Rances Barthelemy outpoints Mendez to win IBF super featherweight title
Cuban Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelemy (20-0, 12 KOs) outpointed Argenis “La Tormenta” Mendez (20-3-1, 11 KOs) of the Dominican Republic to win the IBF super featherweight title on Thursday night at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.
All three judges scored the bout 115-111 for the unbeaten Barthelemy. There were no knockdowns.
Barthelemy had beaten Mendez back in January via a second round stoppage only for the decision to be changed to a “no contest” after replays confirmed the fight-ending combination had come after the bell.
There was no such controversy this time, although the margin of victory could have been greater for Barthelemy however he was deducted points in the 9th and 10th rounds for low blows.
Barthelemy pressured Mendez from the opening seconds, throwing rights to the head, and would continue to dominate the action with his aggression and activity for most of the bout. Mendez did enjoy a mini-revival in the 7th and 8th rounds landing combinations to the body and left hooks to the head, but Barthelemy finished strongly to claim the belt.
"This was a difficult fight," Barthelemy said. "I faced an Argenis Mendez, who risked it all to keep his title. Thankfully, I knew how to overcome all obstacles."
Barthelemy could now face mandatory challenger Michael Farenas next.
Mendez, who perhaps struggled to make the 130 pound weight limit, will now move up to lightweight.
On the undercard, Jeff Lacy and Edison Miranda both suffered loses. Former IBF super-middleweight champion Lacy was stopped in the 2nd round by Umberto Savigne, while two-time world title challenger Miranda was defeated over 10 rounds by undefeated Cuban cruiserweight Yunier Dorticos.