Boxing: The Scariest Sport

By Robert Ecksel on May 22, 2017
Boxing: The Scariest Sport
“I’ve been a citizen of the ring for a long time, now I want to be a citizen of the U.S.”

Beltran admitted to have mixed feelings about how it ended, as did most of us who watched the fight…

Saturday night at New York’s Madison Square Garden, Raymundo Beltran (33-7-1, 21 KOs), the veteran from Phoenix, Arizona, by way of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, knocked out Jonathan Maicelo (25-3, 12 KOs), “The Last Inca” from North Bergen, New Jersey, by way of Callao, Peru, with a single punch at 1:25 of round two.

Everybody loves knockouts. However definitive, the ne plus ultra of a quintessential blood sport, context is everything, and in the fight between Beltran and Maicelo, with its politicized back-story, context was elevated to something above and beyond one man separating another from his senses.

Although Beltran has lived in the U.S. for 20 years, he, like many of his countrymen, fears being deported back to Mexico. He isn’t trembling in his boots, no professional fighter trembles in his boots, but he hoped that fighting for a world title, even a minor world title, would enable him to obtain an EB-1 green card, which he said is “almost like winning the lottery ticket,” after proving his “exceptional ability” by defeating Jonathan Maicelo.

“This fight is very important to me because it’s another chance for the title,” he said during the final presser prior to the fight. “Not only that, but winning this fight I think will put me in a position to get my green card. So when I get my green card, I’m gonna go to Trump Tower and walk with it in my hand.”

Many were hoping Beltran would fulfill his dream by winning another title, albeit a minor title, and thereby sticking it the man. But one man’s dream is another man’s nightmare, and it was Maicelo, not Beltran, who had the misfortune to experience the latter.

Fighting out of the red corner in red trunks, 35-year-old Beltran entered the ring as the reigning and defending NABO/NABF lightweight champion. He lost a decision to WBO champion Terence Crawford in 2014, but has always fought hard and has never failed to acquit himself in the ring.

Thirty-three-year-old Maicelo, fighting out of the blue corner in white trunks, is more boxer than puncher. He had not faced the same level of opposition as Beltran, but he is a credible opponent and created more problems for the champion than anticipated.

Beltran was officially knocked down at 2:06 of the first round after an accidental clash of heads, which the referee, David Fields, somehow missed. He jumped to his feet and took the mandatory 8-count, when both fighters clashed heads again. No one went down this time, but both fighters were bleeding, Maicelo from a gash at his hairline and Beltran from a cut above his left eye. As the opening round was drawing to a close, Beltran landed a left hook that dropped Maicelo at the bell. No count was administered.

Maicelo appeared to take control of the bout in round two. A multi-punch combination drove Beltran to the ropes. He made his way back to center ring and a right hand stunned him. Maicelo landed a three-punch combination that drove Beltran to the ropes again. Moments later the Peruvian threw a lazy left hook at the same time Beltran threw a short left hook of his own that Maicelo didn’t see coming and was right on the money. Maicelo went down hard and his head bounced off the canvas. The referee didn’t both to administer a count. He was sprawled on his back and immediately surrounded by ringside physicians and officials.

With his left leg shaking involuntarily and still throwing punches from a prone position, a neck brace was brought in to stabilize his head and he was loaded onto a stretcher and removed from the ring.

When he finished celebrating the victory, Beltran realized that the man he defeated was in a bad way. He told Max Kellerman after the fight, “I never want to see my opponent hurt. When I fight, I never really expect to really hurt my opponent really bad. I don’t mean no harm, you know what I mean? That’s what we do, but I really felt bad because I didn’t expect that he was going down that bad.

“I figured out his timing pretty quick. He pawed a right hand. I then hit him with a lead left hook. I’ve knocked out a lot of people with that punch. That’s my punch.”

Beltran admitted to have mixed feelings about how it ended, as did most of us who watched the fight.

