Photos: Beltran, Moses – Go Face To Face at Final Presser

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World championship boxing returns the “Biggest Little City in the World,” Reno Nevada!  No. 1 world-rated lightweight contender RAY “Sugar” BELTRAN, fighting for his first world championship belt and his green card to stay in the U.S. with his family, will headline an all-action card on Friday, February 16,  in the Grand Sierra Resort’s Grand Theatre. Photos by Mikey Williams.

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Beltran (34-7-1, 21 KOs), from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, will be battling former world champion and current No. 2 world-rated contender PAULUS MOSES (39-3, 24 KOs), from Windhoek, Namibia, for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) lightweight world title. 

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The co-main event will feature undefeated NABF welterweight champion EGIDIJUS “The Mean Machine” KAVALIAUSKAS (18-0, 15 KOs), from Oxnard, Calif., by way of Kaunas, Lithuania, defending his title against former world champion DAVID “Ava” AVANESYAN (23-2-1, 11 KOs), of Pyatigorsk, Russia, in a 10-round battle of Top-10 world-rated contenders. 

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Both title fights will  be televised live and exclusively at 9 p.m. EST on  ESPN and ESPN Deportes and stream live on the ESPN App at 7 p.m. EST.  The championship event will also feature the return of 2016 Olympic silver medalist SHAKUR STEVENSON (4-0, 2 KOs), of Newark, NJ.  Stevenson has a unique relationship with Reno, where he began each year from 2013 through 2015 by winning a national amateur title. 

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Additionally, he won the gold medal and Outstanding Boxer award at the 2016 Olympic Trials.  Stevenson has never lost in Reno

 Beltran, a native of Mexico who resides in Phoenix, AZ., enters this fight having won four of his last fights by knockout.  A three-time lightweight world title challenger and a former sparring partner of eight-division world champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, Beltran still trains at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif.  Beltran is fighting for more than just a world title.  He is fighting to obtain his green card so that he can remain in the U.S. with his family under the Extraordinary Ability as a Professional Boxing (EB-1) Employment-Based First Preference category..  A world title victory will all but assure him of his permanent status. Recent career highlights include one-punch knockout  victories over Mason Menard (32-1, 24 KOs) and Jonathan Maicelo (32-1, 24 KOs) on December 10, 2016 and May 20, 2017, respectively.  In his most recent fight, Beltran solidified his upcoming world title shot by winning a gritty majority decision over former two-time interim World Boxing Association (WBA) super featherweight world champion Bryan Vasquez (36-2, 19 KOs), on August 5.  Vasquez was world-rated No. 1 by the WBA when they fought.  Beltran is currently world-rated No. 1 by the WBO and the World Boxing Council (WBC).

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Moses captured the WBA world lightweight title in 2009, traveling to Yokohama, Japan to defeat defending champion and hometown favorite Yusuke Kobori via a unanimous decision.  After one successful title defense — another unanimous decision victory, this time over Takehiro Shimada, Moses’ 15-monthn reign as world champion ended in 2010 at the hands of Miguel Acosta.  Since losing a unanimous decision to Ricky Burns in their 2012 WBO lightweight world championship fight, Moses has strung together an impressive record of 11-1, 1 NC, including TKO victories over Cosmas Cheka and Crispin Moliati in his last two fights and a two-year reign as WBO International lightweight champion and his current 14-month reign as WBO Africa lightweight champion.   Moses, a veteran who has fought professionally in Asia, Europe and Africa, will be making his North America debut.  

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