By Anson Wainwright
In mid July, Rances Barthelemy met Argenis Mendez in a rematch for the IBF junior lightweight title.
The two had met earlier this year. On that occasion Barthelemy looked to be on his way to ripping the title from Mendez. However, the Cuban landed a combination a split second after the bell that knocked Mendez out. After a protest, the result was overhauled and Mendez kept his title.
Barthelemy (20-0, 12 knockouts, with 1 No Contest) was annoyed by the situation, though some of that frustration was elevated when he was awarded a rematch.
This time the 28-year old ex-patriot made sure of victory.
“This meant a lot to me,” Barthelemy told BoxingScene.com. “I was very frustrated after knocking him out in the second round and then having it appealed the next day.
"I felt I was robbed of the title. It took me some time to get over it, but thankfully I had another opportunity to show everyone I truly deserve the title.”
The new IBF champion hopes to fight some of the other big names at 130 in the near future. His team say he'll make his first defense on September 27 with the likely desination being in Canada. Though no opponent is confirmed BoxingScene.com broke a story on it being #3 ranked Fernando Saucedo. http://www.boxingscene.com/barthelemy-saucedo-title-fight-agreement-reached--80481
Here’s what Barthelemy had to say recently on a variety of subjects from his home in Florida.
BoxingScene.com - You won the IBF title, beating Argenis Mendez what are your thoughts on that?
Rances Barthelemy - This meant a lot to me. I was very frustrated after knocking him out in the second round and then having it appealed the next day.
I felt I was robbed of the title. It took me some time to get over it, but thankfully I had another opportunity to show everyone I truly deserve the title.
BoxingScene.com - It's still early but what are your intentions now?
Rances Barthelemy - For now, I intend to defend my title and welcome more opportunities to win other titles.
BoxingScene.com - I believe that you signed with Al Haymon, can you tell us about that?
Rances Barthelemy - Yes I signed with Al. This came about after it became common knowledge what was going on with Mike Tyson and his people. Al Haymon reached out and was able to help me.
BoxingScene.com - If we can go back you were born in Arroyo Naranja, Cuba, it's notoriously tough for you guys growing up. Can you tell us personally what it was like for you growing up there?
Rances Barthelemy - It was very difficult growing up in Cuba, not only for me but also for the entire country. Economically it is just a bad situation and it is devastating to see what has become of the country.
BoxingScene.com - How did you become interested and take up boxing?
Rances Barthelemy - Thanks to my older brother Yan Barthelemy I became interested in boxing and decided to pursue a career in it. I am very grateful to be able to follow in his footsteps.
BoxingScene.com - You had a pretty good amateur career, however you weren’t able to represent Cuba at either the Olympics or the world championships?
Rances Barthelemy - I would have loved to represent my country in the Olympics, but the government prohibited it. After my brother had his experience (Yan defected in 2006) The government prohibited my younger brother (Leduan Barthelemy) and myself to participating and representing our country.
BoxingScene.com - How did you come to make the move from Cuba to Miami?
Rances Barthelemy - My older brother left Cuba and went to Germany for a year. Afterwards he came to the United States and we quickly followed him. He was able to get us the right connections to bring my younger brother and I over.
BoxingScene.com - When you look at the junior lightweight division what are your thoughts on it and the current champions WBC Takashi Miura, WBA Takashi Uchiyama and WBO Mikey Garcia?
Rances Barthelemy - I think the junior lightweight division is overall greatly underrated. I would love the opportunity to get into the ring with Mikey Garcia.
BoxingScene.com - Away from boxing tell us about what you enjoy doing?
Rances Barthelemy - When I am not training, I like to spend time with my family and friends.
BoxingScene.com - In closing do you have a message for the junior lightweight division?
Rances Barthelemy - I would like to fight against the other champions and help give the junior lightweight division more popularity.
Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him at www.twitter.com/AnsonWainwright