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Mendez-Barthelemy slated for Jan. 3

Fighters Network

IBF junior lightweight titleholder Argenis Mendez will face mandatory challenger Rances Barthelemy on Jan. 3 at The Target Center in Minneappolis, Minn., on a card that is being promoted by Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing. 

Former undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, whose company Iron Mike Productions is co-promoting the event, will also make a public appearance during the card, which will be televised on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights.

“Iron Mike Productions is excited to be hosting the first ESPN Friday Night Fights show of 2014,” Gary Jones, CEO of Iron Mike Productions, said in a press release that was issued on Tuesday.

“This will be my fighter, Rances Barthelemy’s first world title shot,” said Margules. “I’m very excited for him and for his chances to bring the belt home.”

In August, Mendez (21-2-1, 11 knockouts), a Domincan who resides in Brookyln, battled to a majority draw with Arash Usmanee (20-1-1, 10 KOs), whom Barthelemy (19-0, 12 KOs) defeated by unanimous decision in January.

Mendez is 3-0-1, with two knockouts since falling by unanimous decision to Juan Carlos Salgado in September of 2011.

Two fights later, however, Mendez won his current belt from Salgado by fourth-round stoppage.

A Cuban-born Miami resident, Barthelemy is coming off of a second-round knockout of Fahsai Sakkreerin in June.

In the co-featured bout on the card, Caleb Truax (23-1, 4 KOs), of Osseo, Minn., will face Derek Ennis (23-4-1, 13 KOs), of Philadelphia, in a middleweight bout.

Truax has won five straight since suffering his lone defeat by 10-round unanimous decision in April of 2012 to former 160-pound champion Jermain Taylor, whom he dropped in the ninth-round.

Ennis was last in the ring in January, when he lost by majority decision to Jason Gonzalez. 



Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]