In the co-main event, Rances Barthelemy (30-2-1, 15 KOs) bounced back from a stoppage loss last July to Gary Antuanne Russell to pick up an unpopular majority decision against Omar Juarez (14-2, 5 KOs) in a super lightweight bout.
The former world champion at 130 and 135 pounds, Cuba’s Barthelemy started quickly and ended it the same way as he won the first and second round and the ninth and 10th rounds on all three judges’ cards. The scores were 95-95, 97-93 and 98-92 in favor of Barthelemy.
The crowd at The Chelsea rained down boos after the decision was read as many thought that Juarez had done enough to win the fight. “I understand that most of the fans are Mexican here and they were going for Juarez,” Barthelemy said. “But I also had my Cuban fans and they were cheering.”
It was a close fight based on the punch stats with Barthelemy winning the power punch category decidedly, 49% to 33%. “I tried to win this fight intelligently with my brains against a young fighter and that’s what I did,” Barthelemy said.
Barthelemy said he would love nothing more than a rematch with Russell. “I want a rematch even more than a title shot,” he said. “I want that rematch with Gary Antuanne Russell. I want it badly.”
The 23-year-old Juarez had his three-fight winning streak halted. “It is what it is,” he said. “I honestly thought I did enough to win, but all That’s left is keep working hard for next time. My one mistake was not staying on top of him. I should have been more aggressive.”