Crowned, and then uncrowned, IBF Junior Lightweight champion Rances "Kid Blast" Barthelemy (19-0, 12 KOs) is having two reactions to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry's decision to change his January 3 title-winning and devastating KO over former, and now current, champ Argenis Mendez to a "No Decision."
"First off, I could not disagree more," said Barthelemy. "This decision to take away my title is a terrible one. The referee did not call a foul that night, so how can a commissioner over-rule him by watching TV, weeks later? I am better stronger and more talented than him and I knocked him out. Now I have to do it again."
But Barthelemy's other reaction is just as significant: "If they put me in the ring with Mendez again, I will hurt him again. They haven't done him any favors by making him fight me again. His legs were going weak with every punch I even touched him with. And now I know exactly how to get to him, so it'll be even worse next time. I was glad he survived to fight another day, but he is making a mistake fighting me again."
Barthelemy's co-promoter, Luis DeCubas agrees that the Minnesota Commission's decision was wrong for a number of reasons.
"First of all, it's ludicrous that my fighter trains hard, does nothing wrong, and becomes World Champion only to have an inexperienced Commission unilaterally take his win away without a hearing. Rances is the champion of the world everywhere but in the eyes of the revered boxing body called the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. There is a reason there are not more world title fights in that state. There's no instant replay in boxing in Minnesota. If the rules were interpreted improperly, the commission can change the outcome. However, the referee didn't do that. The referee did not rule that a foul was committed that night, so how can a commission in an office play second referee weeks later? That's not fixing a misinterpretation, that's acting as a second referee and it sets a very dangerous precedent in boxing."
Margules, who also co-promotes Barthelemy, agrees that a rematch with Mendez is a horrible idea... for Mendez.
"Rances couldn't miss this guy. They're leading him to another ugly knockout. In fact, if that fight proved anything, it's that there's not a 130-lb champion or contender in the world that can contend with my guy." said Margules
Barthelemy agrees and followed up with: "I DARE any 130-lb fighter in the world to get in the ring with me. I have developed my skills to the point where I am the best boxer in the world at my weight. What happened to Mendez was just the first of many."
Margules continued: "I know Commissioner Ken Peterson thinks he's doing the right thing, but he does not understand the rules of boxing that requires only the referee to call a foul. The referee did not do that and the KO Rances earned in the ring should stand. Now Rances will just give Argenis Mendes another ass-whipping. Barthelemy is at a point in his career where he is improving every day and would beat any fighter in the world at his weight. Hopefully the television networks recognize what a great talent he is, and how this horrendous reversal in Minnesota impacted him financially, and as they have done in the past with other fighters, who were wronged, give Rances Barthelemy the chance to prove he is indeed the best in the world at his or any weight."