LAS VEGAS -- In a topsy-turvy lightweight bout, Raymundo Beltran and Ji-Hoon Kim engaged in an entertaining battle in the 10-round main event at the Mirage Hotel & Casino on a special Thursday edition of ESPN2 Friday Night Fights. It was the first fight at the Mirage in more than 15 years, and Beltran won the unanimous decision.
The opening round was as crowd-pleasing as they come as Beltran was dropped hard in the opening minute but was able to battle back and put Kim on the canvas in the final seconds of the round.
Beltran carried that momentum into the 2nd. He battered Kim for much of the salvo and would have finished the job of he had five more seconds as Kim was out on his feet but was saved by the bell.
Beltran was extremely successful whenever he dug shots to the body. Kim reacted each time a shot found his kidneys; he would close up and Beltran would land power shots in excess. Kim proved game, staying upright throughout, often offering up shots with no steam in return.
By the midway point, both guys were completely sapped of their energy and began throwing arm punches; Beltran told his corner that he thought he had broken his left hand. Still, for the most part, Beltran was doing the more consistent work as his accuracy was better than the unorthodox Kim. That played out on the scorecards, with Beltran winning unanimously 98-92 twice and 97-94.
Highly touted junior featherweight prospect Diego Magdaleno took care of business, outpointing Jonathan Arrellano in the younger Magdaleno brother's toughest fight yet.
Magdaleno was aggressive but effective, dropping Arrellano twice during the fight en route to the unanimous decision. Scores were 80-70 twice and 80-69. Magdaleno has proven to be one of the brightest young 122 pounders and may have more upside than his older brother, Diego.
Puerto Rican Olympian Felix Verdejo made his professional debut a successful one, as he outboxed Leonardo Chavez to a 40-36 shutout on all three cards. Verdejo fought a bit anxiously but proved to be much classier in handing Chavez his first defeat in two bouts.