How is everything going for your upcoming bout versus Jose Pedraza on August 25th? So far so good. No complaints. I'm ready and I'm anxious to be back in Phoenix and put on a good fight in front of all my fans. Jose Pedraza is a good opponent, he's a boxer and an aggressive fighter, but he's going to box a lot he's going to move a lot. He's a former world champion at 130 and he turns southpaw sometimes, he's got good speed and this is not going to be an easy fight. This is why I'm working so hard to make sure I'm at my best on August 25th.
GL: Are you disappointed that you're not unifying titles with Vasyl Lomachenko? Is it a letdown to be fighting Pedraza when you could've been in a much bigger fight with Lomachenko?
Ray Beltran: "No because this is still a good fight for me. Everything happens for a reason and I can only focus on what I've got next. I'm just enjoying it, so hopefully I get by Pedraza and then we'll see what happens next."
GL: What is your key to victory to make sure you leave the ring with your WBO lightweight title on August 25th?
RB: "Not let him get his distance and don't let him box."
GL: Are you looking to make it a dog fight?
RB: "That's the plan, that's what we're trying to do. We're going to see how our styles match in the ring and then I'll see how I adapt, but you know me, I always come to fight."
GL: You're a totally different fighter than Gervonta Davis, but he was successful with Pedraza by really forcing the fight on him. Is that why you're looking to make it a dog fight?
RB: "Gervonta is a great fighter and I saw that fight, but I have a different style. I'm coming to fight and I'm coming to put pressure and if I see he's having a hard time with pressure I'm going to keep it on him the whole fight."
GL: You've been waiting your whole life to become world champion and you're not trying to let that belt go in one fight. Is that your mindset?
RB: "Definitely. I've worked too hard to become champion and I want to keep my belt for a long time. I love to win and I hate to lose, but I am motivated because I fight for my family. Now it's time for me to prove that I'm a world champion for a reason and just some lucky guy, and I will show that to the fans on August 25th."
GL: Who are some of the guys you've been sparring with?
RB: "I've been working with Avi Lopez, Jose Roman and Antonio DeMarco and I think we've got a couple of more guys coming. It's been some great sparring and I'm very happy with it."
GL: In this business guys fight to win championships and make money. I imagine you were expecting a much bigger fight in terms of purse after becoming world champion, does that disappoint you?
RB: "No because I know if I do what I'm supposed to do in this fight then I'm going to get a big fight. I can't speak for all boxers, but I fight for more than money I fight for the glory, I fight because I have a passion for the sport and I love the sport. The ultimate goal is to become a champion and hopefully make enough money to take care of my family."
GL: Closing thoughts?
RB: "I want to thank all of my fans who believe in me and keep showing me support and love and I want to thank the fans who don't believe in me because they motivate me even more to prove I'm worthy. Make sue you tune into ESPN on August 25th because I'm going to put on a good show that night."