On the March 9th edition of HBO’s boxing line-up, the HBO Latino card featured a super featherweight bout between Argenis Mendez (21-2, 11 knockouts) and champion, Juan Carlos Salgado (26-2-1, 16 knockouts).
As the opening bell sounded to signal the start of the bout, both fighters came out tentative, yet determined to break down their opponent’s body. Both went back and forth exchanging hooks, but it was quickly obvious that Mendez was landing the much cleaner shots. While Mendez remained calm and calculated in his approach to picking apart his opponent, Salgado was determined to win the bout on sheer aggression and pressure. Ultimately, this did nothing but leave Salgado open throughout the fight, and in the final minute of the first round Mendez managed to land a left hand, right cross combination that floored the champion. Somehow, Salgado managed to not only beat the count, but survive to the end of the round as well. Unfortunately for Salgado, things wouldn’t get much better for him as the fight went on.
At the start of the second, Salgado looks to make up for this early deficit by coming out especially aggressive in an attempt to overwhelm his young opponent. Instead, this once again left Salgado open both early and often as Mendez continued in his patient attack. As Salgado came forward, his attack seemed desperate and sloppy as his shots were largely blocked or missed their mark. Mendez would capitalize on his opponents ineffectiveness as he continued to find success in that left hand, right-cross combination that served him so well in the opening round. By the end of the round, Mendez had once again hurt Salgado badly, but the bell sounded before he could capitalize.
As the third round started, it was obvious that things weren’t going to get much better for the champion. Just like the earlier rounds, Mendez landed a right hard both constantly and continuously which left the champion sporting a look of defeat both during and in between rounds. By the fourth round, Salgado had finally had enough. Mendez comes out aggressive and lands a vicious straight right, left hook combo that floored Salgado, forcing the referee to wave the bout off.
With a much deserved title and a highlight reel finish to his record, Mendez shows no signs of remaining still in his post-fight interview. When asked who he’d want to face next, Mendez made it known that he’d be willing to face budding superstar Adrien Broner (26-0, 22 knockouts) or Yuriorkis Gamboa (22-0, 16 knockouts) in a lightweight bout. Whether he get’s those bouts or not, Mendez has proved that he is a potential new force in an already stacked super featherweight division.