Raymundo Beltran Stomps Takahiro Ao

An overweight Raymund Beltran tore through Takahiro Ao like a hippo through a watermelon on truTV’s debut boxing program Friday night. Maybe he would’ve if he had made weight, too. It just was kinda unfair, is all.

Beltran, who weighed in over the lightweight limit, tried to get under and settled at 136, established himself pretty quickly against the Japanese southpaw. Ao was pushed back to the ropes and forced to trade from round 1. He held up under fire, and not much more than that.

In the 2nd round, Beltran tagged Ao, coming off a recent quality win over Juan Carlos Salgado, with a big overhand right that put him down. You could tell from Ao’s face, scrunched up like he’d been chewing on a lemon, that he was barely fit to continue. Expert referee Tony Weeks — he is probably the best ref in the game right now, and should be working Saturday night, not Friday — let it continue. Ao was all kinds of resilient and bold, to his detriment, trading blows rather than holding and trying to survive. One punch too many and Weeks halted it at just the right moment in the 2nd.

Beltran said after that it wasn’t clear whether he’d stay at lightweight or move up to junior welterweight. He said he’d consult with his team on this. Maybe he can avoid missing weight again with proper methods, and he remains a top figure at 135 if so. Judging by this performance, he wouldn’t be so bad off at 140 lbs. Beltran isn’t a huge puncher, but he’s been solid. Perhaps the extra weight will benefit him on that account.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (http://www.tbrb.org). He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.