Wilfredo Mendez Retains WBO Title, Stops Gabriel Mendoza
Using his smart boxing, Puerto Rican Wilfredo “Bimbito” Méndez successfully defended his WBO 105-pound belt by retaning it a ninth round TKO over Colombian challenger Gabriel Mendoza in the main fight of the “WBO Champions Tournament”, held at the El Panama Hotel in Panama City in a presentation of G & V Entertainment in association with PR Best Boxing Promotions and Spartan Boxing.
Méndez (16-1, 6 KOs) scored the second defense of his belt when, after dominating Mendoza (30-7-2, 23 KOs) all the way, the referee stopped the action at 1:28 of round nine when the Puerto Rican attacked with his combinations to batter the challenger, who had a cut on his right eye and swelling in his forehead. In the bout there were several head clashes, but they had no major consequence.
“I feel very happy to debut in Panama with this victory and represent Puerto Rico while maintaining this title,” said Méndez, the only Puerto Rican (male) champion currently, after the victory. “We fought with the plan we had to box and we could go out with our hands up.”
The Puerto Rican, who won his title with a unanimous decision victory over Filipino Vic Saludar in August 2019, said that in his immediate future there is “the mandatory fight with the Chinese Jing Xiang (#1 ranked) and then fight with the other elite champions.”
Meanwhile, Luis Lebrón (17-2-1, 10 KOs) lost a unanimous decision to Mexico’s José Martín Estrada (11-2-1, 5 KOs), who thus became the WBO Latino champion at 122 pounds.
Lebrón seemed to dominate most of the early rounds with good punches to Estrada’s face and body causing swelling and wounding to the eyes from the third round. But Estrada came from behind and knocked down Lebrón with a short upper right in the seventh round to control the action in the latter part of the match and take the win. The judges saw it for Estrada with scores of 95-92, 96-92 and 96-92.
Photos: Sumio Yamada