Injured Burns hangs on to title
Ricky Burns retained his WBO lightweight title after a controversial draw against Raymundo Beltran at the SECC in Glasgow.
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The 30-year-old Coatbridge fighter, making his fourth defence of his belt, was floored in the eighth round of a contest he never really looked like he was winning.
But one judge gave Burns the verdict by 115-112, another gave it to Beltran by 115 -113 and there was an audible gasp inside the arena when it was announced the third judge had scored it 114 each, with even the champion, who apparently dislocated his jaw in the second round, looking apologetic.
The 32-year-old Mexican, a former sparring partner of boxing legend Manny Pacquiao, appeared to control most of the fight with tireless aggression and will surely wonder what he had to do to win.
Both boxers had their moments in a first round which promised an enthralling encounter.
Burns found joy in the second with his left jab but his experienced opponent was not fazed and came out on top in several exchanges.
Beltran kept coming forward, pinning the champion against the ropes at times with powerful flurries.
Burns went staggering back after a powerful left hook and did well to survive the punishment he took for the rest of the fourth round as the crowd tried to rally their hero.
Beltran came out for the start of round five sensing the fight was there for the taking and kept Burns on the ropes as he pummelled away at the Scotsman.
Burns could not get into top gear as he was forced into some desperate defensive work on the back foot.
A left hook in the sixth from Burns had his fans cheering again and he got some good shots in during the seventh as Beltran went backwards probably for the first time.
It was an encouraging sign for the champion but he had to take a standing count in the eighth after being sent crashing to the canvas by a left hook.
Burns was clearly in trouble and had to use all his survival skills to get back to his stool.
The crowd tried again to energise Burns but he was coming second in the exchanges at the times he was not back on the ropes
The home fighter needed to dig deep in the latter stages, showing his undoubted determination and courage but there was still huge surprise when the draw was called.