Leon Margules, co-promoter of now IBF #2 super featherweight contender Rances "Kid Blast" Barthelemy (18-0, 11 KOs) says he feels the level of controversy after Barthelemy's close, but deserved, 12-round unanimous (115-113, 116-112, 116-112) decision over Arash Usmanee on Friday night at Stage 305 in the Magic City Casino in Miami, is both surprising and unfounded.
"Some internet writers from some reputable sites have been claiming Usmanee was robbed and that this was a 'corrupt' and 'hometown' decision and to them I say: Before you try to sully the reputations of some long-time boxing people, watch it again closely without the commentary and decide for yourselves."
Margules concedes it was a close fight, but feels accusations of a hometown decision and robbery are irresponsible given Barthelemy's large early lead and the difficult-to-score nature of many of the subsequent rounds.
"You've got Usmanee doing more work, but not really being effective and you've got Rances picking his opportunities to land the harder, cleaner blows. Three experienced judges with solid reputations decided in the majority of the rounds, Rances was more effective. It's that simple. They aren't corrupt for making that call. Watch the fight again. Even if you don't agree, you can see how they could have leaned that way. It's not a travesty of justice that Rances won this fight. Far from it. In my opinion, he deserved to win."
Margules' opinion is backed by some important boxing writers with impeccable reputations.
"I had Barthelemy 7 rounds to 5," said Santos Perez, the longtime well-known long-time boxing writer for the Miami Herald. "Several of the rounds were close, but I thought Barthelemy built enough early rounds. A draw would not have been a travesty, but Usmanee winning 8 or 9 rounds, like some scored it, is quite a reach. I assume the majority believe that Usmanee won, but some media members, whose judgment I trust, also had Barthelemy winning."
Margules also got another in-ring endorsement for his man that night: Usmanee's own manager.
"Douggy Berneche, Usmanee's manager, told me he thought Rances won the fight. I came over to him after the fight to congratulate his guy on a great performance and he told me 'your guy won 8 to 4.' I said 'no, it was a close fight, let's see what happens.' In fact, I have heard that on TV you can hear Usmanee's cornermen telling him he needs a knockout before the final round, so even his team had their doubts about whether they were winning before this controversy took hold."
Margules says Team Barthelemy are not against a rematch with Usmanee down the road, but for now they're looking for the world title opportunity their man has rightfully earned in the not-so-distant future.
"Everybody settle down. What happened to Carlos Molina against James Kirkland? That was a robbery. Pacquiao vs. Bradley, that was a robbery. There were a few other high-profile fights last year you could call robberies. Barthelemy vs. Usmanee was a close fight that a majority of people there live had going my guy's way. No one in the live audience booed the decision. Seems like those who watched on television were somehow swayed into another school of thought. But regardless who you thought won, it was a very good, close fight that honestly could have gone either way."
New York, NY / Sante Fe, New Mexico - This Friday night, lightweight contender Dannie Williams (22-2, 18KO's) will return to action under the bright lights of ESPN's Friday Night Fights when he takes on recent world title challenger John Molina (24-2, 19KO's) in the 10-round main event at the Indian School in Sante Fe, New Mexico. The bout is promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions, in association with DiBella Entertainment and Rumble Time Promotions.
The bout between Williams and Molina features two contenders meeting at an ultimate crossroads in their respective careers. On March 30, 2013, Williams squared off against fellow top-rated contender and NABF champion Hank Lundy on Friday Night Fights. The heavy-handed Williams got off to a good start, dropping Lundy early in the first. Lundy would go on to win a 10-round unanimous decision though, retaining his title in the process.
Williams bounced back with a seventh-round TKO over veteran Rynell Griffin in October and now has his sights set on Molina, who was stopped by then WBC lightweight titlist Antonio DeMarco in September. A win over Molina will set Williams up for much bigger and better opportunities in 2013 as he looks to position himself for his first world title shot.
"I need to show the world in this fight that my last televised fight was not me. That was a fluke," said Williams. "The boxing world needs to see the real Dannie Williams. 2013 is a huge year for me. After I take care of business on Friday night, I want to get right back in the ring against ranked opponents and move my way to the top of the lightweight division."
ESPN will begin live coverage at 9 p.m. ET. The Williams-Molina bout is promoted by Goosen Tutor Promotions, in association with DiBella Entertainment and Rumble Time Promotions.
Heavyweights headline Jan. 25 card for Friday Night Fights at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino
DOVER, Del. — Friday Night Fights on Friday, Jan. 25 will headline Amir “Hardcore” Mansour, 16(12)-0, of Wilmington, Del., against Dominique “Diamond” Alexander, 23(11)-15-1, of Topeka, Kan., in a heavyweight bout. The co-feature heavyweight bout pits Franklin “Yah-Yah” Lawrence, 18(13)-2-2, of Indianapolis, Ind., against Mark “Oak Tree” Brown, 15(7)-4, of Salem, N.J.
Tickets are on sale for between $40 - $200 and may be purchased by calling VIP Services at 800-711-5882 or visiting doverdowns.com.
The undercard features female super featherweight champion “Queen” Ronica Jeffrey, 11(1)-0, of Brooklyn, N.Y. Also appearing on the undercard will be featherweight Omar “Super O” Douglas, 6(4)-0, of Wilmington, Del.; super middleweight John “Church Boy” Bowman, 4-0-1, of Dover, Del.; featherweight Cornelius Lock, 19(12)-6-1, of Detroit, Mich.; light welterweight Edgar “El Chamaco” Santana, 26(17)-4 of New York, N.Y.; and light heavyweight Frankie “The Freight Train” Filippone, 11(2)-2-1, of Norfolk, Va. Undercard opponents will be named soon.
The first bout will begin at 7:30 p.m. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Will call will be open from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Visit doverdowns.com for updates. Event, times and card are subject to change or cancellation without notice. For media credentials and interview or photo requests, please contact Lisa Rollins at [email protected] .