Fighting in his third weight class in as many fights, Rances Barthelemy showed no signs of any growing pains at all. And after an impressive walk over Antonio DeMarco on Father’s Day at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, that could be a scary proposition for the rest of the 140-pound division.
Barthelemy threw the kitchen sink and a few tools from the garden shed at DeMarco, consistently switching between orthodox and southpaw stances while unleashing a torrent of overhand lefts, submarining rights and everything in between to befuddle an opponent who had no answers over the course of 10 rounds.
It all added up to across-the-board 99-89 cards for Rances Barthlemey, the lone blemish coming because of a point deducted in the ninth for low blows—but offset by a fourth-round knockdown to preserve the margin of victory, if not the perfect score.
“In the third round I knew I had him,” Barthelemy said. “The only way he could beat me was hitting me with a good shot. I knew that from the third round. I started figuring out that southpaw was giving him a lot of problems, so I stayed southpaw.”
It was the fourth, though, where Barthelemy (23-0, 13 KOs) truly asserted his dominance. He caught DeMarco (31-5-1, 23 KOs) with an overhand left that the veteran fighter at first appeared to shrug off, but then went to one knee a second later.
DeMarco got up off the deck and continued to dutifully stalk Barthelemy—absorbing legitimate punishment in the process—but never seemed as bothered by it as he was in the fourth.
“He’s a very experienced fighter,” Barthelemy said. “When I hurt him I thought I was going to try to finish him. But when I didn’t finish him and he recuperated, I said this guy has a lot of experience. He’s a former champ. Let me just box this guy. I’m picking him apart. Let me just keep doing what I’m doing.”
As for those low blows that referee Kenny Bayless repeatedly warned Barthelemy about, he said there was nothing to it, although he appeared to be fired up in the ninth round after the deduction, pouncing on DeMarco like he owed Barthelemy money.
“A lot of them were right in the belt,” Barthelemy said. “The guy jumped. I hit him in the seat. The other ones were all right in the belt area.”
For the full rundown on Barthelemy vs DeMarco, visit our fight page for photos, video and more.
Perhaps he walked under a ladder en route to the ring or drop-kicked a black cat. Whatever the case, Wale “Lucky Boy” Omotoso’s good fortunes ran out Sunday when he ran into Sammy Vasquez Jr., who outslugged Omotoso in a bloody scrap at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Working methodically behind a quick, stiff jab, Vasquez (18-0, 13 KOs) dictated the fast pace of the fight early on, firing off combinations and stymying Omotoso’s offense by smothering him with punches in the center of the ring
Omotoso (25-2, 21 KOs) started generating momentum for himself in Round 4, when he nailed Vasquez with a stiff uppercut after eating a flurry of combinations and then landing a strafing right moments later.
But Vasquez consistently beat Omotoso to the punch, knocking Omotoso’s mouthpiece out with a cracking left in Round 5 and demonstrating superior hand speed.
The action really heated up in Round 8, when Vasquez and Omotoso stood toe-to-toe and savaged each other with combinations, Vasquez’s face turning into a bloody mess.
Vasquez proved he has a good chin, taking a massive right hand in Round 9 from a fighter who’s known for his knockout power.
Ultimately, Vasquez’s frenetic offense proved to be too much for Omotoso, with Vasquez winning a unanimous decision (98-92 on all three judges’ scorecards).
Still, it wasn’t easy for Vasquez, whose bleeding, swollen face provided visual evidence of as much.
“I’ve never been this beat up, ever,” Vasquez said afterward, noting that it wasn’t his intention to get in a firefight with Omotoso. “My objective was to box, move around, not let him hit me because of his power.”
Still, with the crowd in his favor and Vasquez diehards leading frequent chants of “Sammy! Sammy!” it was as if Vasquez couldn’t help himself but go for broke from time to time.
“I like to bring it to my opponents,” he said, “like I did here tonight.”
For Vasquez vs Omotoso photos, videos and more, be sure to visit our fight page.