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Juan Diaz to face Ray Beltran in Crawford Dec. 10 co-feature

Fighters Network

HBO has a co-feature for Terence Crawford’s title defense against John Molina Jr.

Former lightweight champion Juan Diaz will face Ray Beltran in the chief supporting bout on Dec. 10 to Crawford-Molina on HBO, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum told on Thursday morning.

Arum planned to reveal the co-feature at a Thursday afternoon press conference in Omaha, Nebraska to formally announce Crawford’s junior welterweight title defense against Molina Jr. at CenturyLink Center in Crawford’s hometown.

“We’re going to be announcing the undercard under the Crawford fight today, so I can give you that,” Arum said in a phone interview. “It’s going to be Juan Diaz against Ray Beltran. I was with Juan at the Manny-Vargas fight (on Saturday in Las Vegas) in the press room. He seems primed and ready, so I look forward to a good fight. It’s a very good co-feature.”

Top Rank had been brainstorming between the lightweights, Diaz (42-4, 21 knockouts), Beltran (31-7-1, 19 KOs) and Jose Felix Jr. (35-1-1, 27 KOs) before settling on Diaz-Beltran. The 33-year-old Diaz has won seven straight since resuming his career after nearly three years away from the ring following a loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in 2010. Beltran, 35, has won two straight since he was nabbed for doping after stopping Takahiro Ao last year.

Beltran tested positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol and was suspended nine months and fined $25,500 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. As a result, a June 27 planned fight against Humberto Soto was scratched. Ironically, Molina Jr. was also suspended and fined during the same commission hearing in Aug. of 2015 for testing positive for the diuretic Furosemide after a loss to Adrien Broner.

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