On Father’s Day, Sunday, June 21, the main event on the boxing card live from the MGM Grande in Las Vegas was a fight between Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelemy vs. Antonio DeMarco. Barthelemy, 22-0 with 13 victories by KOs, has jumped two weight classes to get better fights. DeMarco has a 31-4 record with 23 of his wins coming by KOs. Barthelemy easily defeated DeMarco in this lopsided bout.
The first co-headlining welterweight boxing match was a ten round bout Sammy Vasquez vs. Wale Omotoso, with a record of 25-1 with 21 of his wins by KOs. Vasquez had an unbeaten record of 18-0 with 13 of his wins coming via KOs. The fights were broadcast on Premiere Boxing Champions (PBC) on CBS beginning at 4:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. PT.
Vasquez had stated in a press conference before the fight that he was fighting for his fans in Philadelphia and his fellow servicemen and servicewomen. Wale “Lucky Boy” Omotoso got his nickname because he was lucky to be alive after things he has gone through in Nigeria.
Round One: Vasquez wore camo trunks while Omotoso had on grey ones with black trim. Omotoso opened up with a series of quick jabs, none landing. Vasquez got in a solid body shot and he connected with a left. Omotoso landed four body shots and a left hook, but Vasquez countered with a left of his own. He connected with another jab to Omotoso’s face, ending the round.
Round Two: Omotoso got in a left jab to the face of Vasquez. Then, Vasquez got in a good combination. Omotoso landed a right, and Vasquez countered with a left. Vasquez landed a right and left to Omotoso’s body, but he left himself wide open. Omotoso did not capitalize on that, though. Vasquez pegged Omotoso’s face a couple of times with his left, dominating the round.
Round Three: Omotoso had not fought a southpaw for five years. He had been in training camp for eight weeks preparing. But Vasquez backed Omotoso up against the ropes, landing punch after punch, body shots and also punches to Omotoso’s face. Blood started coming from Omotoso’s left nostril. Vasquez landed a stiff right jab to Omotoso’s face. The crowd began yelling “Sammy, Sammy, Sammy!”
Round Four: Omotoso came out looking more aggressive.Vasquez landed a couple of left hands and a right. Omotosa got in a good right of his own. Vasquez landed a great series of combinations. Omotoso got in a couple of left hands to the face of Vasquez. Omotoso kept on fighting off of his back foot. He had a better round, but Vasquez still landed more of his punches during the fourth.
Round Five: The crowd chanted “Sammy” again. Vasquez got in some body shots and a left hook to the face of Omotoso. Vasquez knocked the mouthpiece out of Omotoso’s mouth. Omotoso drew blood of his own, and it began coming down his face from a cut that opened on his forehead from a headbutt.
Round Six: Vasquez was punching more and landing more of his punches. He clearly had the better technique. Vasquez got in a couple more body blows in the first half of the round. Then, Vasquez landed a couple of lefts to Omotoso’s face. Omotoso swung wildly, trying to connect with an uppercut, but he missed. Vasquez got in a couple more lefts to Omotoso’s face.
Round Seven: Vasquez kept landing combinations to Omotoso’s body and face. Omotoso got in a solid right hand, though, and there was swelling under the right eye of Vasquez. Omotoso got in a good left to the face of Vasquez. Omotoso got the attention of Vasquez with a couple of strong right hands. Vasquez had left himself too open. Omotoso’s trainer told him “You have to be a dog in there!”
Round Eight: Omotoso tried to come out strong, sensing a victory. Omotoso landed a good uppercut. Vasquez got in a left that staggered Omotoso momentarily. Vasquez was bleeding from his forehead again. He got in a solid left to Omotoso’s face. They both landed rights and lefts, showing the most action yet of any of the rounds.
Round Nine: Omotoso had made the seventh and eighth rounds closer, but Vasquez, the announcers said, was still given those rounds. Both boxers continued landing rights and lefts. Vasquez was bleeding quite a bit. Omotoso got in a couple of good right hands again to the face of Vasquez, who did not seem to see the punches coming. Vasquez landed a couple of lefts during another action-packed round.
Round Ten: Vasquez was getting hurt this fight, though he was still winning. Omotoso needed to get a KO in order to win. Vasquez landed shot after shot to Omotoso’s body. He kept leaving his face too open, though. Vasquez landed a left and a right, but Omotoso got in a good left to Vasquez’s face, also. Omotoso made the fight exciting, but Vasquez still landed the most punches.
The judges all scored the fight at 98-92, for Sammy “The Sergeant” Vasquez. Vasquez said after the fight that he “was honored to be here,” and he said he “did this for all my brothers and sisters out there,” talking about the servicemen and servicewomen out there.
