Wilfredo Mendez Ordered to Defend the WBO Title Against Masataka Taniguchi
The World Boxing Organization has ordered WBO minimumweight champion Wilfredo “Bimbito” Mendez (16-1, 6 KOs) to start negotiations for a title defense against mandatory contender Masataka Taniguchi (14-3, 9 KOs). In a letter released October 6th, the sanctioning organization stated both parties have ten days to negotiate the fight.
If they fail to reach a deal within that time frame, a purse bid will be ordered. Should the bout go to purse bid, there will be a minimum bid will be $80,000.
Mendez defeated Vic Saludar to capture the WBO minimumweight title in August 2019. The 24 year-old resident of Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico, has successfully defended the title three times. He idolizes and wants to follow the footsteps of former long-time WBO minimumweight champion and countryman Ivan Calderon, one of the greatest fighters in the division’s history.
The champ is coming off a long layoff. He was to fight on December 16, 2020, against Alex Arias. Unfortunately, the champion came down with an illness. So, this is Mendez’ first fight since February 2020.
It’s the second world title fight for Taniguchi. In February of 2019, the 27 year-old resident of Tokyo, Japan lost to then-WBO champ Victorio Saludar. He has rebounded with three consecutive wins, two coming by knockout.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.