Ricky Burns (36-2-1) retained his WBO lightweight title with a controversial draw against Raymundo Beltran (28-6-1) in Glasgow on Saturday.
Burns was put down in the eighth round and was repeatedly caught by his tough Mexican opponent.
Beltran did tire in the closing stages as Burns finished well, but it appeared as if the Mexican had done enough to win the decision. However, the judges scored the fight 115-112 for Burns, 115-113 for Beltran and 114-114, which resulted in a draw and Burns retaining his title.
Burns was slovenly in his previous fight against Jose Gonzalez. He was fortunate to claim the win as he was behind on the scorecards when his opponent retired at the end of the ninth round with a hand injury.
The Glasgow native set out to ensure there was no repeat, and he made an early statement of intent with a couple of snapping right hands.
Beltran is at his best when boxing on the front foot, and he showed his fighting prowess toward the end of the second round when backing Burns onto the ropes.
Both fighters had success in the third round, with Beltran once again showing his power with a left hook to the body that forced Burns to hold on.
Beltran came into the fight with six defeats on his record, but he has fought some notable names and sparred with Manny Pacquiao.
He has quality, particularly with the left hook, and he landed a blow flush on Burns’ jaw in the fourth round that sent the champion stumbling across the canvas.
Burns remained on his feet and was able to offer up a smile to his opponent at the end of the round, which prompted trainer Billy Nelson to berate his man for a lack of concentration.
Beltran put an awful lot into the first six rounds and looked to be blowing in the seventh as he went on the back foot, but at the beginning of the eighth, he sent Burns to the floor with a crisp shot.
Burns picked himself up off the canvas and attempted to box his way back into the contest.
Beltran did begin to blow in the final couple of rounds, and that was enough to help Burns retain his title by way of a draw.
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