Mendez-Usmanee end in draw on Tyson’s fight card
Mike Tyson’s first promotional fight card went about the same
way as his boxing career.
Dramatic, memorable and controversial.
Argenis Mendez of the Dominican Republic and Afghan fighter
Arash Usmanee battled to a rare 12-round draw Friday night at the
Turning Stone Resort Casino. Mendez (21-2-1) retained his IBF
junior lightweight belt in the marquee attraction of Tyson’s
marketing debut. The embattled Tyson, a member of the Boxing Hall
of Fame, has organized an outfit called ”Iron Mike Productions,”
and his aim is to be a full-service agency for up-and-coming
fighters, who can learn the sport, in and out of the ring, from one
of the greatest.
Usmanee improved to 20-1-1 in the event, which was tabbed
”Tyson Is Back,” and featured some disappointed fans who felt
Mendez won the bout. Iron Mike was one of them.
”I’m very grateful,” Tyson said. ”We had two sensational
championship fights. I thought my fighter (Mendez) won his fight.
It was a sensational fight, good for boxing, but horrible for my
boxer. He’s a great boxer.”
In another bout, Jesus Andres Cueller (23-1) outlasted
previously undefeated Claudio Marrero (14-1) to win the vacant
World WBA interim featherweight championship.
But the story of the night was Mendez-Usmanee. Neither was
knocked down in the bout, which was nationally televised.
”I’m really disappointed in the decision,” said Mendez, whose
nickname is ”La Tormenta.” `’I’m the champion and I thought I
”It was a very close fight,” Usmanee said. ”It depends on how
you judge a fight. I was the aggressor. It could have gone either
In other bouts, Eddie Paredes (34-3-1) posted his 12th
consecutive victory, defeating Noe Bolanos (24-9-1); Alexei Collado
(17-0) beat Guillermo Sanchez (13-10-1); Dorsett Barnwell (10-0)
stopped Marlon Hayes (23-13) in the third round; and Antoine
Douglas (9-0) recorded a win over Edgar Perez (5-6).
Tyson says he’s ecstatic to be back in the sport. He says his
fighters – like Mendez – won’t be subjected to what he went through
in his heyday, and that you can expect more cards like his
”When I first got involved, I just didn’t know,” Tyson said.
”Never in a thousand years did I plan on doing it. I’m just happy
to be back involved in boxing. It’s a dream come true. I’m a little
Tyson, 47, who has battled addiction and depression, and has
lost millions of dollars through the years, hopes to provide his
fighters with a structured environment for success, and to be able
to help them learn from his mistakes.
”You’re never going to hear them say `Mike Tyson stole from
me.’ Hopefully, they’ll never end up like me,” he said. ”I’m not
a magician. The only thing I can do is suggest – go in the right
direction. We have to look for happiness within.
”I can’t stop somebody from hurting themself.”