Beltran boss blasts judges
Raymundo Beltran was robbed of the WBO lightweight title against Ricky Burns, according to the Mexican fighter's manager Steve Feder following the controversial draw at the SECC in Glasgow on Saturday night.
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The champion showed the heart of a lion after suffering a broken jaw in the second round which promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed required surgery on Sunday.
However, it looked to most in the arena that the challenger, who had Burns on the floor in the eighth round, had clearly won the fight but one judge gave the Scot the verdict by 115-112, another gave it to Beltran by 115-113 with the third judge scoring it 114-114.
At the post-fight press conference, with the sense of shock still heavy in the air, Feder, calmly and eloquently, claimed that boxing in general had been the loser and expressed fears for the sport's credibility.
"He was robbed, of course," said Feder.
"Ultimately it is a sad day for the sport.
"It is not the only day like that the sport has had. When you say he was robbed that makes it about us and last night was about boxing and boxing was robbed.
"I don't blame Eddie or anyone at Matchroom.
"They were embarrassed. I think they're gentlemen and they're here because they love the sport but if I read them right, they're embarrassed.
"I don't think it sits well with them. Most importantly, Ricky didn't want to put that belt (on). What does that say to you?
"It says that this guy is a real champion and he doesn't want to be given anything.
"This country should be incredibly proud of Ricky: this isn't about him. Ricky didn't rob us.
"People say why are we losing fans? Why is the MMA and UFC (mixed martial arts) taking over in the (United) States? Why do people get turned off by this sport? Last night was the reason.
"You can't bring in new fans if they feel that there is some corruption going on.
"I'm not talking about money or moving things around. Corruption: look it up.
"We're corrupting a beautiful sport.
"When it's done right it is beautiful but last night tarnished it."
Feder continued at a measured pace with his summation, saying: "At the end of the day, Ricky is still the champion.
"I can tell my kid that he is the true champion but Ricky is probably going to walk into Madison Square Garden and fight (Miguel) Vasquez or (Terence) Crawford.
"Did he earn the right to do that? No, he didn't.
"You could have written about Ray for a year. Now, by next week, no-one will give a damn. That's what's so sad.
"I don't think Ray will be bitter about this but, unfortunately, I don't think he'll want to come back to the UK."
Hearn, albeit reluctantly, admitted he thought Beltran had won and believes it was "morally right" that the 32-year-old Mexican should get a rematch.
However, he also conceded that is not likely to happen.
"If I'm being honest, I gave it to Beltran but I had it very close," he said.
"I feel Ricky may have lost the fight by two rounds tops but you could have found an argument for a draw or an argument for one round for Burns.
"One thing I will say, you have to take the belt off the champion.
"If you score it one round either way you have to give it to the champion.
"Morally a rematch would be the right thing. Politically, financially, will it?
"Top Rank will push for Ricky to fight Terence Crawford as a mandatory challenger, Top Rank also represent Raymundo Beltran. So my gut feeling is no.
"If people think Ricky lost the fight they have to report on that but I would like people to say, 'fair play to him, he is a brave son of a b****.' He is abnormally brave."
Hearn believes Burns, when he is fully fit again, may have to move up another weight.
"I think he does struggle to make the weight," he said.
"I don't know whether we look to take him up to light-welterweight and see what's up there for him.
"I do think he is a big lightweight and I feel as if he has looked tired at points in the last two fights.
"I know he how hard he works so there may be a reason behind that.
"So how would he perform at light-welter? That pushes my buttons because it is an opportunity to become a three-weight world champion."