Rances Barthelemy edges Kiryl Relikh in close fight
In the opening bout of the Showtime card taking place in Oxon Hill, Maryland, Rances Barthelemy (26-0 13KOs) was heavily tested by virtually unknown challenger Kiryl Relikh (21-2 19KOs) in the opening fight of the three fight television main card.
The fight saw Barthelemy win the bout early with a good jab and movement, Relikh, who never got discouraged kept up constant pressure, that pressure would culminate in a fifth round knockdown of Barthelemy. Not to be outdone, Barthelemy would drop Relikh in the 8th with a body shot.
The final round were very close and seemed like swing rounds with Barthelemy landing the cleaner work, but Relikh throwing at a much higher volume. Barthelemy nearly stopped Relikh with a body shot in the eleventh round which saw Relikh run across the ring to avoid Barthelemy. The final round saw Barthelemy edge the round as he appeared in control
The judges saw the bout 116-110, 115-111 and 117-109.
Barthelemy now is the mandatory challenger for WBA super lightweight champion Julius Indongo and is looking to make history by being the first three weight Cuban world champion.