Tonight (Saturday, September 10, 2016) sees Top Rank Boxing at the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino in Lemoore, California as they bring you a 10-fight boxing card topped by two ten round main events that will air on the Spanish language cable station UniMas in the United States. The main event is a showcase for Top Rank’s top heavyweight prospect as Andy Ruiz Jr takes on Franklin Lawrence. Ruiz has run his record to a perfect 28-0 and at 26 years old, he is looking to make a name for himself in the heavyweight division. This week, it was announced that Ruiz Jr will face undefeated British heavyweight Hughie Fury (20-0) on the undercard of Tyson Fury vs Wladimir Klitschko this coming October 29th at the Manchester Arena. Ruiz ended 2015 in a bit of a funk, as fight cancellations and a seeming disinterest on his part appeared to have Top Rank questioning their commitment to him. This weekend’s fight will be his third of 2016 however, and the Fury fight gives him the prospect of a big fight to keep him motivated. If Ruiz is looking past Lawrence, so are the sports books, as Ruiz is a massive -5000 favorite, with Lawrence paying back at +2000. For his part, Lawrence is a 40 year old veteran who has put together a nine fight winning streak since an August of 2009 loss to Oliver McCall. Lawrence’s last six fights have been of the 6 and 8 round variety and none of those oppoents have had ther potential future at stake that Ruiz has. Also appearing at the sports books is the Lightweight 10 round match between Tomas Mendez and Raymundo Beltran. Beltran is the big name heading into this match-up, and he is an even bigger -7500 favorite to win over Mendez, who is paying back at +3000. Beltran has been on the cusp of a world title at lightweight for a few years now, but a litany of bad luck incidents have kept him from the belt. His first shot at a world title saw him settle for a draw in England against Ricky Burns in a match many feel Beltran won. Beltran lost a second title bid to Terence Crawford before the all-world level fighter took his talents to the 140 pound weight class. He failed to make weight for a third title shot, but won the fight by TKO only to be flagged for a doping violation and getting suspended. He fought a tune up ten round bout this past May and he knocked out Ivan Najera in the second round, Over in England, old Beltran rival Ricky Burns has jump started his seemingly dead career and has won a WBA world title at super lightweight. Beltran should consider targetting his former nemesis, even if it means moving up in weight.
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