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Barthelemy-Usmanee on January 4th on ESPN

ESPN’s Friday Night Fights Season Premiere Features Undefeated Junior Lightweights Barthelemy & Usmanee

Todd Grisham Debuts as New Host; Bernardo Osuna Debuts as New On-Site, Bi-Lingual Reporter for ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes

ESPN’s Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra will kick off a new season January 4 at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN2 HD, ESPN Deportes and will be available online through and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app. The season premiere will match undefeated Junior Lightweights Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelemy (17-0, 11 KOs) and Arash Usmanee (20-0, 10 KOs) in the 12-round main event. The card, from the Magic City Casino in Miami, is promoted by Warriors Boxing.

Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas will describe the action for ESPN2 HD, while new studio host Todd Grisham will present all the latest news and boxing highlights. Alex Pombo and Delvin Rodriguez will call the fights for ESPN Deportes’ Viernes de Combates (Friday Night Fights) with Leopoldo Gonzalez and Pablo Viruega in the studio. In his new role as on-site, bi-lingual reporter, former Friday Night Fights host Bernardo Osuna will present live interviews and reports for both shows.

Friday’s show will include a special feature on Usmanee, a native of Afghanistan. The feature reviews Usmanee’s migration to Canada following the then-Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.

Main Event:
Miami’s Barthelemy, the younger brother of 2004 Olympic gold medalist Yan Barthelemy, is coming off an August eight-round unanimous decision win over Jose Rodriguez. Prior to that fight, Barthelemy won an eight–round unanimous decision over Robert Osiobe in May and scored one of his career-best wins last February, winning an eight-round unanimous decision over Hylon Williams Jr. on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights.

After Barthelemy’s last fight boxing writer Dan Rafael wrote: “Barthelemy set the tone in the first round when he dropped Rodriguez with a left to the body followed by a left upstairs as Rodriguez was going down. The body shot, which is what caused the knockdown, seemed a little low, but referee Sam Burgos didn’t hesitate to call a knockdown immediately. Barthelemy was never in any trouble as he used solid left hooks to beat back Rodriguez throughout the entire one-sided fight.”

Montreal’s Usmanee is coming off a third-round TKO win over Alan Paredes. Usmanee said of Friday’s fight, “Rances Barthelemy is a good fighter. I have to be on top of my game. He’s tall, lanky, his power is pretty good, his speed is pretty good, and he’s going to come to win.”

Friday’s co-feature will pit undefeated Junior Middleweight Jonathan “Mantequilla” Gonzalez (15-0-1, 13 KOs), a member of Puerto Rico’s 2008 Olympic team, against Derek Ennis (23-3-1, 13 KOs) of Philadelphia in a 10-round bout. Ennis is coming off an eight-round unanimous decision win over Shakir Ashanti, while Gonzalez will look to rebound from a 12-round draw against former Junior Middleweight titlist Sergiy Dzinziruk.

Additional Fight:

Friday’s card will include an additional third bout, to be included in most 2013 shows. It will be a four-round bout between undefeated Featherweights Hairon Socarras (5-0-1, 4 KOs) and Josh Bowles (6-0, 1 KO).

For more information on Grisham and Osuna’s new roles and for the latest Friday Night Fights schedule visit ESPN MediaZone.
Follow ESPN’s Friday Night Fights on Twitter @ESPNFNF or like it on Facebook. Follow ESPN Deportes’ Viernes de Combates on Twitter @ESPNBoxeo

ArizonaBoxing News & Notes With Don Smith

Boxing Fans,
Arizona seasonal resident Janks Trotter recently paid a a visit to Phoenix and the 28 year old Light middleweight boxer (7-1-1 w/7 Knockouts ) graciously granted an interview before heading back to Calgary, Alberta; his permanent residence. Trotter bought a home in Buckeye, Arizona a few years ago and he flies in at least 2 times a year to check on his property and he headquarters there when he fights in Arizona. He last fought on January 13, 2012 in Calgary where he was dropped in the first round by fellow Canadian Adam Trupish. Referee Wes Melton stopped the contest after 72 seconds of action. The first 58 seconds into the bout belonged to Trotter who backed Trupish into the ropes and was roughing him up until the Irish/Canadian stopped, dropped his hands and took a step back. At that moment, Trupish (bleeding) sprang forward and landed a vicious hook to the temple area of Trotter’s head. The punch immobilized Trotter and he tried to reach the ropes for refuge, but his legs wouldn’t cooperate. It was over. Trotter is a very private person and he rarely grants interviews because he doesn’t like to talk about himself. When he does talk, he doesn’t mince his words.

Q: You last fought on January 13, 2012 when Adam Trotter caught you with a wicked hook in the first round and after that punch it was lights out and Referee Wes Melton stopped the fight. I saw Melton talking to you after the fight. What did he say to you?
A: I was standing under the stairwell next to the back bar , drinking a soda, when he approached me and asked me is I was okay. I told him I was. He said he wished he didn’t have to stop the contest, but he did the right thing.

Q: Did you mentally blackout after the punch or did you know where you were at. Your legs were wobbly and your balance was poor.

A: It was strange. I knew where I was and I knew I was in trouble,but I had no coordination. I tried to get out of my predicament but my muscle movement was shut down when he delivered that shot to the temple. I blame myself because I dropped my hands and under estimated the length of his reach. You pay for what you don’t do!

Q; How do you overcome such a personal loss. Your friends were there and you lost to someone who trashed you pretty good before the fight and after the fight?

A: Very simple, you get back in the ring and win. I know in my heart of hearts that if we were to fight five times, I would win 4. He won the first…do the math.

Q: When is your next fight? You are fighting again?

A: Fan Base Promotions has me booked to fight on the To Be Determined 01//25/13 Card in Calgary at the Century Casino.

Q: Sources tell me that you have a hard time finding fights. Explain, Please!

A: My management team thinks other fighters are ducking me, I don’t know. I refuse to turn down anyone even WBA Light Middleweight Champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout and that’s a fact, Jack.You have to meet “Opportunity” head on when it comes your way.

Q: What do you like and dislike about boxing?

A: Eassy question! I like the science of the sport and the fans are outrageous. I don’t care for the big egos in the sport and the fun and games that complicate matters.

Q: One last question, are you ready for the Century Casino fight in Calgary,Alberta on 1/25/13?

A: Is the Pope Catholic? Does that answer your question!

Interviewer: Yes, thank you!

The To Be Determined 01/25/13 show at the Century Casino in Calgary was initially supposed to present Jesus “El Martillo”Gonzales,
as the headliner but his opponent changed his mind and Fan Base now wants Gonzales to fight in Phoenix after January 2013,…no fixed date. In the meantime, the complexion of the card has changed and here is the latest line up and a brief analysis of the card.

Main Event: Light Welterweights Steve “The Dragon” Claggett Vs. Eddie Brooks. A good match up between two clever boxers with a deep bag of tricks. Claggett, 15-1-1 needs a win to keep his name in the mix for a possible future fight with the talented Jose Benavidez Jr…. Claggett will be fighting on his home soil (Canada) so,he will have an advantage. Brooks is no slouch and if Claggett doesn’t concentrate , he might be in for a long night. Brooks (9-3) is coming off a long layoff and rust may be a factor. The 27 year old Phoenix, Arizona fighter is reportedly in the best shape of his career and if so, he will try to set a fast pace while Clagget likes to control the tempo and get inside where he does his best work. This bout could be memorable! Scheduled for 8 rounds.

Co-Main Event: Janks Trotter Vs. TBA….Trotter,fighting out of Calgary, Alberta always brings a 100% to the table and he always throws more punches than his opponents by a ratio of least 3-1. His counterpart must try to bully Trotter if he is to have any chance. Trotter comes at his opposition like a well primed locomotive and his train can only be derailed by someone who knows how to apply the brakes on Trotter (7-1-1 w/7 knockouts). Easier said than done. It is a light middleweight bout scheduled for 6 rounds.

Special Bout: His resume is very impressive. 5 time Canadian Golden Gloves winner and two time Canadian National Champion. Matt Kadian aka Matt Mychajliv is a 240 lb heavyweight who punches like a real heavyweight. Matt stepped away from the sport for 5 years and returned this year and fought twice; winning one and settling for a draw in the other bout. The two decisions push his record to 7 wins, 1 loss and 1 draw. His opponent is yet to be named, but Matt will most definitely be the crowd favorite. His two 2012 bout were held in California, so this will be a homecoming,of sorts, for the popular Canadian. Scheduled for 6 rounds.

Street Brawl: They are lifelong enemies and the two men will settle their differences in the ring on January 25, 2013. Ed Jackson Jr. and Taso Tzavaras , at the urging of neighbors, applied for a professional boxing License and began training three months ago for this special bout. Scheduled for 3 rounds, this two man Tango wont be a Waltz.

