Undefeated Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelemy and Fernando David “El Vasco” Saucedo both tipped the scale at the limit of 130 pounds during the official weigh-in for their world title showdown, tomorrow/Saturday, LIVE on SHOWTIME at 9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast.
Barthelemy (20-0-0, 12 KOs), of Las Vegas by way of Cuba, will defend his IBF junior lightweight title against former world title challenger and IBF No. 3-ranked challenger Saucedo (52-5-3, 8, KOs), of Florencio Varela, Argentina, in the main event of a SHOWTIME Boxing Special Edition tripleheader from the Fox Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino, in Mashantucket, Conn.
Willie “The Great” Nelson (23-1-1, 13 KOs), of Cleveland, Ohio, and Vanes “The Nightmare” Martirosyan (34-1-1, 21 KOs), of Glendale, Calif. by way of Armenia, both weighed in at 153 pounds for their 10-round collision of once-beaten junior middleweights. Martirosyan will be stepping into the ring with a heavy heart just five days after the death of his promoter Dan Goossen, brother of his trainer, Joe Goossen.
Former light heavyweight world champion “Bad” Chad Dawson (32-3, 18 KOs), of Las Vegas by way of New Haven, Conn., measured 173 pounds for his first fight in his home state in five years. He’ll take on Tommy Karpency (23-4-1, 14 KOs), of Adah, Penn., who also weighed in at 173 pounds, in a 10-round light heavyweight fight in the opening bout of Saturday’s tripleheader.
“I’m excited. This is a huge fight for me, fighting on national television, fighting on SHOWTIME. I’m excited and anxious to get in there and give the crowd and the fans a great fight.
“You’re going to see a solid, smart fighter that knows how to keep his distance and knows how to control the pace. And you’ll see a lot of my jab, my biggest weapon.
“I’m going to win any way possible. We’re ready to go the whole 12 rounds. We’re just going to take it round by round.
“He has over 60 fights so we have to respect him. But we’re going to let him know we’re the bigger man.”
FERNANDO DAVID SAUCEDO:
“I came here to win the world title and that’s what I’m going to do.
“This is the perfect matchup for me and my chance to show that I deserve to be a world champion.
“It’s a dream come true to fight here in the United States. It’s obvious that I can’t do what I did in my previous 60 fights. I need to bring a little more to go home with the title. I’m very well-prepared and I’m looking forward to getting in the ring.”
“I believe the jab is the key to this fight. The person who establishes the jab is the one that is going to come out on top.
“I just need to follow the game plan and pick him apart.
“I’m going to win a unanimous decision.
“If I win this fight I should get a shot at a world title. But, you know, it’s boxing, so anything can happen.”
“We have a good game plan put together with Joe [Goossen]. We’re ready to box or brawl if we need to. We’ll just take it from there. We’re ready for whatever he brings and we’re just going to be on top of him the whole fight.
“We’ve been heartbroken since we’ve heard the news [that Dan passed]. Especially because they kept it away from me the whole training camp. It was a big surprise to us. The second we heard it we all, my wife, my mother, we all started crying.
“But, in a way, we’re happy that we get to fight Saturday night and dedicate this victory to Dan Goossen.
“It gives me more motivation to fight and make him proud because I know he’s going to be looking down on us. On Saturday we get to thank him.
“I think this will make me stronger. The last thing, boxing-wise, that Dan said to Joe was, “make sure Vanes wins.’ I’m taking that in the ring with me. He’s going to be watching me from above so we’re going to put on a good performance for him.
“I’m going to win by knockout. I have too much happiness and too much strength going into the ring that I will win by knockout.”
“As a fighter, the scale is a part of the fight, too. I beat the scale and tomorrow night we’ll go out and win the fight.
“I know that I have to go out tomorrow night and perform. I have to let the world know that I’m the same fighter, that I’m still one of the best fighters in the world. If anything, I think I’m wiser and that makes me a better fighter.
“I’m going to go out there and do what I do best, use my jab, use my hand speed. People underestimate my jab, but I have one of the best jabs out there. I just need to use my size and win the fight.
“Hopefully within the next two fights I’ll get a world title shot. We want to get another fight after this, hopefully in December, and then sometime early next year I’ll be fighting for another world title.
“I’ll probably put on about 10 pounds before the fight tomorrow. No more than that. We don’t want to go in the ring too blown up. Tonight we’ll eat light, eat a light breakfast a light lunch and get in the ring.
“I want to get some rounds in. Hopefully he has it in him and hopefully we can get in some rounds. I’m not the type of fighter to look for a knockout, but if it comes, it comes. We’re just looking for a great performance.
“You’ll see on Saturday night -I’m back to being ‘Bad’ Chad.”
