Scotland’s world champion Ricky Burns came away from his latest defence with the belt around his waist in what was another sad night of judging at the Scottish Exhibition Centre in Glasgow.
Rugged challenger Ray Beltran should really be flying back across the Atlantic with the WBO lightweight title after putting in a hearty display against an off-key Burns to win the fight by a couple of rounds at least.
Burns started well in the first, but soon after began to look out of sorts, mimicking his performance against Jose A. Gonzalez last time out when the Coatbridge fighter was lucky to retain his belt at the Emirates Arena.
From the second round until the mid-rounds, Beltran took over and was repeatedly catching Burns to the head and body as the champion looked ragged and kept swinging wildly which let the Mexican find the target with ease.
The mid-rounds saw Burns get back to basics and put a good couple of rounds together, although Beltran caught him flush in the eighth to swing the fight totally in his favour as the Scot hit the floor from a peach of a left.
Beltran was in complete control until the final two rounds when Burns rallied, but that could not disguise the fact that his title was in jeopardy. Complaining of a pain in his jaw at the end of the fight, Burns was saved by the judges with Carlos Ortiz somehow coming back with a card of 115-112 for Burns.
Andre Van Grootenbruel of Belgium had the fight 115-113 for Beltran in a better reflection of the fight, whilst English judge Richie Davies handed in a scorecard reading 114-114 to keep the belt with Burns via a poor draw decision.
Earlier in the night, prospect Scott Cardle out-pointed Gary Fox 79-73 to improve his record to 12-0 and move on to bigger things.