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COSTA MESA, Calif. -- Argenis Mendez knocked out Juan Carlos Salgado in the fourth round to win a junior lightweight title at The Hangar on Saturday.
Mendez (21-2, 11 KOs) stuck to his fight plan and saw his aggressiveness pay off against Salgado (26-2-1, 16 KOs) in a rematch of their 2011 battle, a close decision that went to Salgado.
From the opening bell, Mendez, a former Dominican Republic Olympian, took charge of the fight, throwing his left jab to set up his power shots. A brutal right hand sent Salgado to the mat in the first round, leaving him wobbly. He made it through the round, but just barely.
Mendez maintained control in the second and third rounds, flashing combinations that eventually led to a left hook in the fourth that put Salgado down for good. Referee Wayne Hedgepeth didn't bother with a count, calling the fight just 35 seconds into the round.
"I was surprised by his shot in the first round," Salgado said. "At one time, I felt I couldn't continue the fight, but I was able to get up and that's why I think that the referee was too fast calling the knockout."
Mendez was emotional after the fight, and already looking forward to future opportunities.
"This title, as I said before, is mine and now I want to defend it against the best [in the division]," Mendez said. "I want great fights. I would love to face Adrian Broner, because I'm the best in this division and I will go up to 135."
Also on the card, Javier Molina (13-1, 5 KO) took a unanimous decision over Joseph Engele (13-2, 10 KOs) in an eight-rounder, while his brother and fellow former Mexican Olympian, Oscar Molina, won his second pro fight by a second-round TKO over Willie Walton.
"I went all-out from the opening [bell] -- that's why I threw my best punches at the beginning of the bout," Oscar Molina said.