Relikh wins vacant WBA Junior Welterweight Title
Rances Barthelemy (26-1,13KO’s) took on Kiryl Relikh (22-2,19KO’s) for the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Lightweight Title. The fight took place at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas on the undercard of Garcia/Lipinets. It was also the second time the two have met with Barthelemy winning what some felt was a controversial unanimous decision the first time around.
The fight started with Barthelemy fighting off the back foot while Relikh was chasing him, both men were trying to establish their jab, both landed body shots in what was an uneventful round.
The second round started like the first with Barthelemy moving, Relikh was able to get Barthelemy against the ropes and land a nice combination. Both men exchanged punches in the middle of the ring towards the end of the round.
Relikh started the third round by landing some power shots to the body and turning up the pressure on Barthelemy. Relikh established control of the round by landing some good combinations throughout the round.
It was clear by the start of the fourth that at one point or another Barthelemy was gonna have to start to sit on his punches. Relikh was simply outworking his opponent. Barthelemy seemed to stop moving as much but didn’t throw much either.
The next round was more of the same with Relikh now dictating the pace of the fight. The sixth was like a carbon copy of the previous round with Relikh outworking Barthelemy while increasing his work rate.
Relikh came out in the seventh round jabbing to the body and head. Barthelemy needed to show more urgency but only fought in spurs in the round, he was also deducted a point by referee Luis Pabon for his second low blow of the night.
The eighth and ninth round were more of the same with Relikh pressing the action while Barthelemy stayed mostly behind his high guard without letting his hands go. Barthelemy would finally let his hands go in the tenth round anf for a moment he seemed to have hurt his opponent with a body shot that seemed low but Relikh recovered easily.
Relikh started the eleventh round like most of the fight using his jab up and down, staying busy and outworking Barthelemy. In the final round Relikh continued to out work Barthelemy as he was able to control the pace of the fight.
Relikh picked up a unanimous decision (117-110,118–109 2X) in what was a dominant performance. With the victory Kiryl Relikh becomes the new WBA Super Lightweight Champion!
By: Wilson Urena