By Jake Donovan
Familiar foes Juan Carlos Salgado and Argenis Mendez sought separate avenues to remain active in optional fights. With all options exhausted, they will now cut to chase and make plans for a potential rematch.
The two sides have begun negotiations for a mandatory 130 lb. title fight more than a month ahead of the prescribed time limit. Such talks were set to be ordered by the IBF on November 28 - seven months from the time of Salgado's last mandatory title defense. Instead, the respective camps will now have nearly two months to work out a deal and avoid a purse bid.
Salgado and Mendez met for the vacant title last September in Mexico. The fight was split into two parts, with Salgado jumping out to a huge lead early and Mendez trying his damnest to narrow the gap over the final six rounds.
A last second knockdown by Mendez provided drama, but Salgado still managed a split decision to claim the vacant 130 lb. belt. He has since made three successful defenses, including a 12-round points win over Jonathan Barros this past August.
Mendez worked his way back to the mandatory contender slot with a dominant points win over Martin Honorio in their own rematch in July.
Both fighters sought lucrative optional fights, but neither materialized.
Salgado targeted a high-profile showdown with unbeaten Yuriorkis Gamboa, but the fight fell apart once the short-lived TMT Promotions - representing Gamboa during negotiations - crumbled without ever promoting a single show.
Mendez' handlers were in negotiations for a showdown with unbeaten Art Hovhannisyan. The bout would have been the opening leg of a scheduled October 27 HBO tripleheader, for which Mendez signed. Handlers for Hovhannisyan insisted the matchup was nothing more than a suggestion and never responded beyond initial talks between camps.
Regardless of the final outcome of talks between Salgado and Mendez, their rematch must take place no later than January 28, 2013.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox