This morning, Ray Beltran woke up knowing that tonight he has to knockout Paulus Moses.
I met Ray Beltran in 2000. I first saw Ray spar down at Kronk Gym in Detroit. I said to Emanuel Steward that if he didn’t sign Ray he was crazy.
Ray’s natural left hook, overhand right hand and straight right hand were the fastest I’d seen since world middleweight champion Gerald McClellan.
Ray has been fighting for decades already at only age 36. While most people wake dreading work, wishing for a day off, Ray is looking forward to Friday night’s fight.
You can watch can watch Ray Beltran (34-7-1, 21 KOs) fight Paulus Moses (40-3, 25 KOs) for free live at 9 p.m. EST on ESPN in front of millions of fans.
- Ray will be fighting for his hard-earned WBO World Lightweight Title.
- Paulus has a better knockout rate: 57% to Ray’s 47%.
- Paulus has Ray on reach: 72½” to Ray’s 68”.
- Paulus has more rounds: 294 to Ray’s 236.
- Paulus is 39. Ray is 36.
- Losses: Paulus has 3. Ray has 7.
- TKO: 17 to Ray’s 15.
- KOs: 6 to Ray’s 5.
- UD: 10 to Ray’s 9.
- Rank: Ray is No. 6. Paulus is No. 18.
But what Ray has that Paulus doesn’t is the drive to win that I’ve only seen in other world champions. It’s that one thing that you’d have to have seen before to recognize. Ray has it. Paulus doesn’t.
Watch the matchup and fight free by downloading the Watch ESPN App or going online to ESPN and looking for boxing events tonight, Friday, February 16, 2018.
Ray will knock Moses’ block off and I doubt the fight goes past round six.
Here’s What I Know For Sure
Here’s what I know for sure about Ray Beltran: he’s really funny. He’s got jokes for everyone.
Ray has a huge, genuine smile, shares heartfelt and unabashed laughter with everyone he meets. Firm hugs and handshakes are his trademark.
With friends, Ray’s going to make jokes about you. But more so, he’s going to enjoy the time with you.
With everyone, Ray always has a straight and unblinking look into your eyes to confirm respect for you. He listens to and takes time to talk with people one-on-one no matter who they are. He signs autographs, takes pictures and shares moments with people who look up to him for all he’s achieved.
With fans, Ray shares words of gratitude and best wishes for all that lies ahead of THEM. Always thanking them for their support.
With family, well, as long as I’ve known Ray, I have only met his beautiful wife Lupita when I lived in Detroit. I’ve never met his three children Eden, Edgar and Edwin. But yesterday, Ray and Lupe celebrated their 14th wedding anniversary.
You see, in boxing writing, you get to know the fighter in the ring. Back in the day, that is where it would end.
Today, now, I look forward to meeting Ray’s entire family. I wish I could be at the fight tonight. But I’ll be at the next one, Ray.
Whether it’s to watch him go toe-to-toe and then KNOCKOUT Vasyl Lomachenko, or another tune-up fight before that. I wouldn’t miss it.
Ray Beltran is a champion that every family in America should be proud to call its own.
Chris Eubank, Jr. vs. George Groves
Chris Eubank (26-1, 20 KOs) vs. George Groves (27-3, 20 KOs): February 17, Manchester, for the International Boxing Organization World Super Middleweight Title AND the WBA Super World Super Middleweight Title.
Chris Eubank Jr. has speed and power that George Groves has only dreamed of. It’s No. 1 vs. No. 3 (Groves.) Is there really any question?
Pick: Eubank KOs Groves.
The fight is also the semi-final of the World Boxing Super Series with the winner taking the Muhammad Ali Trophy.
When: Saturday, February 17, 2018. 5 p.m. EST, Undercard 2 p.m. EST.
How: PPV only. Undercard Streams Live on Facebook 2 p.m. EST.
Dillian Whyte vs. Lucas Browne
Dillian Whyte (22-1, 16 KOs) vs. Lucas Browne (25-0, 22 KOs): March 24, London
Notes: A fight fan in the UK, and from Perth, Australia, asked what about what I thought about this fight. I think Whyte will come into the bout in the best shape of his life because it’s a do or die bout. You’ve got Whyte, age 29, 6-foot-4, 78″ reach, 70% KO rate. Browne age 38, 6-foot-5, 77″ reach, 88% KO rate. Brit vs. Aussie. Lots of trash talking. There’s only one Big Daddy and that is “Big Daddy” Riddick Bowe.
Lucas Browne is questionable because he’s got way too many tattoos and who the hell hits a fighter during a fight in the corner between rounds with a spritz bottle. WTH?
Seriously though, Browne’s got an awkward style which I see as a benefit. Browne’s slow, he’s big, he’s rangy, and he moves around well for a 6-foot-5 fighter. Decent jaw. But he’s a club fighter with friendly venues and latter year opponents. His last bout was Matthew Greer who was 16-20?
Whyte is faster, younger, and stronger and he will be the first challenge that Browne will actually see in his 38-year-old Australian life.
Whyte is a quiet fighter because he’s probably had some issues coming into the ring at weight and in shape.
Perfect example, when Whyte fought Anthony Joshua. Whyte, from the moment the bell rang, proved wasn’t fit. He was heavy, but damn, he’s got a solid jab and a decent right hand. Had Whyte been in shape…
But you can’t make a fighter fight or get fit. That comes from within. I think that’s Dillian Whyte’s big challenge in life: just how bad does he wants a title vs. a payday?
Pick: Whyte takes the WBC Silver Heavyweight Title by decision.
When: Saturday, March 24
How: Sky Sports, Undercard TBD YouTube & Facebook