Terence Crawford of course is the latest meteor streaking across the boxing landscape with his recent ascension to champ after stunning victories over Ricky Burns and then Yorkis Gamboa. Crawford now makes his second title defense at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha against mandatory challenger Raymundo Beltran on Nov. 29 (HBO).
The unsung Beltran who oddly enough is ranked #2 in Boxrec rankings to Crawford’s #1 was last year a victim of the grievous injustices practiced by boxing when he broke the jaw and otherwise beat up hometown favorite Ricky Burn only to lose the decision. Boxing has much in common with ice skating and gymnastics histrionics in that regard save being so much worse, but I digress.
This is a rare opportunity that sees Crawford and Top Rank salve that injustice by giving Beltran a crack at the belt he should have won and been defending for this fight. Unfortunately Beltran lacks the elite talent and natural attributes that Crawford has been demonstrating, but he looks game enough to take it hard to Crawford and to risk going out on his shield which is what will give him his chance, a puncher’s chance that he can turn the fight around with a big set of punches. Not too many title offers are gonna come the way of a 29-6 journeyman, but surely in the back of his mind he understands there have been much bigger upsets than this if he pull it off, so there is always his hope that he will be at his peak at just the right moment.
The problem for Beltran is that Crawford is just as hungry, perhaps more so now that he might be inline for some really big fights. He has the frame to eventually go up to welter if the money is there, but for now he’s needing to make his chops in the lightweight division. Thank goodness he has a Raymundo Beltran to put a hard test to him and put him through his paces as too many top fighters in boxing are taking easier paths of development that leaves them soft and vulnerable when push comes to shove. His cause is helped with this defense being in Crawford’s hometown that looks to grow his home fanbase before turning to bigger fights at bigger venues for more money.
Win, lose, or draw, this donnybrook has a Win-Win-Win feel to it for all the parties involved, so good luck gentlemen and may the best man on the night take home the belt as it was meant to be when Jack Broughton first drew up codified rules some 4 centuries ago that form the historical root of modern boxing.