Barthelemy blasts out Mendez after the bell and claims IBF title

04/01/2014 08:31

Rances Barthelemy (20-0) grabbed the IBF super featherweight title after stopping Argenis Mendez (21-3-1) amid controversy, in the first world title fight of 2014 on Friday night at the Target Center Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Cuban started the stronger, rocking Mendez with a combination less than a minute into the contest.

In the second, Barthelemy remained in control and it was towards the end of the round when a left uppercut badly shook Mendez which was followed up by a bundle of punches which sent the Dominican to the canvas.

When he staggered back to his feet, the challenger blasted away and scored a knockout left hook to flatten Mendez. However, the bell had clearly sounded before the last couple of punches was thrown which put Mendez down, at which point referee Pete Podgorski counted him out anyway.

Though it is likely Mendez may get his belt back on a disqualification or a no-contest after a formal complaint is filed with the Minnesota commission and possibly the IBF as well, Barthelemy looked on his way to a comprehensive stoppage victory and deserves a rematch.