By Phil Doherty at ringside
Dominican IBF #2-ranked super-featherweight Argenis “La Tormenta” Mendez (20-2, 10 KOs) overcame a foul-filled assault from IBF #7-ranked Mexican contender Martin “El Brochas” Honorio (32-8-1, 16 KOs) to earn the right to face champion Juan Carlos Salgado once more. Countering the charging Mexican with sharp uppercuts, hooks and straight rights, Mendez picked his shots in similar fashion to his 2010 bout with Honorio, which Mendez won by majority decison. Tonight (helped in part by two point-deductions against Honorio for hitting behind the head), the decision was unanimous.
Mendez set his speed advantage early on with a sizzling right uppercut counter in the second round to thwart the Mexican’s brutish aggression. Honorio answered back in the third with a solid overhand right and hooks to both sides of Mendez’s body. High quality boxing continued through the middle rounds, broken up by repeated warnings to Honorio by referee Frank Santore Jr. for head butts, low-blows and hitting behind the head. Honorio’s desperation grew in the ninth round after suffering his first point deduction. He savagely pursued Mendez into the ropes flinging wild shots only to eat crisper counters for his effort.
The action paused yet again to start the eleventh round as a commission member cautioned both men against any escalation of unsportsmanlike tactics. The point was apparently lost on Honorio, who managed to lose his head yet again with repeated headbutts and yet another point deduction for rabbit punching.
Mendez, renewed by the obvious points advantage and the twelfth-round homestretch, poured it on in response to start the final three minutes. A huge sweeping left hook caught Honorio’s attention and subsequent straight right counters held it as Mendez cruised to scores of 115-111, 116-110 and 117-109.
Promoter Acquinity Sports announced plans to host the Mendez-Salgado rematch at The Seminole Hard Rock in September.
Joan “Baby Tyson” Guzman (33-0-1, 20 KOs) evoked memories of his nickname’s namesake while destroying Mexican Jorge “El Tigre” Pimentel (25-16, 19 KOs) just 33 seconds into the first round of his scheduled 10-round light welterweight bout. Guzman, the 36-year old former two-time world champion ripped Pimentel with a left hook to the body that set up the right hand and short left hook upstairs to finish the dazed Pimentel. Guzman shouted: “Guzman is back!” as he made his way from the ring. Speaking exclusively with Fightnews on his way to the dressing room, Guzman proclaimed: “I am ready for any of the big-name fighters; any of them.”
Welterweight prospect Ed “The Lion” Paredes (31-3-1, 21 KOs) fought his toughest fight to date, earning a technical knockout decision against former world champion “Vicious” Vivian Harris (29-8-2, 19 KOs) at 2:21 of the 10th and final round. Paredes and Harris traded stiff jabs through the early going, with the longer-limbed Harris giving as good as he got. Youth was served in the middle rounds however as Paredes stamped left hooks to the body and head while eating crisp counters from Harris. Harris fought well of his back foot but ate solid straight rights from Paredes, including one at the end of the sixth round that appeared to wobble the Guyanese fighter.
Paredes finally floored the durable Harris with a straight right, left hook and shortright hand combination in the final round. Harris recovered and beat the count only to face an onslaught of hooks from the charging Paredes along the ropes. Despite appearing to have weathered the worst of the storm, Harris’ corner leapt to the ring apron forcing referee Frank Santore Jr. to halt the action with just 29 seconds remaining.
In the undercard, Mexican super bantamweight Jesus Lule (5-2) scored a 6-round unanimous decision against Miami southpaw Jessy Cruz (7-5). Recent Acquinity light heavyweight addition Isiah “The Piston” Thomas (9-0, 5 KOs) demolished Reggie Pena (8-7) at 2:07 of the second round by way of TKO. Heavyweight Glendy “The Guantanamo Giant” Hernandez (8-0, 4 KOs) notched a clean knockout at 2:50 of the second round against Tobias Rice (4-4). Former 2008 Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz (12-0, 6 KOs) beat out a game late-minute replacement in the shape of former lightweight Wilfredo Acuna with a 6-round unanimous decision.