In the days leading up to his fight against Antonio DeMarco, Rances Barthelemy is training in a makeshift garage gym in a residential neighborhood in Las Vegas. It’s 100 degrees out, and all the doors in the garage are open. Air conditioning? What are you, fancy?
Barthelemy looks long and lean, which isn’t any different from how he historically appears in the ring. The difference now is that in just two fights in eight months, he’s jumping two weight classes.
Moving from 130 to 135 to 140 pounds in short order to fight a seasoned southpaw like Antonio DeMarco might be a tall order, but Barthelemy has a couple of things going for him that can help mitigate any troubles in adapting to the weight. In particular: Being a tall order.
At 5 feet 11 inches, Rances Barthelemy is listed as an inch taller than DeMarco, with a two-inch reach advantage. He’s supremely comfortable using that wingspan to hang outside an opponent and keep him off-balance.
“I’m definitely going to use my length to my advantage,” said Barthelemy, who will face DeMarco on Sunday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas in a bout airing on CBS (4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT).
“I know I’m the taller of the two even though DeMarco is pretty tall and lengthy himself. I’m going to maintain my distance and use that to my advantage.”
Barthelemy is also naturally fluid in the ring, adept at changing his stance from orthodox to southpaw as the situation dictates. It’s something trainer Ismael Salas encourages his fighter to do.
“I’ve always done that since I was in Cuba. It’s something that’s in me. It’s my style,” Barthelemy said. “There are other trainers that have said no, don’t do that. I feel when I do that, it allows me to be more comfortable in the ring and get in the groove of who I am as a fighter.”
For all things Barthelemy vs DeMarco, follow our fight page.