After a yearlong absence, Ray Beltran stops Ivan Najera
Lightweight Ray Beltran secured a victory over Ivan Najera in a must-win bout Saturday night.
Beltran overcame Najera’s offense early on to score a second round knockout victory at the Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, Texas.
With the win, Beltran improves to 30-7-1 (18 knockouts); Najera drops to 16-3 (8 KOs).
It was Beltran’s first fight since May 1 of last year. Beltran faced Takahiro Ao for the vacant WBO lightweight title but came in a half-pound over the 135-pound limit. He scored a second round knockout win but the result was changed to a no-decision by the Nevada State Athletic Commission due to Beltran failing a post-fight drug test.
Najera entered Saturday’s bout having lost two bouts straight. In his last bout on Nov. 20, Najera was stopped in one round by Saul Rodriguez.
From the outset, Najera took the fight to Beltran, finding success in the pocket. Beltran easily countered Najera to the head and body, even hurting him against the ropes with about a minute left in the round.
Both had their moments in the second round but Beltran’s more accurate and harder punches took their effect on Najera. Toward the end of the round, a left uppercut to the head slumped Najera onto the bottom rope. Beltran landed a barrage of punches before referee Jon Schorle stepped in and stopped the bout at 2:58.
“I don’t care who it is or if I go to their hometowns,” said Beltran after the fight. “I’m willing to face the best fighters at 135 pounds.”
Beltran remains a relevant fighter at 135 pounds or if he decides to eventually move up to 140 pounds. The loss deflates any hope Najera had to turn around his career and his future is in question.
Saucedo decisions Lacerda
In the opening bout of UniMas’ “Solo Boxeo Tecate” broadcast, Alex Saucedo won a one-sided decision over Claudinei Lacerda in a eight-round welterweight bout.
Saucedo improves to 22-0 (14 KOs). Lacerda, who falls to 17-15-1 (12 KOs), has now lost his last five straight.
Saucedo landed the more-telling blows throughout most of the fight. Lacerda had his moments at times during the bout, landing an occasional hook or cross to the head.
The highlight of the fight was about midway during the fourth round when Saucedo scored a knockdown, courtesy of a left hook to the head. Lacerda got up and fought on, remaining competitive until the final bell.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Saucedo, 79-72 twice and 80-71.
– In a four-round swing bout featuring unbeaten junior middleweights, Daniel Baiz (6-0, 5 KOs) scored a knockout win over Even Torres after the second round. After an even opening round, Baiz dropped Torres (4-1, 4 KOs) with a left hook in the second round. Torres remained on his stool to start the third round, claiming he had trouble breathing from his nose and it was likely fractured.
– Welterweight Arturo Marquez scored a second round knockout win over Jesus Rodriguez (0-2). The 19-year-old Marquez, who is the son of former world titleholder Raul Marquez, improves to 2-0, 2 KOs.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper, BoxingScene.com and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing.