Kiryl Relikh vs. Rances Barthelemy – Results
By Jeff Aranow: The big punching Kiryl Relikh (22-2, 19 KOs) stayed calm and composed in administering a 12 round shellacking to previously unbeaten #1 WBA Rances Barthelemy (26-1, 134 KOs) in winning a wide unanimous decision to win the vacant WBA 140 lb. title on Saturday night in front of a large crowd at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio Texas.
Relikh, 28, was simply the busier guy in each round. The harder punches were being landed by Relikh, and that made it very easy to score. The Belarusian fighter was not only landing the harder shots, but he was also throwing many more punches in each round.
The judges’ scores were 117-110, 118-109 and 118-109. Boxing News 24 scored the fight 10 rounds to 2 in favor of Relikh. Barthelemy started throwing low blows late in the fight, and it looked like he was doing this on purpose. Barthelemy had a point deducted for a low blow in the 7th round, but he continued to throw them until the end of the fight. The referee Luis Pabon could have taken off more points than he did, because Barthelemy’s low blows were out of control.
Barthelemy looked like he was afraid to let his shots go tonight. Relikh was sitting down on his shots, and making the Cuban fighter pay each time he would throw anything. This in turn made Barthelemy reluctant to let his hands go. It seemed at times like Barthelemy was waiting for Relikh to tire out and lose steam on his punches before he went on the attack. If that was the game plan, it was a failure, because Relikh was still punching with a of power until the very end of the fight.
This was a much better scored fight by the judges than in the previous Relikh vs. Barthelemy fight last May. Those judges seemed to be lost with their wild scoring. They had Barthelemy winning a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores 116-110, 115-111 and 117-109. Boxing News 24 saw that as an easy 8 rounds to 4 victory for Relikh. It was the same situation as tonight except there was one round in which Relikh was knocked down in the 8th. But that knockdown was canceled out by a 5th round knockdown of Barthelemy. It was a clear win for Relikh, but the judges had a bad night and turned in a set of whacky scores. The controversial scoring by the judges from the previous fight is the reason why there was a rematch between the two fighters tonight. There was a huge outcry from the boxing public by the scores from the May fight, so the two fighters had to do it again.
Hopefully tonight’s fight is the last time we see Relikh and Barthelemy face each other.