Tuesday, October 03, 2023  |


Did you know about Barthelemy-DeMarco?

Fighters Network
Rances Barthelemy-ESPN-635

Photo courtesy of ESPN

Fast and furious, these fight cards get thrown at us. It’s an embarrassment of richesÔǪwell, some riches and some lesser grade material, franklyÔǪbut all in all, in a way, this is a golden age of being a fight fan. PBC here, there, almost everywhereÔǪ
Some of these cards and fights even sneak up on me, a degenerate boxing addict who needs to know about them to make my living.

Such as the Sunday tussle between Rances Barthelemy, a skilled Cuban hitter, and rugged rumbler Antonio DeMarco. Did you not know about this bout? Yep, it’s to be featured on CBS. Did you not know about boxing on CBS? Yep, Sunday. 4 p.m Eastern. Sammy Vasquez also will be showcased against Wale Omotoso.

If you didn’t know about it, no pox on you. Adrien Broner fights Saturday and he has an ability to suck oxygen out of a room, steal thunder and lightning and corral all the drum beats.

Barthelemy is 22-0, with 13 KOs, has skills, as so many Cubans do, being that they drill they heck out of them over there. They eat, sleep, live and breathe boxing on their way up.

“I’m feeling good moving up in weight,” the near-six-year pro said. “Everybody knows Antonio DeMarco is a very, very tough fighter. He’s one of the best I’ve ever fought. His record who he has faced proves that. He’s experienced but so am I,” stated the 28-year-old, now doing his thing at 135, up from 130.

“I want to be the best Cuban fighter of all time and I’m on my way,” he continued, with a show of conviction, if not hyperbole.

“I’m in tremendous shape and I’m ready to go. I want to showcase my skills on Sunday to show the world how I can fight,” said the ex-IBF junior lightweight champ.

“Who do I want to fight? I’ll fight anyone they put in my way. I’ll fight Godzilla if he’s there,” he said, when asked about next after DeMarco.

“I don’t do predictions but this is going to be an entertaining fight. Unlike past Cuban fighters, I have power and can knock people out. In the amateurs, you don’t need power but in the pros, that’s what it’s all about,” he said, acknowledging the bias knock against some Cubans, for being too cute, not fighting a fan-friendly pro style.

On the other side is 31-4-1 (23) DeMarco, a willing sort who can be stopped out. Broner and, before that, Edwin Valero did so to the Mexican banger, who comes in off a loss to Jessie Vargas last November.

“This is going to be a tough fight, a difficult fight, but I have a great responsibility. My 15-year-old sister told me that if I win, she will beat cancer. She was diagnosed with bone cancer last November – and it was life-threatening. But her last chemo treatment was yesterday.”

WhoahÔǪif you don’t have a rooting interest in this bout, maybe you now lean DeMarco…

“From a ring standpoint, I am really looking forward to Sunday,” said the 29-year-old of his task at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. “I am very prepared; I am relaxed and ready to go. Besides for my sister, my other main motivation is that this is a chance to get my career back on track. A victory and I can get back to where I was and in position to challenge the best.

“I am treating it like another fight but, of course, it is much more. Exposure-wise, you can’t get better than network television.”

(This might be a good time for me to remind you to set your DVR because you might be doing other things Sunday afternoon.)

“I know Rances is going to be a difficult opponent. He’s a great fighter but I have the experience to come up with a game plan to win. From a career-standpoint, this is a very important fight and I’m ready for it.”

DeMarco is a stand-tall lefty, is busy, pumps a jab which could be stiffer, forgets to move his head all the time, works the body and uses different angles for his punches, sometimes leans in and waits for a receipt and likely isn’t as fast with his hands as Rances. The Cuban owns a filthy left hook but might look to be busier with a speedy right lead against the lefty. His uppercut might work on DeMarco when his head dips. Rances does good work outside and likely will have fun in the ring on Sunday, en route to a conclusive W.


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