Arash Usmanee Wants To Test Barthelemy's Will

IBF #14-rated super featherweight contender Arash Usmanee (20-0, 10 KOs) is finishing up training at the Club de Boxe de l'Est gym in Montreal, in preparation to face  IBF #6 Rances "Kid Blast" Barthelemy (17-0, 11 KOs) on Friday, January 4, 2013, at Stage 305 in the Magic City Casino in Miami, Florida.

Presented by Warriors Boxing and Bad Dog Productions in association with the Magic City Casino, Usmanee vs. Barthelemy will serve as 12-round elimination bout for the IBF's #2 position and the main event of a show entitled "Friday Night Fights at Magic City Casino" that will also be the year's debut broadcast of ESPN's Friday Night Fights (10 PM Eastern on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, online through, and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app).

In the co-featured televised bout, Puerto Rican slugger Jonathan "Mantequilla" Gonzalez (15-0-1, 13 KOs) will take on Philadelphia's Derek "Pooh" Ennis (23-3-1, 13 KOs).

My training is always tip top," said the Aghani-Canadian. "I'm ready to go. I gotta cut some weight, but it's in the process. I'm taking my time with it. For me, having to cut weight is ordinary. It seems like no matter what weight I fight at, it's tough to make. I take it serious because that's a part of boxing and that's a battle every boxer should be able to overcome. And it makes the victory taste better when you have to work hard for the win."

30-year-old Usmanee is a five-time national amateur champion in his adopted home of Canada. Born in Kabul, Afghanistan, he moved to the Canadian Province of Alberta when he was only three years old, after his father was killed in a bombing.

"I moved to Montreal from Alberta. I had five fights there before I moved and things weren't looking so good. Pro boxing in Alberta is very difficult to do well at. You pretty much have to be a club fighter and I'm not a club fighter. When I got here, my manager, Douggy Berneche, and my trainer, Danielle Trepanier, and I hooked up and the rest is history."

Usmanee says he had a very wild style before meeting Trepanier, but has really refined his game with his guidance.

"My basics of boxing were lacking, let's put it that way. For many years, I was left to do what I was good at in the ring, which was to be wild and fight. I did well with it, but not at this level. You have to utilize all your assets and I wasn't doing that. So Dan said let's go back to basics and that's what we did. He took me right back to school and started from the beginning and taught me how to box. I learned a lot of the basics of boxing in the past few years. I basically became a boxer. I had the tennis ball under my chin; my legs were tied up. I looked stupid, but that's what we had to do."

Usmanee admits he can still be a little wilder than he should at times. "My style is in your face. I like to go to war, sometimes even when I shouldn't. But I've learned to utilize my boxing skills in the past couple years a lot better. My heart is a warrior. In my heart I want war. That's never going to go away. But my punches don't get wild anymore. I get wild in my heart now, but stick to what I've learned: technical aggression."

So what does he think of his opponent Barthelemy?

"Barthelemy is just like me. I do everything pretty good, nothing spectacular or amazing. I feel I'm rounded off pretty smooth. I don't do anything that's really, really bad or that stands out. He's not a bad boxer, not a bad fighter, everything he has is good, but it's not blowing my mind. It's not amazing or out of the ordinary. He's nothing I haven't faced before in the ring. He's good, tall; he's naturally southpaw, so he's got a good left side. Good boxer, good puncher. Everything is average. Nothing is spectacular. You know? That's the same with me."

Despite what he calls their equality in physical gifts, Usmanee has a definite vision for the important fight's outcome. "We're planning on stopping him late. I always want to knock out everybody, but that's what I want to do and that's what I'm planning on doing.  I'm sure he's got the same plan. That's why it'll be a great fight."

Usmanee has already won the NABA and WBC Continental Americas Championships as a professional, but says he's suffered from anonymity so far in his career. This fight may be his ticket to wider recognition.

