IBF rescinds Rances Bathelemy victory, orders rematch

Rances Barthelemy, right, of Miami fights Argenis Mendez in Minneapolis.
Rances Barthelemy, right, of Miami fights Argenis Mendez in Minneapolis.

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Friday (9 p.m., ESPN2): Kamil Lasczyk vs. Daniel Diaz, 10, featherweight.

Special to the Miami Herald

Rances Barthelemy’s next fight will be for a world junior-lightweight title, but the Miami resident won’t have the recognition of defending champion.

The International Boxing Federation has ordered a direct rematch between Barthelemy and Argenis Mendez after a state supervising agency reversed the outcome of their title bout Jan. 3 in Minneapolis.

Barthelemy was declared the second-round knockout winner of the fight. However, he connected two knockout-scoring punches after the bell to end the second round. Referee Pete Podgorski failed to separate the fighters when the bell rang and counted Mendez out.

Thursday, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry changed the bout’s result to a no decision after an appeal from Mendez’s promoter, Iron Mike Promotions.

The IBF reinstated Mendez as the sanctioning body’s 130-pound champion, but has informed Mendez’s and Barthelemy’s promoters to negotiate a return bout by March 3. If the camps fail to reach a deal, the IBF will order a purse bid.

“I feel as if I have been knocked down when I was told to return the belt that I worked so hard to win,” Barthelemy said. “At this moment, I feel half disillusioned and half motivated. Disillusioned because of the injustice I have been dealt with, but motivated because it will only get me to work harder for whatever comes next.”

Barthelemy believes he has been targeted as the culprit in the bout’s aftermath. Barthelemy floored Mendez earlier in the second round and seemed to be applying fight-finishing arsenal against a wobbly Mendez.

“I was throwing a sequence of combinations,” Barthelemy said. “At that moment of intense action, unless the referee gets in front of us, it is impossible to stop throwing punches. Now I am the guilty one and no blame is directed at the referee. Several people, who are considered authorities in boxing, have told me decisions like these are rarely reversed.”

Barthelemy (19-0, 12 KOs, 1 NC) said he would not be surprised if Mendez (21-2-1, 1 NC) moves up to the 135-pound lightweight class and vacates the title.

“There was talk after the fight that he was thinking of moving up in weight,” Barthelemy said. “His promoters won the appeal so let’s see if he is man enough to fight me again and not leave the title vacant.”

Around the ring

•  Danny Garcia looks to follow up on a successful 2013 in his first bout of the year. Garcia (27-0, 16 KOs) will defend his two sanctioning body super-lightweight titles against Mauricio Herrera on March 15 in Puerto Rico. The bout will be Garcia’s first since a career-defining win against dangerous puncher Lucas Matthysse on the undercard of the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Saul “Canelo” Alvarez bout last September in Las Vegas.

• Kazakhstan’s Gennady Golovkin maintained his impressive knockout percentage and retained his middleweight belt.

Golovkin scored a seventh-round technical knockout over Ghana’s Osumanu Adama on Saturday in Monaco.

Golovkin (29-0, 26 KOs) knocked down Adama (22-4) in the first and sixth rounds, and finished him with a flurry of combinations at 1:20 of the seventh. For Golovkin, it was the ninth defense of his World Boxing Association title.

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