Wilfredo Mendez begins road back to contention on April 20 against Jesus Haro

Wilfredo Mendez begins road back to contention on April 20 against Jesus Haro

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Wilfredo Mendez celebrates his victory over Vic Saludar. (Photo from @WorldBoxingOrg/Twitter)

by Francisco Salazar | 

Wilfredo Mendez is eager to again fight for a world title belt.

Mendez, rated No. 7 by The Ring at 105 pounds, will face Jesus Haro on April 20, La 22 Sports announced Wednesday night. The 12-round bout will take place at the Coliseo Ruben Zayas in Mendez’s hometown of Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico.

A WBA regional title belt will be on the line. 

“(The fans) expect (a) top-notch atmosphere and competitive fights that were planned ahead of time, including Mendez-Haro,” said Yoel Gonzalez, President of La 22 Sports. “Well-trained fighters are synonymous with good fights. We don’t have fights made at the last minute. Here, we focus on developing the fighter and making sure fans get their money’s worth.”

In his last bout on October 7, Mendez (18-3-1, 6 knockouts) fought to a technical draw against fringe contender ArAr Andales of the Philippines. In his previous fight that took place on April 16 of last year, Mendez was knocked out by Yudai Shigeoka, who won the WBC world 105-pound title in his next fight.

Mendez won the WBO world 105-pound title in August 2019, defeating Vic Saludar by unanimous decision. He would make two successive defenses before losing the title to Masataka Taniguchi in December 2021. 

The 27-year-old Mendez is familiar with Haro, praising the younger fighter who he is not overlooking. 

“I know Haro,” said Mendez, who made his pro debut in July 2016. “We were sparring partners in 2020 in Las Vegas when we had upcoming fights. He’s a tremendous person, but there is a lot at stake, and we want to be world champions. I’m just focused on winning.”

Haro (11-1, 1 KO), who resides in Reno, Nevada, last fought on August 5, knocking out Gabriel Ponce in the fourth round. In his previous fight in June 2022, Haro defeated Erick Nogueda Araujo by split decision.

The 21-year-old has not lost since making his pro debut in March 2020, when he was 17 years old. Haro is managed by Nate Torres.

Doors to the venue will open at 6 p.m., with first bell scheduled for 7 p.m.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]

Follow @FSalazarBoxing

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