"I don't think the world really knows much about me yet. We're hoping to change that with this fight. I don't think many Canadians even know who I am yet, but I have been getting a lot of letters from around the world about this fight. I think if I win it, the world will start to know about me."


The undercard, which will be announced shortly, will feature several young local and international rising stars.

Tickets are on sale now on the Magic City Casino website as well as in person at the Magic City Players Club. They are priced at $100, $75, $50 and $35. Doors open at 7:30 pm and the first bell is at 8:00.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Angry Cuban on 12-29-2012

He better be good if he wants to real barthelemy he doesn't do anything great but he do everything good and so far every time that I believe that he may loose he wins easily...I goona be there I…

Comment by joe strong on 12-29-2012

it's hard to get recognition here. usmanee & trupish are 2 world class fighters. neither could get fights here so they moved. arash has picked up 2 regional belts & is ranked. trupish just moved to vegas earlier this year…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (2)
Top Headlines Crawford To Face PBC Fighter Next? Then Pacquiao in 2017? Roach: Pacquiao is Too Big, Lomachenko is Not That Good Javier Fortuna vs. Omar Douglas Camp Notes Pacquiao vs. Lomachenko is The Fight Arum Wants To Make Most Terry Flanagan vs. Orlando Cruz on November 26, Motorpoint Roach: Golden Boy Protecting Their 'Cash Cow' From Golovkin John Molina Wants to Dethrone 140 Kingpin Terence Crawford Schaefer Explains Ringstar Business Model, PBC Relationship Roach Still Wants Pacquiao vs. Canelo: I Love That Fight! Parker's Promoter Still Pushing To Keep Ruiz Fight in Auckland Manny Pacquiao: I Need a Convincing Win To Prove I'm Still Here Scott Quigg Makes Featherweight Debut on Anthony Joshua Card Pacquiao vs. Vargas Lands on BoxNation Katie Taylor Inks Promotional With Eddie Hearn, Pro Debut Set Oscar De La Hoya: 2016 is Maybe The Worst Year For Boxing Roach: I Don't Think Andre Ward is The Fighter He Used To Be Video: Freddie Roach Talks Golovkin, Kovalev vs. Ward, More Manny Pacquiao, Freddie Roach Have Retirement Pact in Place Video: Justin Fortune Discusses The Heavyweight Division Juan Manuel Lopez vs. Wilfredo Vazquez Jr: Sure, Why Not Video: Bob Arum Talks Schaefer, Trump, King, UFC, More Arum: I Would NEVER Do Pacquiao vs. Golovkin - It Was a Joke! Video: Manny Pacquiao Putting in Work For Vargas Title Clash Video: Freddie Roach on Thurman-Garcia, Lebedev-Gassiev, More Mason Menard's Fight Now Off Due To Bookkeeping Issue Molina Still Wants Danny Garcia Fight: He Has Holes in His Armor Video: Manny Pacquiao Talks Camp, Retirement, Vargas, More Demetrius Andrade Very Motivated as Jack Culcay Clash Nears Photos: Manny Pacquiao Putting in Work at Wild Card Gym Canelo Says The Ball is in Golovkin's Court: Accept The Offer! Ricardo Mayorga Crashes Into Taxi, Pursued For 200K in Damages Canelo Eager To Prove WBO Prez's Prediction of Mayweather KO Vences: A Win Over Casey Ramos Will Open A lot of Doors For Me Photos: Juanma, Vazquez Explode in Very Tense Final Presser Ustinov's Manager Expects WBA To Order Klitschko Title Fight Premier Boxing Champions Reveal Season 3 Schedule Helenius Faces Basile on 12/17, Chisora Rematch Eyed For March Arthur Abraham Shelved For Three Weeks Due To Elbow Injury SHO's Espinoza: Mayweather Won't Even Joke About Ring Return Curtis Stevens-De La Rosa Added To PPV Portion of Kovalev-Ward

Latest Active Forum Threads