Undefeated Cuban Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelemy (23-0, 13 KOs) will look to win a world title in a second weight division when he headlines Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Spike against Russia’s Denis Shafikov (36-1-1, 19 KOs) on Friday, December 18 from the Pearl at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
PBC on Spike coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/PT and features Detroit’s Isiah Thomas (15-0, 6 KOs) and Russia’s Murat “Iron” Gassiev (22-0, 16 KOs) in a 12-round cruiserweight bout, plus undefeated junior middleweight Chris “Young King” Pearson (13-0, 10 KOs) and rising unbeaten prospect Gervonta “Tank” Davis (13-0, 12 KOs) in separate attractions.
As Barthelemy and his team put the finishing touches on their Las Vegas training camp, see what the exciting Cuban had to say about training, his opponent and more:
On training camp in Las Vegas:
“It’s been a smooth camp so far. I’ve sparred 12 rounds with multiple sparring partners on a few different occasions. I’m very sharp right now and my timing is right where I want it to be. My weight is good and I’m ready to go the distance if I have too.”
On his relationship with Coach Ismael Salas:
“Salas and I have a great relationship and together we are on the same page. He knows what I like to do and he can see flaws in my opponents from the corner. We have plan ‘A, B and C’ for this fight. Salas is a great trainer. We’ll be prepared for anything Shafikov brings to the ring.”
On his matchup with Denis Shafikov:
“This is a very difficult fight, one that I am fully prepared to win. We are both southpaws so it will be very interesting to see how the fight plays out. I’m going to fight my style and dictate the pace. He throws a lot of punches in combinations, something I’ll have to be ready for. This will not be a boring fight. The fans can expect to see me throw a lot of big shots.”
On fighting for the lightweight world title:
“Capturing a world title at lightweight will be a great accomplishment for my career. When an opportunity like this comes your way, you have to seize the moment to be great. That’s what I plan to do against Shafikov. The ultimate goal is to win as many world championships as possible in multiple weight classes.”