Unbeaten two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy (26-0, 13 KOs) and former title challenger Kiryl Relikh (21-2, 19 KOs) meet in a rematch for the vacant WBA 140-pound title on Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The Showtime telecast will be headlined by three-division world champion Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) taking on unbeaten IBF 140lb world champion Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs).
Barthelemy and Relikh fought in a title eliminator last May that ended in a very debatable decision for Barthelemy. “I have to be aggressive right from the start,” said Relikh. “I’m sure that I need a knockout to get the victory. He can try to run, but he won’t be able to hide from me.”
“The last fight was very close and deserving of a rematch,” Barthelemy admits. “I just need to stick to my game plan and show everyone that I’m the best 140-pound fighter in the world.”
With two belts in the 140-pound division on the line in the same night, the winner between Barthelemy and Relikh will be in a great position to begin a path toward unification with the Garcia-Lipinets winner.
“I will have my eye on the main event for sure,” said Relikh. “I’m focused on Barthelemy now, but I want to unify and if that means fighting Garcia or Lipinets, I will be ready.”
For his part, Barthelemy stated “Garcia vs. Lipinets is going to be a great fight and I definitely want the winner. Although Lipinets is the underdog going into this fight, I think he’s going to give Garcia all he can handle. But I still think Garcia will come out on top, setting up war between us in a unification bout.”