By Dave Spencer
Look for 2013 to start off with a bang as Canadian super-featherweight Arash Usmanee (20-0 10KO) travels to Miami Florida to meet Rances Barthelemy (17-0 11KO) in a battle of undefeated fighters at the Magic City Casino and televised on ESPN. “The contract is signed and the fight approved by ESPN,” a happy Douggy Berneche, manager for Usmanee told FightNews Thursday evening.
The fight fulfills the two criteria that Berneche has been searching for his talented fighter, televised exposure and a name opponent who should have people standing up and taking notice should the #8 (WBA) Usmanee prevail. The 5’11” Barthelemy is ranked #5 by the IBF and was actually in Canada one year ago when promoter Leon Margules brought him in to be part of the Glen Johnson versus Lucian Bute undercard, stopping Alejandro Barrera that night, a common opponent for both fighters. “He’s a good prospect but I don’t think he’s ever been tested,” said Berneche.
The Cuban born Barthelemy who began his career in 2009 by stopping his opponent in just :14 seconds has six first round knockouts but has gone to the scorecards four of his past five fights as the level of opposition has moved up. If a slight power edge goes to Barthelemy, then the 30 year-old Usmanee definitely gets the nod in experience. Four years older and has gone ten rounds three times, something the Florida fighter has yet to do.