Former two-division titleholder Rances Barthelemy will return to action on Sunday, Sept. 6, as he takes on interim WBA 140-pound titleholder Alberto Puello as part of a PBC on FOX card, which will be headlined by Yordenis Ugas vs Abel Ramos for a secondary welterweight belt.
Barthelemy (27-1-1, 14 KO) hasn’t fought since his historically awful Showtime main event in April 2019 against Robert Easter Jr, and the 34-year-old Cuban will look to bounce back from that draw against the 26-year-old Puello, an unbeaten but pretty untested Dominican fighter.
Puello (17-0, 9 KO) last fought in July 2019, beating Jonathan Alonso to win the interim WBA belt, which is not something that really needs to exist as the WBA have a “super world” champion at 140 in Josh Taylor, as well as a “world” champion in Mario Barrios, but as always, it is boxing, it is the WBA, these things are just a reality.
Barthelemy has won world titles at 130 and 135, and tried for a secondary belt at 140 in 2018, but came up short. His fight with Easter last year was for a secondary belt at 135 again, but now he’s moving back to 140. On paper, he’s probably the favorite against Puello based on experience, but Puello is the younger man, and this is a fight where we’ll learn a lot more about him.
Barthelemy-Puello was originally meant to happen in late March, but of course was postponed due to the sport’s three-month COVID lockdown.