Friday, 3 January 2014

Argenis Mendez v Rances Barthelemy

We've only just began the new year but yet we've already seen a major upset and what could well be one of the most controversial fights of 2014 as we kicked off the year with a very early title fight.

The fight, the first world title fight in the career of Cuban "Kid Blast" Rances Barthelemy (20-0, 13), saw him usurping Dominican Argenis Mendez (21-3-1, 11) of the IBF Super Featherweight title, albeit with the help of a very suspect combination.

Barthelemy started well, despite being the under-dog, and seemed to wobble Mendez in the opening round as his powerful left hook was felt by the champion. Mendez saw out the storm though it was obvious that Barthelemy had the power to hurt Mendez. Unfortunately for the champion Barthelemy also had the reach to use his jab and movement to avoid any unnecessary exchanges.

The second round saw Barthelemy turning the screw, especially late as he scored a clean knockdown of the champion in the final seconds. It was the first time Mendez had been down in his professional career and it was clear when he got to his feet that he hadn't recovered. Barthelemy jumped on Mendez and unleashed a combination that had Mendez in further trouble.

Unfortunately for all involve the bell rung with Barthelemy still throwing shots, two of which came clearly after the first ring of the bell. Those two shots were enough to finish off Mendez sending him to the canvas for the second time and this time he never recovered his feet.

Sadly after the two shots the bell rang again giving Barthelemy some defense in actions though leaving us with a lot of question marks about the actions of the referee who had made a giant mistake in not being close enough to separate the two fighters at the first ring.

In a post fight interview Mike Tyson, Mendez's promoter, said he'd request the commission to force a rematch, though in all honesty it wouldn't be a shock if we don't see that, at least not immediately.