By Jake Donovan
The March 9 rematch between Juan Carlos Salgado and Argenis Mendez is confirmed for television coverage. In what capacity, remains largely open to debate.
Televisa is on board to air the 130 lb. title fight, which takes place at the OC Hangar in Costa Mesa, California. The bout serves in supporting capacity to a heavyweight title eliminator between Chris Arreola and Bermane Stiverne.
HBO cameras will be in the building for part of a split site tripleheader, which is headlined by Bernard Hopkins’ challenge of unbeaten light heavyweight titlist Tavoris Cloud. That bout takes place at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York.
A recent press release distributed by Salgado’s handlers stated that his bout will be part of the telecast and will simultaneously air live on Mexico’s Televisa.
Representatives from HBO have denied a deal has been reached, insisting that there is no validity to this claim. The plan is still to air a split-site show, but has yet to make a decision on whether or not the Salgado-Mendez fight will be part of the broadcast.
For the moment, the plan is for the March 9 telecast to begin in Brooklyn, shift locations to Costa Mesa for the Arreola-Stiverne bout and then back to Brooklyn for the Cloud-Hopkins main event.
The opening slot of the telecast is tentatively reserved for unbeaten prospect Keith Thurman, though pending a suitable opponent. Former welterweight titlist Jan Zaveck has been mentioned as a potential candidate, but is by no means a done deal at present time.
Neither Salgado nor Mendez have ever appeared on HBO. Their first bout – which took place in Mexico in Sept. 2011 and aired on Televisa – was a fan-friendly contest. Salgado jumped out to an early lead, large enough to barely survive a late rally from Mendez and a 12th round knockdown to escape with a split decision and a vacant 130 lb. title.
Mendez has since worked his way back into contention. A July ’12 repeat win over Martin Honorio – who lost to Salgado in his previous fight – earned the Dominican a mandatory title shot. Negotiations were extensive to secure the rematch, twice threatening to go to purse bid before a deal was reached to stage the fight in Southern California.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox