Mendez and Taniguchi await the results of a second purse bid
WBO minimumweight champion Wilfredo “Bimbito” Mendez (16-1, 6ko) and mandatory contender Masataka Taniguchi (14-3, 9ko) are in jeopardy of losing everything. An early report by 3kingsboxing.com indicated that Mendez v Taniguchi had ten days to reach a deal, or the fight would go to purse bid. According to Asian Boxing News, the first purse bid took place, and neither team picked up the $80,000 price tag.
Now, a second bid is to take place on October 27 with a minimum bid of $40,000. Hopefully one of the promotional companies picks up the price tag in the second attempt. If not, it could spell trouble for both fighters.
A UNIQUE SITUATION
There are two possible ways things can go in a unique situation like this, according to WBO rules. First, if there are no takers, the champion could be granted a 120-day extension to make a voluntary defense.
The second possible result could see either the champion or the challenger turn down the winning purse bid in frustration over the lack of pay. Supposedly the winning purse bid of the $40,000 minimum, per WBO split rules, could see the champion could get $30,000 and the challenger only $10,000.
Either fighter could feel their purse is not enough. We have seen a champion vacate in this situation before in an interview with 3kingsboxing. Former unified light flyweight champion Hekkie Buddler was forced to vacate due to low purse bid.
THE FIGHT COULD STILL HAPPEN
The fight most definitely could happen as both fighters are motivated for personal reasons that go beyond money. Masataka Taniguchi undoubtedly wants things to work out to continue his pursuit of a second shot at the title. He has clawed his way back into contention after losing to the former minimumweight champion, Victorio Saludar, back on February 26, 2019.
Wilfredo Mendez captured the minimumweight title by dethroning Saludar back in 2019. He has made three successful title defenses and has not been in the ring for twenty months. The Puerto Rican champion is inspired by fellow countryman and one of the greatest fighters in the history of the division, Ivan Calderon. Furthermore, he wants to beat the record of 17 title defenses held by his mentor, Calderon.
3kingsboxing will continue to provide any further development of this situation.
By: Garrisson Bland