By Joseph Herron: Everyone has a calling. Regardless of race, creed, culture, or nationality, every man and woman has a mission or vision to fulfill.
Undefeated super featherweight prospect Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelemy’s thirst for the fight game was recognized at an early age.
“As a child in Cuba, I had a lot of discipline problems in school and I was always getting into fights,” claims “Kid Blast”. “They took me to a psychologist and I was diagnosed as being hyperactive. So the school’s personnel took it upon themselves to place me in their sports curriculum and I was selected for the boxing program.”
After having an extensive amateur career in his home country, Rances became a Cuban Exile and migrated to Miami, Florida, to begin fighting in the states.
“I like Miami very much. It is a second home for Cuban Exiles and it is also a city that expects so much from their professional athletes,” states the 26 year old fighter. “It’s very competitive in Miami, which ultimately makes me a better fighter. But, because of the large Cuban influence in this city, I feel very much at home here.”
After winning the Florida Golden Gloves tournament in 2008 and competing in the amateur nationals, Barthelemy decided to turn pro in August of 2009.
Jumping out to a 12 fight win streak with 10 knock-outs, “Kid Blast” has begun to turn some heads within the boxing industry. Although Barthelemy has achieved great success early in his career, his handlers are maneuvering the 26 year old fighter’s career strategically.
Barthelemy’s Co-promoter Richard Dobal explains.
“From our point of view, Rances is one or two fights away from a meaningful fight on network television. His fight with Gerardo Robles on ‘Friday Night Fights’ is actually his first scheduled eight round bout. We foresee maybe one or two more eight round fights, and then we’ll be ready to put him in a ten round fight on ‘Sho-box: The Next Generation’, or HBO’s ‘Boxing After Dark’. We feel that Rances is a good year or two away from fighting the best at 130 or 135 lbs.”
But if the Cuban “hurt machine” had his druthers, he would do things a little differently.
“If it were up to me, I would step in the ring with the top fighters right now,” declares Rances Barthelemy. “All of the top ranked fighters should know that if they step in the ring with me, there’s going to be Hell to pay. They’re going to be in for a fight.”
“But, the reality is that it’s not just up to me, and I am very pleased with the way that my career is developing. I understand that my promoters and my management team have a plan and a pace set in order to get me to that level. But, I would like to make it very clear that if it were up to me, I would fight all of the top fighters right now and they would be in the fight of their lives.”
Although “Kid Blast” is adamant when speaking about eventually fighting the biggest names in boxing, there are indeed a few big names that he would rather not have to face.
“I don’t ever want to have to face another Cuban fighter like Yuriorkis Gamboa or Guillermo Rigondeaux. You will never hear one Cuban fighter call out another Cuban fighter; we are all in agreement with that,” states the proud Cubano. “But, I do realize that boxing is a business, and if there were a demand for a fight with Gamboa or another Cuban fighter, I would have to accept it and give the public want they want.”
“When we first started fighting in Cuba, we would have to fight each other for free anyway. But, if I had a choice, I would choose not to fight other Cuban fighters.”
Rances is one of three Barthelemy brothers who are now professional fighters. His younger brother Leduan (2-0, 2 KOs) and his older brother Yan (12-2, 4 KOs) are both fighting in the Super Bantamweight division.
Although he loves his brothers and supports their fight careers, Rances has stated that he would rather not fight on the same fight card in which his brothers are fighting unless he absolutely has to. Rances explains why.
“I’ve already gone through the experience of having to fight on the same card as my younger brother Leduan and I wouldn’t want to do that again,” proclaims “Kid Blast”. “I was such a nervous wreck for my brother that I couldn’t focus on my opponent. I was so worried about the outcome of my brother’s fight that I wasn’t even mentally aware of my own fight.”
What has a lot of boxing insiders buzzing is the fact that Rances Barthelemy has a 5’11” frame, power in both fists, and can make the Super Featherweight limit of 130 lbs. comfortably.
Most boxing pundits claim that the Cuban Missile has the makings of a superstar.
“My trainer Orlando Cuellar has told me that he envisions me eventually moving up as high as 154 or possibly 160 pounds due to the fact that I occasionally spar with men at that weight,” claims the undefeated prospect. “But realistically, I see myself only moving up to 140 or 147 pounds.”
“I feel really comfortable and strong at the weight I’m at now, but I would love to jump up to 135 lbs. sooner rather than later because of the big names currently in the lightweight division.”
Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelemy states that it’s only a matter of time before he becomes a champion at either 130 or 135 lbs, but recognizes that his first item on the agenda is Gerardo Robles on Friday Night Fights.
The 26 year old Cuban born fighter realizes that he needs to put on an impressive performance in front of a network television audience to elevate his career to the next level.
“I have prepared for this fight harder than any other fight in my career, and the person who works the hardest in the gym always gets the victory on fight night. I am really looking forward to fighting this Friday night.”
“Barthelemy vs. Robles” is one of six fights scheduled for a special “Fight Night at the Cosmopolitan” in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The fight card’s main event includes former world title challenger and universally feared power puncher Edison “Pantera” Miranda (34-5, 29 KOs) of Colombia, facing off against former Cuban Olympian Yordanis Despaigne (8-1, 4 KOs) in a guaranteed thriller of a 10-round light heavyweight showdown.
Accompanying the main event will be will be a 12-round IBF Super Lightweight Elimination bout between the Dominican Republic’s IBF #3-rated Victor “Mermelada” Cayo (20-1, 18 KOs) and Washington DC’s IBF #4-ranked Lamont Peterson (24-1-1, 14 KOs), in a battle where sparks are sure to fly.
In association with Warriors Boxing and Blue Wave Group, Boxing Series “Fight Nights at The Cosmopolitan” will be televised live on ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights” July 29th.
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