by Ronnie Nathanielsz
The IBF has ruled that hard-hitting Filipino southpaw Michael “Hammer Fist” Farenas must fight top-rated Mexican contender Fernando Saucedo to earn a shot at 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.
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 Resort 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 the 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 and Tucker said Penalosa would have to officially inform the IBF of his intentions of staging what would effectively be a final eliminator for a title shot.
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 and his record indicates he is not a big puncher, very much like Davis who was hammered by Farenas.
Saucedo won the WBC Silver title with a twelve round unanimous decision over Sergio Manuel Medina on August 16, 2013.