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Rances Barthelemy: I can fight anyone between 135 and 147

Rances Barthelemy has a big rematch Saturday, but eyes on the future, too.

Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME


“I studied [Relikh] a lot so I expect the same type of performance that I’ve studied, based off what he’s done in his past fights and what he did with me in our last fight. I know he’s strong, he’s a hard-hitter, and he always looks for that punch. I expect that this time around as well. He likes to exchange; that’s another thing I’m looking for. I know he’s going to come with all those tools in to the ring so I expect that and my team has prepared exactly for that.

“I feel like a completely new guy. In the past, I’ve eaten poorly before and after fights. I feel like I’ve reconnected with my youth. My energy has come back thanks to Bob Santos, my new strength and conditioning coach, who has taught me a lot about nutrition and things that I can use not just in the ring, but also outside of the ring -- things I can use to prolong my life.

“I’m unlocking some of the skills I had in my younger days. They will be one of the key determining factors in how I perform on Saturday. I haven’t felt this good in a long time and I’m thankful for that because I feel like a new guy. I usually have concerns about making weight, but not this time around.

“My nutrition and physical condition took a toll on me last time I fought. I didn’t think my body was going to react the way it did when I got into the ring. My legs really gave out on me. But not now. This time around, I’m coming with a whole new gameplan and I’m not going to have to force myself to adapt to [Relikh’s] strategy. The first time we fought, I felt like I had to fight his fight. I had to make adjustments in the ring and exchange a lot with him. I took a lot of punishment.

“I’m definitely not looking past Relikh, I’m really focused on this fight. I want to win this fight. I’m looking for big names after. I can fight anyone between 135 and 147 now. Broner, Garcia, Lomachenko, it’s only big names what I’m after next.”