He said that Omotoso was strong hitter, but “it wasn’t anything I haven’t seen before.” He wished his father a happy father’s day. His dad had been in the corner with him, and Vasquez called his father his “backbone.” He landed 50 percent of the power punches he threw and out-landed Omotoso 162-134. He remained undefeated, improving his record to 19-0.
Next up on PBC on CBS was the main event, Cuban-born Barthelemy vs. DeMarco, a native of Mexico. DeMarco wore the gold-and-black trunks and Barthelemy had on green trunks.
Round One: Barthelemy came out relaxed but aggressive. He got in a solid right hand. One announcer described him as being “like a cobra.” He showed DeMarco different looks, landing solid lefts. He could fight out of both stances, left or right, a ring announcer said, adding that “He always looked confident and had a smile on his face as he was boxing.” DeMarco tried to come in and close the distance, but Barthelemy held him back with his powerful left jabs.
Round Two: DeMarco had the name of his 13-year-old sister on his trunks. She had been diagnosed with bone cancer in her arm. He was motivated and there to fight, definitely, but Barthelemy had so far landed the majority of the punches. He flicked out his left to try to get a reaction from DeMarco, but DeMarco did not take the bait. He landed another solid left on DeMarco as the round ended.
Round Three: Barthelemy snapped out his right a few times. He got in a few good body shots on DeMarco. He then landed a right to DeMarco’s face. Demarco got in a solid left, but Barthelemy countered with a combination of his own, and he landed a solid left at the end of Round Three, over DeMarco’s right hand.
Round Four: Barthelemy looked fresh, still, but he had broken a sweat, compared with DeMarco, who had not done so yet. Barthelemy was expending more energy, though, as he landed punch after punch. He got in a powerful left hand and knocked DeMarco down. The ref gave DeMarco a standing eight count. DeMarco was just trying to last out the round., but his opponent got in two more solid lefts before the round ended.
Round Five: Barthelemy did not seem to be in a big hurry to close out the fight at the start of the round. He did land a couple of good body shots, though, to DeMarco. In the last round, Barthelemy had landed 50 percent of his power punches. He has landed more than DeMarco had even thrown. At the end of the round, Barthelemy totally left his face open, as if taunting DeMarco to try something; but, DeMarco did not land any further punches during the last few seconds of the round.
Round Six: DeMarco came out in the sixth looking somewhat better, landing a couple of punches, but Barthelemy came on strong with a left hook to DeMarco’s body. He kept leaving himself open, but he landed a stiff left hand to DeMarco’s face. Barthelemy was telling DeMarco to give him all he has got, but DeMarco either was not able to come in close or he just did not want to risk it.
Round Seven: Barthelemy landed another good combination. He got in a solid left to DeMarco’s body. DeMarco needs a KO to win. The announcers worried that DeMarco had not maybe re-hydrated enough, as he still had not broken a sweat. DeMarco backed Barthelemy up against the ropes, and got in a couple of body shots. He did not seem to be hurting his opponent, though.
Round Eight: Barthelemy was continuing to pile up the rounds and points. Barthelemy landed another good left. He was warned for landing a low blow on DeMarco. Barthelemy got in another big shot to DeMarco’s body, and then a double left to his body.
Round Nine: DeMarco stayed in the mostly defensive sort of stance ha had been in the whole fight. Barthelemy continued landing lefts, seemingly at will. The ref warned him, again, for landing a low blow to the hips of DeMarco. Then, Barthelemy landed a left to DeMarco’s jaw. Barthelemy was showboating a bit too much at the end of the round.
Round Ten: DeMarco tried coming in more on Barthelemy, but Barthelemy kept landing lefts whenever DeMarco tried to close the distance. Barthelemy got in another strong left on the face of DeMarco. Barthelemy pounded away at DeMarco’s face landing lefts and rights, but the round and fight ended with DeMarco showing heart and lasting out the fight.
The judges scored the bout all 99-89, in an unanimous decision for Barthelemy. After the fight, Barthelemy said that he “thanked God” and he also thanked his “father.” Barthelemy added “I want Omar Figueroa next. It would be like a modern day version of Diego Corrales vs. Jose Luis Castillo.” Though DeMarco had been a past champ, it looked like it was an easy and one-sided victory for Barthelemy.
The Vasquez vs. Omotoso fight was, by far, the most action-packed of the two bouts live from the MGM Grand on PBC on CBS this Sunday, Father’s Day, June 21. Vasquez won every round, but Omotoso came on strong the last five rounds and he gave Vasquez a tough fight.
Barthelemy easily defeated DeMarco, though he did not get a KO on him. Barthelemy kept up his attack on DeMarco, his main weapon being his powerful left hand. It will be interesting to see how he might stack up against someone like Errol Spence, Jr., who would not let him get away with leaving his face so open. Barthelemy would, presumably, fight a different sort of fight.
Written and Edited By Douglas Cobb
Photos Courtesy of Lucas Noonan/Premier Boxing Champions