Rances Barthelemy showed he was the better brand of boxer than foe Fernando Saucedo in the main event from Foxwoods, on Saturday night, and on Showtime. For every minute of every round, actually, the Cuban was on another plane. The IBF 130 champ Rances went 261-819 to 103-382, though it looked like Saucedo was busier than that. Busier, but not more effective, as his chin was maybe his best attribute. The judges didn’t award him for that, and gave the Cuban the nod, by scores of 120-108, times three.
In the first, the Cuban hitter, at 130 pounds, softied a jab against his foe, also at 130 on Friday, then cracked a right to the body. Cedo wanted to land a right hand bomb. Rances left hooked, backing up, landed clean, very impressive. Trainer Mike Robles told Rances he was good after the round.
In the second, Rances ate an overhand right that had the crowd ah-ing. But Cedo didn’t have the power to buzz him. In the third, Rances, with that low left hand, cracked Cedo. His left hook was on point, but Cedo is a stubborn one.
In the fourth and fifth, Cedo stayed there, hung tough, came forward, slipped the quick and powerful Rances blows. He did clip the Cuban but then got in trouble. A right at the bell looked like it was hurtful. His corner asked him to move more after the round. A left hook really should have dropped Saucedo, owner of a world class chin.
In the sixth, Rances simply won the round, and we wondered if he could somehow break down this hard nut. He had a 125-40 edge in punches landed to this point.
In the seventh, Rances slipped, while Saucedo tried to chip away, land a hail mary. Would the Cuban go for broke, try to get inventive, take out the hard-chinned underdog with some loopy combo?
In the eighth, Saucedo landed 11 punches, his high to that point. In the ninth, Rances banged and clanged with the left, mostly, using that front hand so he could more easily keep a distance from the squat and stubborn underdog. In the tenth, Rances went lefty, switched it up, looked for some new trick or angle to maybe land a real hummer of a zinger.
In the 11th and 12th, the Cuban stayed smart, kept being the better boxer, and we went to the cards.