Friday, May 10, 2013
Fighters meet for world title shot
By Dan Rafael
A shot at a junior lightweight world title will be at stake when Rances Barthelemy and Fahsi Sakkreerin meet June 21 in the main event of ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights" at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis.
The fight, announced Thursday, matches 130-pounders Barthelemy (18-0, 11 KOs), 26, a Miami-based Cuba native, and Sakkreerin (39-3-1, 21 KOs), 31, of Thailand, in a scheduled 12-round bout to determine the mandatory challenger for titleholder Argenis Mendez.
"The main event [is] between two of the world's top 130-pound fighters," Warriors Boxing promoter Leon Margules said in announcing the card. "While 'Mountain Boy' Sakkreerin is a lesser-known commodity over here, he's well known in Asia as a very tough fighter. Rances is coming off a closer-than-expected performance in his last fight, so he'll be looking to return to his dominant form. I expect both main event fighters to show up ready for all-out action. They both know what's on the line. The winner will fight for a world championship."
Barthelemy struggled in his last fight but won a 12-round unanimous decision against Arash Usmanee in January on "Friday Night Fights."
Since dropping a split decision against Martin Honorio in a title eliminator in December 2011 in the Philippines, Sakkreerin has gone 3-0-1, including winning his most recent fight, a second-round knockout of Robert Rubillar in Thailand on March 15.
In the co-feature, middleweight Caleb Truax (21-1-1, 12 KOs), 29, from Osseo, Minn., will take on Chicago's Donovan George (24-3-2, 21 KOs), 28, in a scheduled 10-rounder.
"The co-main event between one of our local heroes, Caleb Truax, and Donovan George will be huge for fight fans in this area," said Tony Grygelko of Seconds Out Promotions. "Caleb is a very hard puncher and so is Donovan, so we don't expect a distance fight. It will be bombs away in there. This will be a good old-fashioned middleweight war, and I'm very happy to be promoting it for Minnesota fight fans."
Truax's lone defeat came by decision against former undisputed middleweight champion Jermain Taylor in April 2012, although Truax dropped Taylor in the ninth round. Truax has won three in a row since.
George is coming off a heavily disputed draw against David Lopez on March 22 on "Friday Night Fights."