“His weight doesn’t impact me at all. I came here to win the fight no matter which Chad Dawson showed up and we prepared for the best Chad Dawson.
“I’m going to fight to win. I have nothing to lose. This is a great opportunity for me -it’s Chad Dawson’s backyard so all the pressure is on him. I have to take advantage of this opportunity.
“I’m going to try to impose my style; I try to fight in spurts. I’m just going to let my hands go and whatever happens, happens.
“I’m going to win, that’s all. It’s going to be a life changing victory and that’s how I’m approaching it. I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I just need to take advantage of this opportunity.
“This is a fight we went after. We’re ready to go. I don’t think this is the tune-up he’s expecting. We’re ready for the best chad.”
“We trained very hard, even if it was under impossible circumstances. Dan brought it up, he said, ‘just make sure Vanes wins Saturday night.’ That was Dan. Always thinking about boxing and business up until the very end. Dan was concerned about Vanes like he would be at any other time.
“We didn’t miss a minute in the gym and that’s the way he would want it. If anything it motivates me. The gym is probably the only place where I can go to forget everything.”
A middleweight contest featuring undefeated prospect Dominic Wade (16-0, 11KO’s), from Largo, MD, was expected to be part of the telecast, but the bout was scrapped when Wade suffered an injury during training.
The off-TV undercard features a bevy of talented fighters, all with a slew of impressive amateur accolades, and several who are making their pro debut on October 4.
Promoted by Sampson Boxing, Dominican junior featherweight knockout artist Jonathan Guzman (16-0, 16KO’s), ranked #13 by the WBA and #14 by the IBF, turned pro in 2011. Having fought only once outside of his native country, Guzman will make his US debut, challenging Ernesto Guerrero (17-12, 11KO’s), of Sonora, Mexico.
Philadelphia will be well represented with two pro debuts and one prospect looking for his seventh straight win. Junior featherweight Stephen Fulton, a two-time State champion and gold medalist at the 2008 Ringside World Championships, 2009 Silver Gloves, and 2010 Junior Golden Gloves, will debut against Isaac Badger (0-2), of Lockwood, MO. Heavyweight Paul “The Machine” Koon, a three-time PA Golden Gloves champion, National champion and formerly ranked the #1 amateur in the US, takes on Miami, Florida’s Hector Hodge (1-2). Eighteen-year-old Puerto Rican prospect Milton Santiago (6-0, 3KO’s), and 184-12 as an amateur, will see action in a four-round contest against lightweight Arturo Santiago (7-8-1, 4KO’s), of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.
Middleweight up-and-comer Kyrone “Shut It Down” Davis (4-0, 2KO’s), of Wilmington, DE, is taking on Cleveland, Ohio’s Rick Morias (1-1), in a bout scheduled for four rounds. Prior to turning pro this past February, Davis was an exceptional amateur, compiling a 91-9 record while becoming a four-time National champion.
Two-time NY Golden Gloves champion Earl Newman will debut as a cruiserweight facing Quitell Thompson (0-2), of Columbia, MO. The 23-year-old Newman was 55-7 as an amateur, and in 2013, he won the New York Golden Gloves, National Golden Gloves, National PAL tournament, and World Golden Gloves.
In a six-round bout, southpaw prospect Joseph Elegele (13-2, 10KO’s), of Winter Haven, FL, will return to the ring for the first time since losing an eight-round decision to Javier Molina, on March 9, 2013. Puerto Rican junior middleweight Jonathan Garcia (4-9, 1KO), will be in the opposing corner.
Main Event – IBF Junior Lightweight Championship (12) – Showtime
Rances Barthelemy, Champion, 130 lbs.
Fernando David Saucedo, Challenger, 130 lbs.
Co-Feature – WBO Inter-Continental Junior Middleweight Championship (10) – Showtime
Willie Nelson, Challenger, 153 lbs.
Vanes Martirosyan, Champion, 153 lbs.
Special Light Heavyweight Attraction (10) – Showtime
Chad Dawson, 173 lbs.
Tommy Karpency, 173 lbs.
Junior Featherweights (8)
Jonathan Guzman, 122 lbs.
Ernesto Guerrero, 119 lbs.
Milton Santiago, 138 lbs.
Arturo Santiago, 135 lbs.
Junior Middleweights (6)
Joseph Elegele, 153 lbs.
Jonathan Garcia, 153 lbs.
Paul Koon, 227 lbs.
Hector Hyde, 238 lbs.
Kyrone Davis, 160 lbs.
Rick Morias, 163 lbs.
Junior Featherweights (4)
Stephen Fulton, 123 lbs.
Issac Badger, 123 lbs.
Earl Newman, 184 lbs.
Quitell Thompson, 183 lbs.