Raymundo Beltran has found a special niche in boxing: Manny Pacquiao’s main sparring partner. He wants more, though.
The Mexican-born Phoenix resident, who spends a lot of time training at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif., wants what every fighter wants: A chance to fight for a world title.
And he continues to try to make that happen. Beltran fights fringe contender Carlos Vinan in a 12-round lightweight bout on Friday night in Woodland Hills, Calif., a card also featuring a light heavyweight bout between Yusaf Mack and Otis Griffin.
If Beltran wins?
“I would like to fight another highly ranked fighter ot move myself up in the rankings,” he said. “I would love to get a TV fight. That’s the only way to get recognized by boxing fans and get the bigger fighters.
“I think the fans are looking for real fighters, guys that will fight anybody and put it all on the line. That’s I fight, like a real Mexican.”
That’s one reason trainer Freddie Roach uses him to work with Pacquiao. He’s tough but also crafty, which makes Pacquiao think when the two spar.
Beltran (23-4, 15 knockouts) obviously doesn’t share much in the glory of Pacquiao’s incredible career but he certainly has made his contributions. And clearly he relishes the opportunity to work with the future Hall of Famer.
“Manny is my boy,” Beltran said. “I have been one of Manny’s regular sparring partners since the first Juan Manuel Marquez fight in 2004. I’ve helped him get ready for almost everybody, Morales, Oscar, Hatton, Cotto, Margarito. I have done more rounds with Manny than anybody. I remember the first few times I sparred Manny before anybody knew him. He hit me with some shots that felt like lightning bolts shooting down my whole body. Man, he could punch.
“It’s been great sparring with him because as his level and skill increased so did mine.”
Beltran has won consistently, as his record indicates, but has fought only once in more than two years. His last fight was a seventh-round knockout of David Torres in January of last year.
He blames the inactivity on opponents pulling out on him. He said his last three scheduled opponents have done so.
The dream lives on, though. And he resumes against Vinan, whose record (10-8-4, 2 KOs) isn’t impressive but has fared well against some good opponents.
Beltran hopes to impress the fans at the Warner Center Marriott.
“I hope after they see me fight they are going to wonder why they didn’t know about me about me sooner,” he said. “I want the fans to see a style that they love, a fighter with speed and power and balls.
“They will see why I have been Manny’s main training partner for almost seven years.”