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Boxingscene.com

Team Mendez: Win Purse Bid First, Then Make Plans

By Jake Donovan

Plans have been made for a July 23 title fight between Juan Carlos Salgado and Argenis Mendez. Salgado’s promoter, HG Boxing announced through the media last week his intentions to stage the bout in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Just one minor detail stands in the way – there is still a purse bid to be held on Tuesday, June 28, to determine the rightful promoter for the event.

“I don’t know where they’re getting this news from that the fight is in Mexico,” wonders Jose Nunez, who signed Mendez straight out of the amateurs in 2006. “If we have to fight there, we will. But we have every intention of winning this purse bid and bringing the fight to the Dominican Republic or the United States.”

The June 28 date was announced last month, after plans fell through for Mendez (18-1, 9KO) to face then-super featherweight titlist Mzonke Fana.

A deal was believed to be in place for Mendez to make his second straight trip to South Africa, only for it to be revealed that Fana never signed a contract and ultimately pulling out of the planned June 11 title defense.

Fana was stripped of his title for failing to comply with his mandatory title defense, which put Mendez first in line for a crack at the vacant belt.

Mendez earned the title shot on the strength of his points win over former champ Cassius Baloyi earlier this year, traveling to South Africa to accomplish the feat.

Salgado (23-1-1, 16KO) seeks a second title run with this fight, having previously enjoyed a short reign as a super featherweight beltholder. The then-undefeated Mexican traveled to Japan for his first crack at alphabet glory, scoring a shocking first-round knockout over heavily hyped Jorge Linares in October 2009.

His stay at the top was short lived, suffering a 12th round knockout loss to Takashi Uchiyama in his very next fight just three months later.

Salgado has since scored a pair of wins over Guadalupe Rosales, neither of which was sanctioned by any alphabet organization. He managed to land the vacant title shot simply by being in the right place at the right time when Fana was stripped of the belt, yet his handlers seem to believe the party is theirs to host.

It could very well turn out that way, but it will cost them a considerable amount of money to make that happen – and Team Mendez is prepared to do everything in its power to make sure that everyone gets paid, no matter where the fight lands.

“I had a great conversation with Geni’s promoter, Lou DiBella, who assured me that he plans to attend and win the purse bid,” Nunez said, when asked of the concern that his fighter was potentially being delivered to someone else’s show. “I was prepared to make plans of my own to protect my fighter, but Lou – who has always been good to us – is anxious to promote this event and make big things happen for my guy.”

The plans to which Nunez refers involved the financial backing of casino bigwig Steven Swank, who held a press conference in Tampa, Florida earlier this month to announce his plans for a boxing series in the Dominican Republic.

Among the discussed events were the hopes of winning Tuesday’s purse bid and staging the fight on September 10 at the Hippodrome V Centenario in Santo Domingo.

A purse bid win by DiBella would presumably land the fight in the United States, though traveling to the Dominican Republic is not out of the question.

Wherever the fight lands is entirely dependent on whose envelope holds the highest dollar amount on Tuesday. Until then, nobody should make plans to sell tickets just yet.

“If Hector (Garcia, head of HG Promotions) winds up winning the bid, then we will fight their kid in Mexico and bring the title back home,” Nunez insists. “But win the purse bid first, and then make plans afterward. And if he’s going to do so, he better be prepared to pay a lot of money to win it.”

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]

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