By Jackie Kallen
This Saturday night at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, CT, the IBF super featherweight title will be on the line when Rances Barthelemy (20-0) defends his belt against Fernando David Saucedo (52-5-3.) The 28 year-old native Cuban, now living in Miami, will face a tough Argentinian who is 32 year old, and is a more viable threat than his record may indicate.
It’s on Showtime and they are expecting an exciting night. Some of their recent cards have been criticized as less than thrilling, so they need a good night of boxing.
Though he is only four years older, Saucedo has had three times as many fights as Barthelemy and has never been stopped. He is on a 14-fight winning streak and seems to be up for the challenge. He’s coming to the USA to fight and is hoping to take the belt home with him.
The co-main event is also interesting to me, 34-1-1 Vanes Martirosyan is fighting a 10-rounder against 23-1-1 Willie Nelson in a junior middleweight bout. Martirosyan has only fought once this year after his split decision loss last November to Demetrius Andrade for the vacant WBO belt. In March of this year, Martirosyan beat Mario Alberto Lozano in a comeback fight. It was an easy win for him and now he is hoping to defeat Nelson.
Willie Nelson, from Cleveland, hasn’t lost a fight in over three years. He has never been stopped, He has similar punching power to Martirisoyan and they are close to the same age (27 and 28). Nelson is 3″ taller and has a much longer reach. This can turn out to be a factor if Nelson uses this advantage effectively.
As an added attraction, former champ Chad Dawson (32-3) will be fighting a 10 rounder against Tommy Karpency (23-4-1). Both of these men have losses on their record and both have been stopped. Dawson was KOed twice in a row. In 2012, Andre Ward knocked him out in the 10th round. In 2013, Adonis Stevenson stopped him in the first round.
Dawson beat a guy named George Blades in June and is on his journey back to the top of the game. However, if he can’t get past Karpency, it will be a short journey.
Karpency is a southpaw from Adah, Pennsylvania. He is basically a solid club fighter who has never fought at the level that Chad Dawson has fought at. He’s not an unusually big puncher and his opponents this year have a combined record of 50-45-9.
This is a golden opportunity for Karpency. Should he somehow, some way, pull out a victory, it will be an early Christmas gift.