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Burns has lucky escape in draw with Beltran

ESPN staff
September 7, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Ricky Burns was floored by Raymundo Beltran in the eighth round © Getty Images
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Ricky Burns held on to his WBO lightweight title by the slimmest of margins after coming through 12 rounds to draw with challenger Raymundo Beltran in Glasgow.

In a second successive fortunate title defence, Burns suffered a suspected dislocated jaw early in the second round before being knocked down by Beltran in the eighth.

Burns showed no signs of the lacklustre start he gave when fortuitously beating Jose Gonzalez in May, connecting with several sprightly punches early in the first round - one of which caused early swelling to Beltran's left eye.

More firepower from the Scot came in early in the second as Burns caught Beltran on the ropes with a pair of crushing body blows.

However, Burns appeared to succumb to his early adrenaline and Beltran worked himself back into the bout with a solid left hook to the side of the Scot's head. Burns had no option but to take cover against the ropes, suffering late punishment before the second bell.

The 30-year-old was forced to cover up again early in the third as Beltran connected with another hook to the chin. However, Burns had the crowd on their feet again at the end of the round when landing an impressive shot and leaving his opponent swinging at thin air.

Beltran had Burns wobbling on his feet with two sharp left hooks before firmly increasing the pressure on the champion during the fourth; the home crowd responded and raised the noise in an attempt to encourage the home favourite.

With coach Billy Nelson's harsh words ringing in his ears, Burns eagerly got up for the fifth but his open guard allowed Beltran another clean shot with the left glove.

Burns needed a response and it duly came in the sixth round; the Scot looked livelier on his toes and utilised his jab before landing two hard punches, much to the crowd's pleasure.

Further momentum followed in the seventh as Burns caught Beltran with three heavy shots, the last being a tough right hand to the face. The Mexican looked fresh out of fight and ideas.

But history showed signs of repeating itself as Burns once again began backing up. This time, Beltran made it count and sent the champion tumbling to the canvas with a crunching left hook at the start of the eighth.

Burns got up at the eight count but Beltran followed with a multitude of shots which had the champion holding on for cover, before eventually averting the crisis.

The pair again traded left hooks in the ninth round, but Burns struggled to land any notable shots before complaining of pain to his jaw during the break.

A scrappy round ten followed, with Beltran left up in arms when Burns landed a shot to the back of his head. The challenger mustered revenge in round 11, though, catching Burns on his injured jaw with two more of his favoured left hooks. A late flourish from the Scot kept him in it.

The final round saw more wayward shots from Burns in a brave attempt to keep hold of his title, but the damage had seemingly been done with the earlier knockdown.

However, there was a final twist to the evening when, with both fighters having won one scorecard each, the third was announced as a dead heat; leaving Burns happy enough to smile in pain with the belt on his shoulder, dislocated jaw and all.

Earlier on the card, Scott Cardle added the Northern Area belt to his collection after defeating fellow lightweight Gary Fox.

Jon Slowey continued his undefeated record with a points win over Angel Lorente to claim the vacant WBC International silver featherweight title. The Scot is now unbeaten in 15 fights.

Callum Smith saw off the challenge of Kirill Psonko, knocking the journeyman to the canvas twice inside the opening round before Psonko shook his head towards the referee.

Ricky Burns was not at his best but did enough to keep hold of his belt © Getty Images
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