On Thursday Dec. 6, ESPN.com’s No. 8 (The Ring’s No. 10) ranked Lightweight contender Ray Beltran (26-6, 17 KOs) will meet former Lightweight title challenger Ji-Hoon “Volcano” Kim (24-7, 18 KOs) in the 10-round main event in an ESPN Boxing: Friday Night Fights Special Edition.
North Hollywood California’s Beltran, a sparring partner of Manny Pacquiao, is trained by International Boxing Hall of Fame 2012 inductee Freddie Roach and 1992 U.S. Olympian Pepe Reilly. Beltran won his last fight in July with a 10-round majority decision win over Hank Lundy on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights.
After that fight, ESPN.com boxing writer Dan Rafael wrote: “Beltran nearly stopped him (Lundy) in the final seconds of the third round. Beltran, who was cut over his left eye, trapped Lundy against the ropes and was teeing off on him. He badly rocked Lundy and was close to a stoppage. Time and again, Lundy found himself against the ropes with Beltran serving as the aggressor throughout the bout. He continually stalked Lundy and outworked him en route to the upset decision.”
Beltran said of Friday’s fight, “I’ve seen Kim fight a few times. I think he’s a very strong fighter. He’s very aggressive. He comes to fight. I think it’s going to be a great fight, a tough fight. I’ve got to be careful with him.”
South Korea’s Kim has won his last three fights, including a May 10-round decision over previously undefeated Alisher Rahimov.
“Kim has now won three fights in a row and probably would test any lightweight in world just based on his sheer aggressiveness,” wrote Rafael after that fight. “He is so much fun to watch and dangerous because he is fearless, in great condition, and loves to wing big right hands that could hurt anyone.”
Thursday’s co-feature will pit undefeated Junior Featherweight Jesse Magdaleno (12-0, 9 KOs) of Las Vegas against Jonathan “Thunder” Arellano (13-1-1, 3 KOs) of California. Magdaleno is coming off a first-round knockout win over Jose Silvera, while Arellano will look to rebound after an eight-round unanimous decision loss to Roman Morales.
Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas will be ringside for ESPN2 HD at the Mirage Hotel & Casino describing the action, while studio host Bernardo Osuna will be on site presenting all the latest news and boxing highlights. Alex Pombo and Delvin Rodriguez will call the fights for ESPN Deportes’ Viernes de Combates (Friday Night Fights) with Leopoldo Gonzalez and Pablo Viruega in the studio.
Both shows will include interviews with Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao as they prepare for their upcoming bout scheduled for December 8 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. ESPN Deportes will also include live interviews with 50 Cent, and Yuriorkis Gamboa, and 2012 U.S. Olympian Jose Ramirez, both on Saturday’s undercard.