Tough Super middleweight Dustin Sutley is a former MMA fighter who specializes in throwing mostly bombs in the ring. His fans refer to him as the “The Knockout Machine.” His record reads 4-1 with 4 knockouts and he has a big right hand that he doesn’t hide. His fans are notorious for their loud vocal support of their hometown warrior. His opponent will be named next week. Sutley is always fun to watch.

Century Casino is located at 1010 42 Avenue Southeast Calgary, Alberta,Canada. Tickets can be purchased online at or viaPH. 403-714-3039. For directions, call 403-287-1183. Ticket prices start at $25.00 and ringside seating and tables are avalable. To Be Determined 01/25/13 is produced and promoted by Fan Base Promoted.

Short Jabs: Arizona Junior welterweight Chris Lopez (5-1) dropped his first at the hands of of Jerren Cochran (7-0) in Los Angeles California , December 15. Cochran walked away with a UD (4 rounds) and a chance to graduate to six rounders and bigger paychecks. Lopez heads back to Arizona where he may or may not fight on the Mayhem in Mesa card which is being promoted by Crank it up promotions and scheduled for January 18 at the Arizona Event Center in Mesa….Middleweight Johnny Jackson (Calderon’s Hitman’s Gym) is turning professional in early 2013…Middleweight Gabriel Hemingway (Grant Park Gym) still looking for his pro debut fight….Super Middleweight Andrew “Hurricane” Hernandez is scheduled to appear before the Nevada Boxing Commission on January 8 sometime between 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. depending on the number of items on the agenda….According to Keith Kizer (NAC) 14 fighters failed their standard drug test in 2012, so far…..Austin “No Doubt” Trout, WBA Light Middleweight Champion, was scheduled to appear at the NX Level Store at Metro Center in Phoenix 12/28 for a meet and greet session that included autograph signings…..Damien Stone has moved out of the Stonehard Boxing facility and relocated at the Devil Dogs Boxing Club in Chandler. No official word on why the transition was made……Boxing Trainer Tom Garcia,Grant Park Gym, is leaving his old digs early next year and moving into a new facility on the North side of Phoenix….The original Top Level Gym(16th Street and Oak in Phoenix) was managed by Ron Perryman who turned in his speed bag for a print shop which is located downstairs beneath the old TLG site. Five Time World Champion Michael Carbajal worked out at the facility; back in the day……Lightweight Arlo “Encino Man” Argueta will fight on the Mayhem in Mesa Card against Cory Muldrew in a 4 round contest. Encino Man was formerly known as “Fistful of Aces” but his California roots persuaded him to acknowledge his past . Arlo is 4-0 and Muldrew is win less at 0-2. Argueta stepped away from boxing for awhile but he wasn’t happy and now he is…..Cruiser Weights Robert Garcia Jr. and Eddie Martinez Jr. (Grant Park Gym) are hunting for a pro debut date….2012 Olympian Isaac Dogboe (Ghana) will make Arizona training home once the immigration gods clear him to leave London where he currently works out with his father/trainer Paul Dogboe. According to his boxing publicist Emily Pandelakis, the 18 year old boxer might land in Arizona by early 2013 and turn professional soon after his arrival.The youngster was eliminated in the first round of the 2012 Olympics and the “controversial” decision was greeted with a chorus of boos and a string of negative comments filed by writers covering the event….. Arizona Sports 620 Producer Pablo Rios produces two on air shows and Boxing fans should note that one of his shows (The Power MMA Show) includes a two minute boxing segment on every show. I know it sounds like a small bone for boxing fans but Talk Radio in Phoenix has virtually ignored boxing in recent years with the exception of Sports reporter Gary Cruz who used to box Golden Gloves. So, three cheers for Pablo who is a lifetime boxing fan…… UNTIL NEXT TIME!


Throughout 2012, SHOWTIME® Sports has brought fans 30 nights of boxing with 90 individual bouts across the three boxing platforms: SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, SHOWTIME BOXING ON SHO EXTREME and SHOBOX: THE NEW GENERATION.

BEST IN REVIEW: SHOWTIME BOXING 2012 recaps the most memorable moments from SHOWTIME Boxing, including the best knockouts, rising stars, fight of the year and the most inspirational stories from 2012. The show premieres tomorrow/Saturday, December 29 at 10:30am ET/PT on SHOWTIME.

Check out the below clip featuring three of the best KOs of 2012.


Gary Russell, Jr. def. Roberto Castaneda – Round 3

November 9 from Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif.

Angelo Santana def. Juan Garcia – Round 5

November 16 from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

Deontay Wilder def. Kelvin Price – Round 3

December 15 from Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena in Los Angeles, Calif.

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