“I feel very happy,” said Beltran. “And I can’t really explain my feelings right now. [The victory] meant everything in the world to me. It was for my kids, it’s for my family, it’s for my green card and it’s for me to finally get another title shot. I’ve been a citizen of the ring for a long time, now I want to be a citizen of the U.S. It’s hope for my family and a better future.”

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Ray Beltran vs. Johnathan Maicelo: WCB Highlights (HBO Boxing)

Discuss this in our forums

Related Articles


This is a place to express and/or debate your boxing views. It is not a place to offend anyone. If we feel comments are offensive, the post will be deleted and continuing offenders will be blocked from the site. Please keep it clean and civil! We want to have fun. We want some salty language and good-natured exchanges. But let's keep our punches above the belt...
  1. Alt Knight 11:53am, 05/22/2017

    Irish…I can’t stand snakes. However, I have become more tolerant of them. I used to kill any snake I saw, now I just ignore them. I have no idea how people love them enough to keep them as pets, I guess different strokes. Snakeheads, monitor lizards, pythons, feral hogs, etc., are all doing some damage to the critters in Florida. You couldn’t pay me enuff moolah to go wading in or around some swamp or marsh looking for huge snakes. It would take a helluva huge snake to swallow an adult male, but I imagine some anacondas or reticulated pythons get large enough to do the job.

  2. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 11:19am, 05/22/2017

    @Alt Knight-The most hideous creatures in nature at least as far as we humans are concerned are giant snakes that can crush the life out of large animals and then swallow them whole. For years and years the story was always that they were a danger to animals and small children which was so much bullshit and mass self deception because the thought of a human being swallowed whole by one of these slithering monsters was so Goddamned abhorrent to our sensibilities. They are paying the bounty hunters down in the Everglades friggin’ peanuts to root out these giant predators… something like minimum wage and a couple of hundred when they clean out a nest or capture a really big predator….these guys are grossly underpaid for doing what very well be life preserving work!

  3. Alt Knight 08:45am, 05/22/2017

    Irish…haha. That is one giant head. I was thinking the same thing.

  4. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 08:35am, 05/22/2017

    No it’s not an optical illusion or the camera angle in the photo above….Raymundo’s cabeza is just that big!

  5. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 08:27am, 05/22/2017

    Scam: A dishonest scheme to make money by deceiving people. The NSAC says that Mayweather/MacNugget is a competitive sporting event?!  Newsflash: There are UFC fighters in Mac’s weight class that could beat the fuk out of him in a regulation boxing match.

  6. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 08:17am, 05/22/2017

    Just love it when Roy Jones reminisces about the good old days when he was Super Roy juiced to the gills!

  7. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 08:08am, 05/22/2017

    First round 10-8 for Maicelo should have been 10-8 for Beltran….this shit get’s crazier all the time! No instant replay please because it might hurt the referees feelings you see….much more fun to screw over the fighters who are only putting their careers, futures and very lives on the line!

  8. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 07:56am, 05/22/2017

    Ban boxing in Peru….good a place as any to start because there’s probably only a dozen Pro fighters in the whole damn country. We don’t need these Incas coming here and scaring the shit out of us like that!

  9. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 07:49am, 05/22/2017

    “Short left hook”.....more like a long sweeping left hook that started out low and was nicely disguised as a hook to the body..Maicelo definitely didn’t see it coming..

  10. Alt Knight 07:49am, 05/22/2017

    “sticking it to the man?” The “man” aka the establishment is pro-open borders. I have long abandoned Trump after finding out that I mistakenly voted for Ivanka & Jared Kushner by voting for Trump. Oh well, live and learn. There has never been one single multicultural superpower in the history of the world. Back at its peak, probably the ‘50’s and 60’s, America was about 88% White European. I love how people think it is “edgy” to attack Trump, like he’s some kind of sacred cow. Attacking Trump is easy, he’s the catch of the day, if people truly liked “sticking it to the man,” they would choose a target that wasn’t so politically correct to attack.

Leave a comment