Cuba's IBF #2-rated Rances "Kid Blast" Barthelemy (18-0, 11 KO) is well aware of what's at stake tomorrow night when he faces Thailand's IBF #5-rated Fahsai "Mountain Boy" Sakkreerin (39-3-1, 21 KO) in the 12-round super featherweight main event on ESPN Friday Night Fights, tomorrow night (Friday, June 21) at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The winner will win the right to face Dominican champion Argenis Mendez in a mandatory title defense in their next fight.
"This is what I've waited for," said Barthelemy through a translator. "I know what I have to do to go for my dream of a world title. Since I started boxing I have been working hard every day for the chance that only man stands in the way of now."
Barthelemy says the fact that Sakkreerin is the only obstacle left in the way of fighting for a world championship doesn't bode well for the Thai boxer.
"He has to go. I know he works hard too and I know he has come a long way to follow his dreams, but it will never happen. I will be fighting for my homeland of Cuba and for my family and for the dream I've had since a young boy. No one can beat me tomorrow night."
Barthelemy vs. Sakkreerin will be held on Friday, June 21, at the Minneapolis Convention Center and televised live on ESPN Friday Night Fights. It will be presented by Seconds Out Promotions and Warriors Boxing. Rances Barthelemy is co-promoted by Warriors Boxing and Bad Dog Productions.
Tickets to Friday Night Fights at the Convention Center start at $35 and can be purchased through www.sofights.com.
In addition to the 12-round Barthelemy vs. Sakkreerin main event, seven more fights are scheduled including the 10-round televised middleweight co-main event between local hero "Golden" Caleb Truax (21-1-1, 12 KO) of Osseo, Minnesota, and Chicago's Don "Da Bomb" George (24-3-2, 21 KO).
An eight-round crosstown battle will highlight the night's undercard, as St Paul's Jeremy "Lights Out" McLaurin (10-5, 5 KOs) will face St Paul's Tony "2Sharp" Lee (7-1, 3 KOs) for the vacant Minnesota State Lightweight Championship.
Local bragging rights will be on the line for these two local scrappers, so expect fireworks. McLaurin has been in with the better opposition in his career, while Lee has fewer losses.
Also scheduled is an eight-round junior middleweight scrap between "Sir" Charles Meier (7-2, 3 KOs) of Coon Rapids, MN and Tyler Hultin (5-1-2, 3 KOs) of Fergus Falls, MN and a four-round junior middleweight contest between Gavin Quinn (1-0) of Circle Pines, MN and Kenneth Glenn (2-0, 1 KOs) of Minneapolis.
Several fighters will make their professional boxing debuts that night, including a four-round junior middleweight match-up of pro debuters between LeWayne Hardiman of Las Vegas and Dustin Petron of Rosemount, MN; a four-round heavyweight bout featuring the pro debut of Pat Quinn from St Paul, MN against John Schimon (0-1) of Minneapolis; and a four-round lightweight tilt between Milwaukee's pro debuting Adrian Martinez and Kurtis Erhorn (0-1) of Grand Rapids, MN.