Mexico’s Ray Beltran won a fight and a better chance to permanently remain in the U.S. on Saturday night, defeating Costa Rica’s Bryan Vasquez by majority decision at L.A. Live’s Microsoft Theater.
Former junior-welterweight title contender Beltran (34-7-1) claimed a majority decision victory by scores of 95-95, 96-94, 96-94, to possibly set up a date later this year against Saturday main-event fighter Vasyl Lomachenko.
Lomachenko’s World Boxing Organization super-featherweight title defense against Colombia’s Miguel Marriaga ended after press time. See latimes.com/sports for full coverage.
Beltran needed the victory to enhance his bid to remain in the U.S. because his non-immigrant visa is nearing expiration.
He’ll submit a petition soon to the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services for permanent residency as someone with “extraordinary ability in professional boxing,” according to Beltran’s attorney.
“I put no pressure on myself,” over the situation, Beltran said. “I’m very motivated. I’m just here to fight.”
The bid has moved Beltran, who was honored by the North American Boxing Federation last month as its fighter of the year.
His speech in San Diego about what it has meant to have lived in this country with his family inspired his young son to walk on stage in tears and wrap his arms around his father’s midsection.
In the fight, Beltran’s power punches allowed him to appear to sweep the first three rounds, as Vasquez reeled from some of the blows.
Beltran pounded Vas-quez to the head with effective left hands in the fourth, closing the round with a jarring blow…
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