Rances Barthelemy scraped by (very controversially for some) against Arash Usmanee. Jonathan Gonzalez passed the mandatory veteran test in the form of Derek Ennis.
Read on for the full ‘Weekend Round Up.’
FRIDAY 4TH/5TH JANUARY:
Rances ‘Kid Blast’ Barthelemy (18-0-0) vs. Arash Usmanee (20-1-0). Super featherweights, 12 rounds.
-Rances Barthelemy, although the favourite, faced a worthy competitor in Arash Usmanee. The first round was a generally solid round from a technical perspective for both boxers, with Barthelemy showing the better ability. Usmanee ate several crisp and effective jabs in the opening stanza. This successful approach by Barthelemy continued in the second round but lessened quite a bit in the third. Usmanee increased his activity and started to have more success, although Barthelemy was able to repeatedly land a very nice left cross. Not to lessen Usmanee’s work, but Barthelemy opened the door for his nemesis by abandoning his laser like jab. Usmanee was now able to advance and not be met by a head snapping jab. This allowed him to throw effective combos including body punches. Barthelemy was by no means getting steam rolled, but Usmanee was able to land as Barthelemy walked into punches as opposed to advancing behind his jab. Barthelemy began to look tired as the fight continued and Usmanee certainly seemed to be taking advantage. The 10th round witnessed Barthelemy’s resurgence which continued in the 11th and lasted for most of the 12th round. To me, Barthelemy won rounds 1 to 3, Usmanee took 4 to 9 and Barthelemy came back for rounds 10 to 12, a draw. Neither boxer made the best use of angles, but that’s a problem that can be remedied, especially in Barthelemy’s case. Final scores were 115-113, 116-112 Barthelemy, 116-112 Barthelemy. The eminently respectable Teddy Atlas felt it was a robbery, but I feel that robbery is too strong of a word. Controversial, yes, robbery no. A draw would’ve probably been the fairest outcome.
Jonathan ‘Mantequila’ Gonzalez improves to 16-0-1 as Derek ‘Pooh’ Ennis drops to 23-4-1. Light middleweights, 10 rounds.
-Jonathan Gonzalez faced veteran Derek Ennis. Gonzalez was the bigger guy and made use of his reach advantage. I’m not Gonzalez’ biggest fan, but he boxed well and continued to use the jab in the second round. Ennis was biding his time and landed some nice punches. Gonzalez continued to pressurise intelligently and occasionally set up his right with the jab as a distraction. The rest of the match was characterised by Gonzalez attempting to impose his will on Ennis. The younger and bigger boxer used the jab and also put together combinations with power punches. Ennis defended mostly well and also gave the youngster food for thought by landing crosses on the inside and picking his moments. In the final analysis Gonzalez was able to use his physical advantages and more than adequate boxing ability against the older, shorter Ennis to win a relatively close contest. Final scores were 95-95; 98-92 Gonzalez and 97-93 Gonzalez.
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