Leduan Barthelemy’s journey to follow older brother Rances as a world champion continues unabated.
The 6-foot, 130-pound prospect remained unbeaten with a ninth-round TKO of Reynaldo Blanco in the main event of a Toe-to-Toe Tuesdays on FS1 card at Robinson Rancheria Resort & Casino in Nice, California.
Leduan Barthelemy (13-0, 7 KOs) dazed Blanco with series of lefts to the chin in the final round and blasted through the guard to dump the Dominican Republic native to a knee.
Blanco’s cornermen pleaded with their overmatched charge to stay down, but he stubbornly beat referee Edward Collantes’ count and, for his troubles, received plenty more punishment—the first time Barthelemy came forward all night—before the corner finally waved the white towel to end the bout at 1:30 of Round 9.
“I came here knowing that I had to make a statement and deliver a knockout,” said Barthelemy, who recently moved to Las Vegas to train under Ismael Salas alongside his brother. “I controlled the fight from the opening bell and never lost focus.”
Reynaldo Blanco (14-4, 8 KOs) was game from the opening bell, but he simply couldn’t maneuver effectively inside the Cuban southpaw’s telephone-pole jab, and withstood plenty of damage for his efforts.
Every time Blanco pressed on and attempted to work his way between Barthelemy’s long arms, the 29-year-old Dominican was met by power punches that impeded his progress.
Blanco’s biggest success came after he landed a sharp counter left hook along the ropes in Round 3 and followed up with a few scoring rights. By the end of the round, though, the momentum had already shifted after Barthelemy belted Blanco with a right hand that shook his balance.
Barthelemy, 27, boxed conservatively from the southpaw stance for much of the fight, flicking his rangy jab out to keep Blanco at bay.
The Cuban rarely took chances, but he didn’t have to. Blanco was happy to make the fight over the first half until his face became the worse for wear, the result of all those counter shots that met their mark.
With older brother Rances, a two-division world champion who is moving up to 140 pounds, looking on from ringside, Leduan Barthelemy took the next step forward in his burgeoning career.
“I feel like I’m the best up-and-coming fighter in the division,” he said. "I’m ready to step up to the next level of competition.”
Davis edges Hernandez in 10-round split decision
In undercard action, Kyrone Davis (12-1, 5 KOs) earned a 10-round split decision over previously unbeaten Marcos Hernandez (9-1, 2 KOs) in a 154-pound bout. Davis had to overcome a rocky start—he was wobbled early in the bout—and a questionable point deduction for a low blow in Round 7.
Also, Malcolm McAllister (9-0, 8 KOs) remained unbeaten with a six-round unanimous decision over Alejandro Torres (9-3-2, 4 KOs), but it didn’t come without hiccups. The 160-pound bout was McAllister’s first fight to reach the scorecards—all three judges scored it 58-55—and he was knocked down for the first time in his career in the final round.
For a complete look at Barthelemy vs Blanco, visit the fight page.