Rances Barthelemy dethroned IBF super featherweight champ Argenis Mendez with a controversial second-round knockout on Friday at the Target Center arena.
The 27-year-old Cuban boxer kept his undefeated record intact as he improved to 20-0 with 13 knockouts.
Barthelemy sent Mendez to the canvas late in the second round with two hard lefts. It was the first time champion Mendez had been knocked down in his career.
Barthelemy then used another stinging left and a combination of punches, as the bell sounded to end the second round, which floored Mendez again. Referee Pete Podgorski counted Mendez out to end the fight.
The official time of the knockout was 2 minutes, 59 seconds, but promoter Mike Tyson insisted that the final punches came after the bell, so he planned to organize a rematch.
“I am going to call for a rematch,” former world heavyweight champ Tyson said. “The guy was hit twice after the bell. I am going to complain and go to the commission. The guy was winning the fight, but still hit him after the bell and that wasn’t fair at all.”
Barthelemy said he thinks he won the fight and should keep the title.
“My punches were flying as the bell was ringing. They will see when they review the fight what actually happened,” Barthelemy said.
Barthelemy said he won because he stuck to his fight plan.
“The key to this fight was staying patient,” he said. “I tried to use my jab.”
The 27-year-old Dominican Mendez not only suffered the first knockdown of his career, but his record dropped to 21-3-1 with 11 KOs.
This was the second defense of the title for Mendez, who kept the crown with a majority draw against Canadian Arash Usmanee in August last year.
Mendez won the title in March with a fourth-round stoppage of Mexico’s Juan Carlos Salgado.
In that fight, Mendez avenged a unanimous decision loss to Salgado in 2011 in Mendez’s first world title bout.
Barthelemy booked his first world title fight with a second-round knockout of Fahsai Sakkreerin in June last year.