Beltran to Face Maicelo on Crawford-Diaz Undercard May 20

By Mike Sloan May 10, 2017
Top Rank announced Wednesday afternoon that Ray Beltran will lock horns with Jonathan Maicelo in the opening bout of the HBO World Championship Boxing telecast on May 20. The bout will serve as the co-feature for the junior welterweight world championship between champion Terence Crawford and Felix Diaz.

Beltran (32-7-1, 20 KOs) has bounced back from a loss to Crawford in November 2014 and a controversial doping scandal after beating Takahiro Ao two years ago. The Mexico native has since won three in a row, all by knockout and hopes to get his recent setbacks in the rearview mirror.

“We are ready for this fight. It is a very important fight for the whole team, because it will be the fight that will take us to the opportunity of battling for a world title,” said Beltran, a two-time world title challenger. “We are focused on winning. We are coming to fight and give a great show to all the fans. I don’t just want to win. I want to look good and win convincingly. Little by little I am making my dreams come true. I have battled a lot in my career. We have fulfilled many of our goals, like now that we are going to fight at Madison Square Garden. Being able to fight in a historical place, where all the greats have fought, is a dream come true.”

Maicelo (25-2, 12 KOs) is coming off a dominant performance against Jose Felix Jr. in February where he knocked down the heavily-favored Mexican down five times. He’s won his last four bouts, all by unanimous decision, and he looks to continue his winning streak against Beltran.

“This is a very important fight for my career,” the Peruvian said. “This fight means everything to me because I will be able to display my skills in front of a big audience and on a big stage like Madison Square Garden. Right now I’m at my best and on May 20 everyone will see the best of me. I’m working very hard in the gym because everyone knows that Beltran is a tough fighter, but I’m focused on winning because this is a world title elimination bout that will take me straight to the opportunity of fighting for a world title.”

The action will go live on HBO beginning at 10:15 p.m. ET/7:15 p.m. PT. 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist Shakur Stevenson will fight on the non-televised portion of the event.


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