With a notable size advantage heading into their 130-pound bout, Leduan Barthelemy plans on making short work of Reynaldo Blanco on Tuesday night.
“I’m going for the knockout,” the 6-foot Cuban southpaw said. “I’ll be firing my right hand from distance, using my defense and setting up my left hand. He will feel my power and be exposed to a combination of skills the likes of which he has never seen.”
Leduan Barthelemy (12-0, 6 KOs) will take on rugged Reynaldo Blanco (14-3, 8 KOs) in a 10-round bout that headlines a Premier Boxing Champions Toe-to-Toe Tuesdays card at Robinson Rancheria Resort & Casino in Nice, California (FS1, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
Barthelemy, 27, is the younger brother of 2004 Olympic gold medalist Yan Barthelemy and two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy. Despite those impressive family ties, though, Blanco said he is going to cut down his unbeaten opponent.
“Barthelemy is a tall fighter, but I’m 5 foot 9, and I’ve prepared by sparring with tall fighters and southpaws,” Blanco said. “Tall fighters are vulnerable to body punches, and he won’t like it when I hit him there, I guarantee it.”
At Monday's weigh-in, Barthelemy hit the scale at 129 pounds while Blanco came in at 130.
Barthelemy, who lives and trains in Las Vegas, is entering his second fight under the guidance of Cuban trainer Ismael Salas, who also works with Rances Barthelemy and three-division champion Jorge Linares, who defended his 135-pound title Saturday by beating Anthony Crolla in Manchester, England.
Barthelemy has gone the distance in his last two fights, including a six-round unanimous decision over Jesus Aguinaga in Las Vegas in January. Salas, however, said he expects his fighter to finish the job early against Blanco.
“Leduan has been sitting down more on his punches,” Salas said. "We think he’ll take this guy out at some point.”
Barthelemy has benefited from sparring with 147-pound Cuban talent Yordenis Ugas, who has won three bouts since August following a 27-month layoff.
“Yordenis is bigger, busier and more explosive, which helps my game plan for boxing and lateral movement,” Barthelemy said. “I’ll know what he has after the first round, then work the body and find other weak spots. I’ll get him out of there after the third or fourth round.”
Blanco, a 29-year-old native of the Dominican Republic who now lives in Puerto Rico, won five of his six fights in 2016. He is coming off a second-round KO of Gustavo Rodriguez in December in the Dominican Republic.
Blanco gained four of his five wins last year by KO, including a second-round stoppage in July of fellow Dominican Mario Beltre, who entered their bout with a record of 14-0 and 11 KOs.
“I will beat [Barthelemy] to the punch and dictate the pace,” Blanco said. “The body attack is important, but whether it’s boxing or brawling, I'm ready for 10 rounds of pure war.”
Barthelemy's former trainer, Todd Harlib, died in November at the age of 48, and the Cuban will enter the ring wearing a T-shirt dedicated to his memory.
“Todd was like a father to me,” Barthelemy said. “I am always thinking of him, so I have dedicated this fight and all of my career in memory of Todd.”
For a complete look at Barthelemy vs Blanco, visit our fight page.