by David P. Greisman
The 2014 season opener of ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights” will have a 130-pound title fight between Argenis Mendez and Rances Barthelemy in the main event, supported by a co-feature bout pitting middleweight Caleb Truax against Derek Ennis.
The card will take place Jan. 3 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, according to a person involved with the card, who spoke on the condition of anonymity as the show has not yet been officially announced.
Mendez, 27, won the International Boxing Federation world title this past March with a knockout of Juan Carlos Salgado. His first defense came in August, a bout with Arash Usmanee that ended as a majority draw. He is 21-2-1 with 11 knockouts.
Barthelemy, 27, is 19-0 with 12 knockouts and is coming off a June 2013 knockout of Fahsai Sakkreerin in an elimination bout that earned him this world title shot. Barthelemy-Sakkreerin was the main event of a “Friday Night Fights” card at the Minneapolis Convention Center that had Truax’s win over Don George in the co-feature (Truax is from Minnesota).
Truax, 30, last fought in September, scoring a technical knockout over Cerrosso Fort and moving to 23-1-1 (14 KOs).
Ennis, 33, lost a majority decision to Jonathan Gonzalez this past January and dropped to 23-4-1 (13 KOs).
Pick up a copy of David’s new book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or on Amazon U.K. at http://amzn.to/11mYGZI . Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]