Mason Menard to step in against Ray Beltran
Lightweight Mason Menard will now face Ray Beltran in a 10-round bout on Dec. 10, promoter Greg Cohen told RingTV Monday morning.
Menard replaces Juan Diaz, who withdrew from the bout last week due to an injury suffered during training camp.
The Beltran-Menard fight will take place at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska. It will support the showdown between THE RING/WBC/WBO champion Terence Crawford against John Molina Jr.
Opening the HBO “World Championship Boxing” tripleheader (9:35 p.m ET/ 6:35 p.m. PT) will be a tape-delay 12-round heavyweight clash between Joseph Parker and Andy Ruiz Jr. for the vacant WBO title. The bout will take place earlier in the day at the Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.
Menard (32-1, 24 knockouts) has mostly fought in relative obscurity in his home state of Louisiana before his highlight-reel knockout win over Eudy Bernardo on April 15. That bout aired on Showtime.
In his most recent bout on Aug. 19, Menard knocked out Bahodir Mamadjanov in round nine.
Menard was scheduled to fight on Dec. 15 in a stay-busy bout before receiving the call to face Beltran.
“This is the opportunity Mason has been waiting for,” Cohen told RingTV. “We appreciate the opportunity Bob Arum and Top Rank (Promotions) is giving to us and Mason.
“Ray and Mason are two of the nicest guys in boxing. It’s too bad that they’re fighting but that’s that nature of boxing. Based on their styles, we could have a potential ‘Fight of the Year’ candidate.”
Menard, who is ranked No. 4 by the WBO and 10 by the WBA, is ranked No. 10 by THE RING magazine.
Beltran (31-7-1, 19 KOs), who is originally from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico and now resides in the Los Angeles area, stopped Miguel Angel Mendoza in round five on Sept. 10.
Beltran has won his last two bouts since his technical knockout win over Takahiro Ao on May 1 of last year was overturned to a no-decision after failing a post-fight drug test.
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.
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