Mendez KOs Salgado in 4 to capture IBF Super Featherweight title

By Joseph Herron: It took Dominican born Argenis Mendez (21-2, 11 KOs) just ten minutes and forty seconds to dispose of former IBF Super Featherweight Champion Juan Carlos Salgado (26-2-1, 16 KOs) in last night’s main event at The Hangar in Costa Mesa, California.

His first championship opportunity against Juan Carlos was fought in September of 2011 and was staged in Salgado’s backyard of Jalisco, Mexico, which resulted in a unanimous decision victory for the hometown favorite.

The talented 26 year old fighter didn’t intend to allow his long awaited rematch with the two time 130 pound champ to go to the judges’ scorecards this time. The newly crowned IBF title holder let his two personal ringside scorers decide his fate…his left and right fist.

From the opening bell to the “Coup de Grace”, Argenis used his superior athleticism to control and dominate Salgado. The crafty pugilist worked effectively behind the jab, while using his footwork to stay out of the incumbent champ’s range. Mendez consistently made Salgado lunge in with wide looping shots and consequently punished him with straight right hands and hard left hooks.

With a minute remaining in the first round, Argenis Mendez floored the reigning title holder with a brutal right hand that nearly decapitated him. The six year professional set up the punch with a left hand feint that momentarily froze Juan Carlos Salgado and rendered him vulnerable for the straight right.

Although Salgado beat the count, he was badly hurt by Mendez’s cracking shot. The current Brooklyn resident continued to pound the wounded fighter until the closing bell of the opening stanza.

While Juan Carlos seemed to recover between rounds, Mendez had justifiably adopted the role as aggressor and backed up the reigning IBF Champion throughout the majority of rounds two and three. Argenis worked effectively behind his jab and puzzled Salgado with his dominant hand speed and short, compact right hands.

Despite Salgado’s championship heart and willingness to fight through adversity, the former title holder was floored for a final time with a solid left hook at the 2:20 mark of round four while trying to land in combination.

Because the brave Mexican fighter was trying to work his way back into the fight, he let his hands go on the inside and never saw the counter left hook underneath. Salgado hit the canvas hard and the third man in charge immediately called a halt to the bout.

The decisive victory for Mendez not only signifies his 21st win and 11th knock-out as a professional, but the impressive performance places the Dominican native in a great position to garner more lucrative bouts at 130 pounds.

Last night’s beating marks Salgado’s first defeat since losing his WBA 130 pound title to Takashi Uchiyama in 2010, in which he was stopped in the final round of the contest. Juan Carlos initially won the WBA belt by knocking out heavily favored incumbent champion Jorge Linares in just 1:13 seconds of round number one in 2009.