Salgado vs. Mendez Rematch Set For March 2
By Jake Donovan
Terms have been reached for Juan Carlos Salgado and Argenis Mendez to proceed with their planned rematch, thus avoiding a purse bid and potential delay.
The rematch will take place on March 2. A location has yet to be determined, as promoters are still finding a home for the show, which is topped by a heavyweight title elimination bout between Chris Arreola facing Bermane Stiverne. It has not yet been decided whether Salgado-Mendez II will be added to the HBO broadcast for that evening.
Andre Ward was originally scheduled to defend his lineal super middleweight crown against former middleweight king Kelly Pavlik in the headliner. An injury suffered in training camp forced Ward off of the show, as he is scheduled to undergo shoulder surgery.
The two sides failed to strike a deal by the December 28 deadline, which forced the IBF to schedule a purse bid hearing for the 130 lb title fight. A hearing was scheduled for January 10 but a last minute deal was struck on Wednesday evening.
Salgado became a two-time champ after beating Mendez in a vacant title fight in his native Mexico in Sept. 2011. A late rally and a 12th round knockdown by Mendez created drama, but proved too little too late in the end.
Salgado has since defended three times, including a points win over Jonathan Barros last summer in his most recent defense. His first reign - which came with a stunning 1st round knockout of then-unbeaten Jorge Linares in Oct. '09 - ended just three months later, suffering a 12th round stoppage against Takashi Uchiyama, who still reigns as champ and is regarded as the best 130 lb. fighter in the world today.
Mendez earned the mandatory title shot after soundly outpointing Martin Honorio in their rematch last July. Mendez previously defeated Honorio by majority decision in California in May '10 to earn his first title shot, which came more than a year later.
Salgado attempted to secure an optional defense against Yuriorkis Gamboa, which was targeted for last November. Those plans were thwarted when Gamboa's promotional status was compromised in the wake of the disbanding of TMT Promotions, following a well-publicized falling out between 50 Cent and Floyd Mayweather.
The November date was crucial, as Salgado only had seven months from the time of his last mandatory title defense - a points win over Honorio last April 28 - to get in an optional fight. When that window closed, Salgado was forced to engage in negotiations with Mendez' camp.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox