PREVIEW: Rances Barthelemy v. Kiryl Relikh II
By Joel Tavizon Jr. | Contributing Writer
Published: March 10, 2018
Rances "Kid Blast" Barthelemy (26-0, 13 KOs) will face Kiryl "Mad Bee" Relikh (21-2, 19 KOs) for the second time on March 10th, live on Showtime. The fight will take place at the Barclay's Center on the undercard of Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) vs. Sergey "Samurai" Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs). The first fight between Barthelemy and Relikh went down on May 20, of 2017, in a fight where both fighters got the best of each other. In the end, Barthelemy ended up getting the controversial unanimous decision with the final scorecards reading 116-110, 115-111, and 117-109. The fans booed at the hearing of the decision expecting Relikh to come out with the victory in a fight much closer than the scorecards made it seem. Unlike their first fight, this time they will be fighting for the vacant WBA World Super Lightweight Title.
Barthelemy is a Cuban boxer residing in Las Vegas, Nevada along with his brother Leduan Barthelemy (13-0-1, 7 KOs) and rising welterweight contender Yordenis Ugas (21-3, 10 KOs). They are all trained under Ismael Salas at The City Boxing Club. Not only will Barthelemy win a third title if he defeats Relikh, but he will also make history by being the first Cuban-born fighter to win titles in three different divisions. This fight will also be Barthelemy’s first fight stepping back into the ring after a ten month lay off. In his upcoming rematch. Barthelemy will come more prepared than ever. “This time my conditioning and nutrition is much improved” Barthelemy stated.
Just like Barthelemy, this will also be Relikh’s first fight back in 10 months. In the first fight, Relikh had Barthelemy hurt and was on the verge of a TKO win in the fifth round, he was the aggressor the whole time and kept the pressure on. “Of course I thought I won,” Relikh said after his first fight with Barthelemy.
This is not the first time Relikh has been in a controversial fight, against his fight with Ricky “Rickster” Burns (41-7-1, 14 KOs) most people thought he outscored Burns in points, but Burns went on to win on points. In the rematch, Relikh looks to leave no doubt on who the winner will be, “This time, we will be much better and not leave it in the judge's hands if we have the opportunity.”
This highly anticipated rematch is undoubtedly going to give the fans what they want. “This is going to be a fight you cannot miss on Saturday,” Relikh commented at the press conference hosted by Showtime. Both fighters are extremely motivated and looking to go home with the win one way or another without it being controversial. “On Saturday night, I am going to put him back on the canvas,” Barthelemy stated at the fighters press conference. The fight will be shown on Showtime 10:15 PM ET.
(Feature Photo: Tom Casino/Showtime)