Beltran-e1427751504896Bob Arum and Top Rank are in Las Vegas this weekend for the Manny –Pacquiao versus Floyd Mayweather Jr showdown, but they are also promoting a Friday night boxing card at the Cosmopolitan that sees Lightweights Raymundo Beltran and Takahiro Ao of Japan vying for the vacant WBO World Lightweight title. Right now the books have opened with the veteran Beltran (29-7-1) as the favorite (-400), with the return on Ao coming in at (+325). There is no over/under posted, and the match is set to air on TruTV in the United States. Ao is (27-3-1) , and in late 2008 he fought a draw with Oscar Larios for the WBC World title at Featherweight, then he defeated Larios in March of 2009. In his first defense that July, he lost the belt to Elio Rojas., and the loss saw him move up to Super Featherweight. After notching two wins in the new weight class, he defeated Vitali Tajbert in November of 2010 for another WBC World title in a second weight class. He held the belt for 23 nearly two years and through three title defense before dropping the belt in October of 2012 to Gamaliel Diaz. Ao has been campaigning at Lightweight ever since, and he has gone (4-0) in those fights. Beltran has been a Lightweight for the past five years, and his hard working style has seen him hold several regional titles. Back in September of 2013, Beltran earned his first shot at a World title, travelling to England to face Ricky Burns. Beltran broke Burns jaw early in the fight and he scored a knock down in the eighth round, but all he would get from the judges was a draw. In his last outing, he received another shot at the belt against Terence Crawford, also having to go to Crawford’s hometown of Omaha, Nebraska to go for the belt. Though he went the distance, Beltran was short on the judge’s cards to the all-world Crawford. Shortly afterwards, Crawford announced he was vacating the belt to move up in weight class, so Beltran is hoping a third time is the charm. Top Rank is presenting five additional fights at the live event, some of which could turn up at the sport books. The co-main event is a 10 round welterweight NABF title defense for champion Mikael Zewski (26-0) as he defends against Konstantin Ponomarev (27-0). Also on the card is undefeated Super Bantamweight prospect Jessie Magdaleno (20-0), as he is scheduled to fight an eight rounder against a yet to be named opponent.


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