Boxer Ray Beltran is in a must-win situation.
A top-10 contender wants no part of an upset loss, especially a 31-year-old boxer in pursuit of a world title shot.
Beltran, ranked fourth in the IBF, has a chance to keep his title hopes alive when he faces fellow Mexican lightweight Alejandro Rodriguez (18-9, 11 KOs) in a 10-round bout at the Erwin Center Saturday night.
The preliminaries are scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
“This is a big fight for me,” Beltran said Wednesday after a workout at Richard Lord’s Gym. “I cannot afford to lose at this stage of my career.”
Beltran’s 27-6 record with 17 knockouts is deceptive. He began his career at 5-3, but is 22-3 in his last 25 fights and 16-2 in his last 18. A loss to Rodriguez — a late replacement for Monty Meza Clay — would be costly. A win would keep him in the mix for a title shot and the accompanying big payday.
Others fighters featured included former U.S. Olympic boxer Jose Ramirez, and Ann Wolfe’s latest protégé, Del Valle’s Travell Mazion, who will fight Fort Worth’s Ricky Young in what will be both fighters’ professional debuts.
Friday’s weigh-ins, scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Erwin Center, are open to the public, which is encouraged to arrive early.
TOP RANK BOXING
8 p.m. Saturday, Frank Erwin Center, tickets at texasboxoffice.com or (512) 477-6060