Ricky Burns vs. Raymundo Beltran: Scottish Host Fortunate to Draw on Home Turf

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistSeptember 8, 2013

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 07:  Ricky Burns is given a count after being knocked down by Raymundo Beltran during their WBO World Lightweight Title bout at SECC on September 7, 2013 in Glasgow, Scotland.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Despite coming into the encounter as a heavy favourite, Ricky Burns gave another uncertain performance on Saturday night.

Some thought that Raymundo Beltran would offer Burns a route back into some confidence following a very lucky win against Jose Gonzalez back in May.

In that fight, Gonzalez was forced to retire in the ninth round with what later turned out to be a broken wrist, despite the fact that he was dominating on the cards up until that point.

This weekend was just another example of Burns catching a break. The judges called the matchup a draw, even though it was clear the Mexican visitor deserved the win.

Twitter reacted to the decision in kind, too:

Having fought in Glasgow four times in a row now, the WBO lightweight champion is perhaps privileged to have kept hold of his title for as long as he has.

In November, it will be two years since Burns first won the championship.

However, the 30-year-old didn’t give the impression of a deserved victor at times, boxing with an immature stance and opening up for his opponent early.

Beltran was almost the opposite. He was conservative and efficient in the way he went about his business, reserving his energy for when it mattered.

In the end, the reaction of the SECC Arena crowd was telling enough. Upon hearing that the three judges had scored the fight 115-113 for Burns, 115-112 for Beltran and 114-114, there was no sense of home distraught or ringing boos.

The quiet that rang around the venue pointed to a sense of relief for the home fighter, if anything.

ESPN's Dan Rafael discussed the result on talkSPORT, with the controversial issue of home advantage being the main topic on show:

One impressive aspect of Burns’ fight was that he managed to hold on despite dislocating his jaw as a result of his opponent’s left hook. However, that is the nature of the beast in a sport where fighters aren’t dissuaded from doing so from their corner.

Beltran is deserving of any praise he gets from the matchup, and after knocking the Scotsman down on several occasions, he should be slightly bemused as to why he didn't walk away with a title on Saturday.

For Burns, the result signifies that he needs to go back to the drawing board in some aspects. At times, the champion’s left jab was by far his strongest weapon, but he insisted on opening up his right far too often. He exposed himself to Beltran’s big left hand despite holding the reach advantage and really not having to.

For the Mexican visitor, it’s a depressing result, to say the least. One may argue that the outcome may have been different were it in neutral territory, but the contender has some major positives to take away.