration problem in the US and looks forward to receiving his green card and later to become a US citizen.

“All I have ever wanted was to have success in boxing, to be able to provide for my family, and to get a green card — then citizenship — to secure our future.” Beltran told USA Today before the fight.

With his convincing win over Maicelo Saturday, Beltran is now the mandatory challenger to Robert Easter, Jr., who is the current IBF lightweight champion.

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