Raymundo Beltran and Ricardo Lucio-Galvan are fighting to stay in the country. They both won last night.
The final decision on whether they can remain in the United States is yet to be made. But in the boxing ring on Friday, Beltran won the WBO World Lightweight Championship with a bloody 12-round decision and Lucio-Galvan also was bloodied but victorious, scoring a third-round technical knockout in front of 2,221 hometown fans in Reno’s Grand Sierra Resort and millions more on ESPN.
It was the 36-year-old Beltran’s fourth world title attempt and a bout he was told he needed to win to obtain a green card and permanent United States resident status as an “extraordinary athlete.” A married father of three who has lived in the U.S. for 20 years, Beltran’s work visa will soon expire.
Beltran (35-7-1, 21 KOs) suffered cuts over both eyes and on his nose and a bloody lip. He was nearly knocked down in the ninth round, yet he controlled the final few rounds to score a unanimous decision over 39-year-old Paulus Moses (40-4, 25 KOs) of Namibia. It was a brutal fight. Moses, who won the early rounds by utilizing a reach advantage and tagging Beltran with a lightning quick left jab. Beltran suffered a nasty cut his left eye late in the third round. It was the sixth time Beltran has sustained a cut to his left eye. The fight was much closer than the judges called it. Two of them scored Beltran, the heavy crowd favorite, the winner 117-111 and the third had him winning 116-112. (See round by round notes and Tahoe Onstage scoring.)
Several hundred people exited the Grand Theatre after Beltran won and the ESPN crew started breaking down its equipment. That allowed the hometown fans to move closer to the ring and cheer Lucio-Galvan, who has lived in Reno for all but the first seven months of his life. He is a two-time DACA recipient and is nicknamed “The Dreamer.”
The 20-year-old Lucio-Galvan won his pro debut last November with a first round knockout. His second opponent was 31-year-old Kenny Guzman of Montana. Both fighters waited in their dressing rooms during the first seven bouts, not sure when they would be called into the ring. Lucio-Galvan was in his room more than six hours.
But both 126-pound featherweights started quickly when they finally had a chance to answer the bell. Lucio-Galvan landed a couple of jabs and a left upper cut. Guzman came back with a right to the body and then connected with a left jab.
Lucio-Galvan scored two rights and a left and the crowd chanted “Ricky, Ricky.” A hook caught Guzman off balance and he went down but was up on his feet at the count of five. His nose was bleeding. Sensing a knockout, Lucio-Galvan rushed forward and an overhand right grazed Guzman’s head and sent him back on the canvas, although he did not appear to be seriously hurt.
“I warmed up too early and then I cooled down,” Guzman said. “I came in to the first round cold.”
In the second round, Lucio-Galvan tried jabbing to the head and following with upper cuts to the body. The shorter Guzman danced from the outside. It was a competitive round and toward the end the two clashed heads. Guzman tagged Lucio-Galvan with a right cross at the end of the round and after the bell Lucio-Galvan returned to his corner with a cut over his right eyelid, a very serious turn of events. Lucio-Galvan stood pensively for a moment as his corner men brought in the stool.
“I pictured this happening someday a long time ago,” Lucio-Galvan said. “I just relaxed and stayed calm.”
For the first time since the early opening round, Lucio-Galvan stayed on the outside and jabbed at the start of the third round. Seeing an opening, he charged inside and Guzman wrapped him in a clinch. Moments later, Lucio-Galvan connected with a haymaker, a perfectly thrown left hook. But Guzman stayed on his feet.
Lucio-Galvan backed Guzman into his own corner and tagged him with a left and floored him with a short, accurate right cross. Referee Tony Weeks stopped the fight without a count.
“I didn’t feel like I was hurt when the ref stopped it,” Guzman said. “I know he is doing his job to protect us but I was on my heels and off balance when he hit me. I was definitely capable to continue fighting.”
Guzman entered Lucio-Galvan’s dressing room afterward to congratulate him and apologize for the second-round head butt.
Guzman said Lucio-Galvan’s strength is his pressing style. Lucio-Galvan praised Guzman’s ability to take big shots.
Lucio-Galvan’s record remains perfect: two knockout wins in two pro fights, and a 4.0 grade point average as a University of Nevada, Reno business major, which is good for his DACA status.
“Tonight, Beltran set a great example and I am trying to set a great example, too,” Lucio-Galvan said.
Related story: Phenom Shakur Stevenson pitches shutout.
Grand Sierra Resort, Grand Theatre
- WBO World Lightweight Championship, 12 rounds
Ray Beltran (35-7-1, 21 KOs) defeated Paulus Moses (40-4, 25 KOs) by 12-round unanimous decision
- NABF Welterweight Championship
Egidijus Kavaliauskas (18-0, 15 KOs) defeated David Avanesyan by 6th round TKO
- Shakur Stevenson, Newark, New Jersey (5-0-2 KOs) defeated Juan Tapia, Brownsville, Texas (8-2, 3 KOs) by 8-round unanimous decision; featherweights
- Robson Conceicao (6-0, 4 KOs) defeated. Jayro Duran (11-5 9 KOs) by unanimous 6-round decision; super featherweights
- Bryant Jennings (22-2, 13 KOs) defeated Ahror Muralimov (14-4, 11 KOs) by 3rd round knockout; heavyweights
- Alexander Besputin (9-0 7 KOs) defeated Wesley Tucker (15-1 8 KOs) by 5th round TKO
- Sagadat Rakhmankul, Oxnard, California (1-0 1 KO) defeated Noel Esqueda (8-5-2) by 5th round TKO; super welterweights
- Ricardo Lucio-Galvan (2-0-2 KOs) defeated Kenny Guzman (4-2, 1 KO) by 3rd round TKO; featherweights