By Jake Donovan
Less than a year after falling just short in his first major title bid, Argenis Mendez is now one fight away from redemption.
Terms have been reached between the Mendez camp and unbeaten contender Guillaume Frenois of France to square off in a sanctioned 130 lb. title elimination bout. The fight will take place on July 21 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
The winner of the bout will become the mandatory challenger for current 130 lb. titlist Juan Carlos Salgado, who defeated Mendez in a vacant title fight last September.
Mendez’ camp reached out to Frenois once the fight was ordered by the IBF. The two sides were able to work out a deal to avoid the fight going to purse bid.
Mendez (19-2, 10KO) still has a stay busy fight to take care of first, as he is scheduled to face Hector Velazquez on May 18. The fight – which takes place at the same venue as his eliminator with Frenois - will be his first since a 2nd round knockout over late sub Alex Perez last November in his native Dominican Republic.
With a win, Mendez will be in line to seek revenge against Salgado. The Dominican contender got off to a slow start in their vacant title fight, but rallied back hard in the second half. A 12th round knockdown of Salgado appeared to be enough for Mendez, but fell just short on the cards.
Frenois (26-0, 5KO) has fought exclusively in Europe, largely against non-descript competition. A Dec. ’10 knockout win over Nikoloz Berkatsashvili helped propel the unbeaten French southpaw in the rankings, given the regional title at stake. The 28-year old has won five more since then, having already fought twice in 2012.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]