Mendez-Barthelemy II set for July 10
Junior lightweight titlist Argenis Mendez and mandatory challenger Rances Barthelemy, whose January fight ended in a storm of controversy, will meet in a rematch on July 10 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, promoter Mike Tyson announced on Wednesday.
The fight, which will headline a Fox Sports 1-televised card, is a rematch of their Jan. 3 bout in Minneapolis, which was initially ruled a knockout victory for Barthelemy before being changed to a no decision.
Barthelemy had dominated the fight and knocked Mendez down late in the second round and then knocked him out moments later. But the punches that scored the knockout were thrown just after the bell rang to end the round, which means they were illegal blows. However, referee Pete Podgorski counted Mendez out and declared Barthelemy the winner despite having scored the knockout on an accidental foul.
Mendez protested the result to Minnesota regulators and the outcome of the fight was eventually changed to a no decision after the state's Office of Combative Sports reviewed a video of the bout and consulted with Podgorski.
Once the Minnesota authorities changed the result, the IBF, which sanctioned the 130-pound title at stake, returned the belt to Mendez and ordered a rematch.
"You don't always get a second chance to correct a mistake, but we were able to get Argenis a rematch," Tyson said Wednesday. "Hopefully, he will take advantage of this opportunity."
The 27-year-old Mendez (21-2-1, 11 KOs), who is from the Dominican Republic but fights out of Brooklyn, New York, will be making his third title defense -- but he is winless in his first two. He has the no decision against Barthelemy and a draw in his first defense against Arash Usmanee last August. Barthelemy (19-0, 12 KOs), 27, a Cuban defector living in Miami, earned a mandatory title shot against Mendez last June when he stopped Thailand's Fahsi Sakkreerin in the second round in a title elimination bout.
On April 15, Tyson's Iron Mike Promotions won a purse bid to gain promotional rights to the sequel. It bid $260,000 to edge Barthelemy promoter Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing, who offered $251,000. As titleholder, Mendez is entitled to 75 percent of the winning bid ($195,000) and Barthelemy will receive 25 percent ($65,000).
Tyson also announced that light heavyweight Humberto Savigne (12-1, 9 KOs), a Cuban defector living in Miami, will face an opponent to be determined in the co-feature and that 18-year-old blue chip welterweight prospect Erickson Lubin (5-0, 5 KOs) of Orlando, Florida, who was expected to make the 2016 U.S. Olympic team had he remained an amateur, will fight in the televised opener.
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