Sunday, March 26, 2023  |


RingTV to stream Argumedo-Mendoza IBF 105-lb. title bout tonight


Jose Argumedo makes the third defense of his IBF 105-pound title against Gabriel Mendoza tonight in Monterrey, Mexico. The scrappy 28-year-old native of Tepic, Mexico won the strawweight belt by narrowly outpointing respected Japanese veteran Katsunari Takayama via nine-round technical decision Dec. 31, 2015 in Osaka.

There was talk of Argumedo returning to Japan for a high-profile (by strawweight standards) rematch against the well-traveled five-time beltholder, but Takayama retired after winning the vacant WBO title with a six-round technical decision over Riku Kano last August.

Argumedo (19-3-1, 11 knockouts) is still scheduled to return to Japan, where top-level strawweights are celebrated just as much as standouts in heavier weight classes, probably on July 23, according to his trainer/promoter Eddy Reynoso. Against who? Take your pick, there are four young Japanese strawweights – Ryuji Hara, Masataka Taniguchi, Ryuka Yamanaka and Hiroto Kyoguchi – ranked in the IBF’s top 10.

However, before Argumedo and his team can start planning for their next overseas trip, they have to defeat Mendoza, a 37-year-old fringe contender from Colombia who brings a solid record of 28 wins (23 by KO), four losses and two draws into Saturday’s bout, which will be streamed live on Mendoza, who has never been stopped, has more to offer than heavy hands and a solid chin, according to Reynoso.

“Mendoza is an experienced veteran with a difficult style,” Reynoso, who is best known as Canelo Alvarez’s head trainer, told through translator Luis Gonzalez on Tuesday. “The Colombian moves well and has good defense, so it could be a cat-and-mouse type situation. Jose is very aggressive, but that stick-and-move style always gives fighters with the Mexican style trouble.

“Jose is going to have to figure out how to reign Mendoza in.”

The slugger-vs.-stylist matchup should be an interesting one for boxing purists. Mendoza’s lateral movement, quick hands and crafty counter-punching might indeed test the hard-charging Argumedo, as Reynoso expects. However, most fans crave action, and bigger, better matchups await Argumedo in Japan and at junior flyweight, where a pair of talented Japanese boxing prodigies – Kosei Tanaka and Ken Shiro – hold major belts along with long-reigning WBA titleholder Ryoichi Taguchi.

Reynoso doesn’t rule that plan of action out, even though his charge comfortably makes strawweight.

“Every time a Mexican fighter faces a Japanese fighter in the ring we get good fights, sometimes we get great fights, like Francisco Vargas vs. Takashi Miura,” he said. “I’m familiar with Japanese fighters. Canelo used to promote one, a middleweight named (Nobuhiro) Ishida, who he also used to spar with. Ishida knocked out James Kirkland in one round and also fought Paul Williams and Gennady Golovkin.

“I’m going to continue working with Japanese fighters, in fact, there’s an undefeated prospect who’s flying in next month to train with us. They’re disciplined, hard-working, and willing to learn.”

Meanwhile, Argumedo’s education continues tonight in Monterrey.