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Ricky Burns Retains Title with Controversial Draw Against Raymundo Beltran

For the second straight fight, Ricky Burns is extremely fortunate to leave with his title.
For the second straight fight, Ricky Burns is extremely fortunate to leave with his title.Scott Heavey/Getty Images
Kevin McRaeFeatured ColumnistOctober 1, 2016

Yet another exciting night of boxing ended with a bad verdict Saturday night, as Ricky Burns retained his WBO Lightweight Championship with a hotly disputed split-draw against challenger Raymundo Beltran. 

To most observers at ringside and watching at home, it appeared that Beltran, who landed the harder, cleaner shots and scored a knockdown, had done more than enough to earn the decision and the title.

Scores were 115-112 for Burns, 115-113 for Beltran and 114-114.

Burns (36-2-1, 11 KO) began the fight well, and seemed determined to use his jab and volume punching to prevent Beltran from getting into an offensive rhythm. But the second round proved to be a better indication of how the remainder of the fight would go.

Beltran (28-6-1, 17 KO) landed a flush left hook right on the button that staggered the champion and forced him to cover-up along the ropes. The challenger would land that punch almost at-will for the remainder of the night, and used it to floor Burns in the eighth round. 

It was an entertaining scrap, with many ups and downs, but it appears to most that the wrong man left the ring with the title. 

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