By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Argenis Mendez settled for a questionable draw Saturday night for the second time in less than two months.
Judge Julie Lederman scored the Dominican veteran a 97-93 winner over Juan Heraldez in their 10-rounder on the Deontay Wilder-Dominic Breazeale undercard at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. She was overruled by judges John Basile and Kevin Morgan, each of whom scored their junior welterweight bout even (95-95), which rendered it a majority draw.
Heraldez, who’s promoted by Floyd Mayweather’s company, entered a fight Showtime televised with an unblemished record (16-0, 10 KOs).
In his previous fight, Mendez (25-5-3, 12 KOs, 1 NC), fought to a 10-round split draw with Anthony Peterson on March 24 at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
Judge John Gradkowski scored that fight for Mendez (96-94), but Larry Hazzard Jr. had it 96-94 for Peterson and Paul Wallace scored it even (95-95).
The 32-year-old Mendez, of Yonkers, New York, appeared to be on his way to a victory entering the 10th and final round.
A right hand by Mendez to the side of Heraldez’s head caught him with just over two minutes to go in the 10th round. About a minute later, Mendez landed a left to Heraldez’s body and a followed it up with a straight right hand.
Mendez landed an overhand right to the side of Heraldez’s head just after the midway mark of the ninth round. Late in the ninth, Mendez drilled Heraldez with a left hook that knocked him off balance.
Mendez clipped Heraldez with a left hook early in the eighth round. With about 55 seconds to go in the eighth, Heraldez came back to wobble Mendez with a right hand.
With just over two minutes to go in the fifth round, Heraldez had his best moment of the fight to that point when he landed an overhand right and followed it up with a right uppercut. Mendez bloodied Heraldez’s nose later in the fifth and landed an overhand right with about 15 seconds left in it.
Heraldez connected with a straight right hand after the halfway point of the fourth round, but neither fight was particularly accurate during those three minutes.
Mendez made Heraldez miss with many of his punches during the third round. Mendez also jabbed effectively in that round.
Follow a first round that lacked action, Mendez got the better of Heraldez during the second round. Mendez landed a left hook and a straight right hand within the final 30 seconds of those second three minutes.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.