By Robert Coster
Super featherweights Rances Barthelemy and Arash Usmanee will be risking their unbeaten records and their world rankings on Friday’s ESPN2-televised card at the Magic City Casino in Miami. Warriors Boxing Promotions and Bad Dog Productions, co-promoters of the card, held a press confrence this afternoon at Magic City where Miami-based local favorite and IBF #6 rated Barthelemy (17-0, 11 KOs) faced off with WBA #10, IBF #14 Usmanee(20-0, 10 KOs), the Afghan-born Canadian invader.
While both boxers professed respect for each other’s ability, sparks flew between Barthelemy manager Henry Foster and Douggie Berneche of the opposite camp. Foster took the mic to declare that Usmanee and Rances had once been sparring partners and that Arash “had to be rescued more than once because of the drubbing he was getting.” The Usmanee camp retorted that “Henry is getting old and confuses fantasy and reality.” Arash himself stated, “Henry is not the one doing the fighting. I will be setting the record straight come Friday night.”
Another interesting bout on the 7 fight card will pit Puerto Rican Olympian Jonathan Gonzalez (15-0-1, 13 KOs) against Philadelphia’s Derek “Pooh” Ennis (23-3-1, 13 KOs), in a junior middleweight clash of styles: the hard-punching Gonzalez against the quick and slick Ennis.