Former two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy discussed his upcoming showdown against unbeaten rising star Gary Antuanne Russell before they meet in the telecast opener live on SHOWTIME on Saturday, July 30 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and is headlined by two-division champion Danny “Swift” Garcia making his 154-pound debut against exciting contender Jose Benavidez Jr.
Barthelemy began training camp in Las Vegas before finishing up in Miami, where he’s currently located. A world champion at 130 and 135 pounds, Barthelemy can move one step closer toward history with a signature victory on July 30, as he sets his sights on becoming the first Cuban fighter to become a three-division world champion.
Here is what Barthelemy had to say about training camp, Russell and more:
On his recent training camp:
“I started camp in Las Vegas and got in great shape before I made the move to Miami where I reunited with my original coach Orlando Cuellar. For the last several weeks I’ve been training with Cuellar, putting in the proper work to get ready for my fight with Gary Antuanne Russell. I felt I needed to get back to my roots when I first turned pro, so I brought back my first coach, and everything has been great since Cuellar and I got back together. This training camp has been incredible, and I’ll be at my absolute best on fight night.”
On his upcoming fight with Gary Antuanne Russell:
“It’s no secret that I’ll be in the most dangerous fight of my career when I step in the ring with Gary Antuanne Russell. He’s knocked out every opponent he’s faced, so I’m well aware of his power. I believe the work I’ve put in with Cuellar is going to be the difference in me winning this fight. I’m sitting on my punches more and he will have to be weary of my power. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, don’t be surprised if I knock him out.”
On what a win will do for his career:
“This is a pivotal point in my career where if I win, I’ll be back in the running for another world title. Everything is riding on this fight, so the fans can expect to see me leave everything in the ring. This is a must win for me and major doors will open with a victory.”
On fighting in Brooklyn on SHOWTIME:
“I’m grateful to my team and SHOWTIME for giving me another opportunity to fight on the national stage. Barclays Center in Brooklyn has had some amazing fight crowds over the years and I just want to carry the momentum of putting on another electrifying fight.”