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  Ringside With Raymundo:
Mendez Beats Another Undefeated Fighter,
TBP To Turn Talent Into Title?


By Raymundo Dioses

 

On June 22, 2018, a young, fresh-faced, fast handed nine-fight undefeated fighter named Gilberto Espinoza from Tijuana, Mexico made his United States debut and within the span of 24 mostly one-sided minutes saw his undefeated record evaporated by a 20 something aged and experienced still young-ish contender in super lightweight Manuel Mendez.

“I’ve always liked taking someone’s undefeated record away. I have a few on my resume. I feel good when I’m underestimated by my opponents,” said Mendez, (16-2-3, 11KO) who started being featured by Southern California outfit Thompson Boxing Promotions in 2015 and was signed on by the company following an upset win over the undefeated Vitor Jones Freitas in November 2016, a bout televised live on Showtime.

Against Espinoza, Mendez utilized a smart game plan early, finding his range and making the young yet untested Tijuana native do more than just potshot and move around the ring. “He didn’t have respectable power or power to hurt me… but he did move a lot after feeling a couple solid shots from me,” said Mendez, who showed great ring generalship throughout the eight-round contest which served as the nights co-featured bout at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, California. “Every way he tried to go I was there in front of him. I cut the ring off well and applied smart pressure.”

In addition to dictating the pace and flow of the fight, Mendez, an Oregon native training in the desert heat of Indio, California, also employed an overhand right throughout the fight that seemingly couldn’t miss. Espinoza ate right hand after right hand and found himself either on the ropes or in the corners of the ring on more than a few occasions. “I like that punch but I felt I wasn’t throwing it as it should have been thrown. I was winging it a little too much, but it would land.” Scores were 79-73, 78-74 and 77-75, all for Mendez.

Mendez, who has officially taken away the undefeated records of seven opponents since he turned professional in 2010, felt satisfied and relieved to both shake off a ring absence of seven months as well as getting back in the win column after having to settle for a draw in his last outing against Abraham Cordero in November 2017. “I hope I performed well for all of the Thompson crowd.”

Title winning trainer Joel Diaz has thus far helped pave the way for Mendez, and Team Mendez looks forward to more success in the latter half of 2018.

Regarding what’s next, Mendez has faith in where his career is being projected by TBP, one of the premiere boxing companies in the sport who are known for turning talent into titles. The SoCal based syndicate promotes current WBA super bantamweight champion Danny Roman.

“They know what they are doing so I trust them and the matchmaking is good. I’ll sit down with my team and see how we go about what they offer us. I hope to fight again in August.”




 

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