"Friday Night Fights" Starts Jan. 4 With Barthelemy-Usmanee
|Written by The Sweet Science|
|Friday, 28 December 2012 12:18|
ESPN’s Friday Night Fights Season Premiere Features Undefeated Junior Lightweights Barthelemy & Usmanee
Todd Grisham Debuts as New Host; Bernardo Osuna Debuts as New On-Site, Bi-Lingual Reporter for ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes
ESPN’s Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra will kick off a new season January 4 at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN2 HD, ESPN Deportes and will be available online through WatchESPN.com and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app. The season premiere will match undefeated Junior Lightweights Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelemy (17-0, 11 KOs) and Arash Usmanee (20-0, 10 KOs) in the 12-round main event. The card, from the Magic City Casino in Miami, is promoted by Warriors Boxing.
Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas will describe the action for ESPN2 HD, while new studio host Todd Grisham will present all the latest news and boxing highlights. Alex Pombo and Delvin Rodriguez will call the fights for ESPN Deportes’ Viernes de Combates (Friday Night Fights) with Leopoldo Gonzalez and Pablo Viruega in the studio. In his new role as on-site, bi-lingual reporter, former Friday Night Fights host Bernardo Osuna will present live interviews and reports for both shows.
Friday’s show will include a special feature on Usmanee, a native of Afghanistan. The feature reviews Usmanee’s migration to Canada following the then-Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.
After Barthelemy’s last fight ESPN.com boxing writer Dan Rafael wrote: “Barthelemy set the tone in the first round when he dropped Rodriguez with a left to the body followed by a left upstairs as Rodriguez was going down. The body shot, which is what caused the knockdown, seemed a little low, but referee Sam Burgos didn't hesitate to call a knockdown immediately. Barthelemy was never in any trouble as he used solid left hooks to beat back Rodriguez throughout the entire one-sided fight.”
Montreal’s Usmanee is coming off a third-round TKO win over Alan Paredes. Usmanee said of Friday’s fight, "Rances Barthelemy is a good fighter. I have to be on top of my game. He's tall, lanky, his power is pretty good, his speed is pretty good, and he's going to come to win.”
Friday’s card will include an additional third bout, to be included in most 2013 shows. It will be a four-round bout between undefeated Featherweights Hairon Socarras (5-0-1, 4 KOs) and Josh Bowles (6-0, 1 KO).
For more information on Grisham and Osuna’s new roles and for the latest Friday Night Fights schedule visit ESPN MediaZone.
Follow ESPN’s Friday Night Fights on Twitter @ESPNFNF or like it on Facebook. Follow ESPN Deportes’ Viernes de Combates on Twitter @ESPNBoxeo