by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Hard-hitting but soft spoken Filipino southpaw Michael “Hammer Fist” Farenas looms as challenger to newly crowned IBF super featherweight champion Rances Barthelemy of Cuba who won the title in a rematch with Argenis Mendez at the American Airlines Center in Miami, Florida.
However, IBF Championship Committee chairman Lindsey Tucker has informed former two division world champion Gerry Penalosa who handles his protégé Farenas there was no ruling that the winner of the Barthelemy-Mendez rematch would have to face the winner of the Farenas-Davis title eliminator in a mandatory title defense.
Farenas hammered previously undefeated Mark Davis of the United States in a title eliminator at the Foxwoods Restort and Casino in Connecticut last July 3 to earn a crack at the title against the winner of the rematch between Mendez and Barthelemy.
Penalosa told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard he had offered to promote the Farenas title fight in Manila but that Tucker replied it could only be staged provided Barthelemy agrees to an optional defense since the IBF said there was no mandate for a mandatory.
Given the situation, Penalosa offered to promote an Interim title fight against the next top-rated contender Fernando Saucedo which, at the moment, is awaiting a response from the IBF.
The 32 year old Saucedo of Argentina is ranked No.3 by the IBF and has a record of 52-5-3 with 8 knockouts.
Saucedo won the WBC Silver title with a twelve round unanimous decision over Sergio Manuel Medina on August 16, 2013 and his record shows he isn’t a big puncher very much like Davis who had only 5 knockouts in 18 wins.
The win of Bathelemy in his first clash with Mendez was nullified after a review showed that Barthelemy connected with the knockout punch after the bell with the Minnesota commission reversing the outcome to a “no decision” after which the IBF ordered an immediate rematch.
Bartelemy, despite being deducted two points for low blows in round nine and ten by referee Tellis Assimenios went on to win a twelve round unanimous decision by scores of 115-111 on the cards of all three judges Richard Green, Alex Levin and Bill Ray.