PHOTOS: Behind the scenes during Premier Boxing Champions from the Palms Casino Resort
By Chris Robinson
On Friday night, Dec. 19, from the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nev., a Premier Boxing Champions telecast on Spike TV took place, featuring a lightweight title bout Cuba’s Rances Barthelemy and Russia’s Denis Shafikov.
Barthelemy would defeat Shafikov via unanimous decision to capture the vacant IBF lightweight title. Hustle Boss arrived to the venue a little after 4 pm, as Mickey Bey was in the early rounds of some heated action with Philadelphis’ Naim Nelson.
We spotted the Lee brothers, Maurice and Devon, watching the action. Maurice is an undefeated junior welterweight (5-0, 3 KO’s) and Devon is eyeing his own pro debut.
Also ringside was local talent Baldy Smith and Bey’s younger brother Cortez as the match went on.
Around that same time, backstage, New York’s Tommy Rainone was warming up for his bout with former junior middleweight champion Ishe Smith.
Eric Johnson (Walker) was calm backstage, as he was playing the role of the underdog ahead of his bout with undefeated junior middleweight and Mayweather Promotions’ prospect Chris Pearson.
Across the hall, Pearson was getting his hands wrapped by top corner man Bob Ware.
A few feet away, Ishe Smith hit the mitts with Danny Davis as the Rainone clash neared.
Mickey Bey ended up winning a clear but hard-fought ten-round decision victory over Nelson and was all smiles as he is looking for a title shot in early 2016.
Backstage, Gervonta “Tank” Davis warmed up for his match with Luis Sanchez.
At the same time, Pearson continued to relax as his bout neared.
We swung back ringside and spotted undefeated junior middleweight prospect Will Clemons and his son Princeton.
Undefeated heavyweight prospect Michael Hunter, far right, was in attendance.
As we noted earlier this week, Cuban middleweight Inocente Fiz is in town, pictured here with young Damien Vasquez and his father Oscar. Fiz and Vasquez have been putting in work with trainer Nonito Donaire Sr. at the nearby Pound 4 Pound Boxing Gym.
Sam Watson, pictured center, was spotted giving yet another interview, alongside Devon Lee and famed cut man Rafael Garcia.
Davis had a tough bout with Sanchez, but ultimately prevailed with a highlight-reel knockout in the ninth. Here is a view of the action from the Pearl Theater.
Smith, pictured here backstage following his victory over Rainone, alongside Marcel ‘Spadez‘ Johnson.
Local barber/chef/trainer Musawwir Muhammed took a flick with Davis after his victory.
Johnson/Walker exiting the ring following his upset over Pearson.
Pearson took his defeat with class and he will be back. His promoter Floyd Mayweather showed his support.
Chris Robinson can be reached at CRobinson@hustleboss.com