Argenis Mendez retained his featherweight title by majority draw decision in New York
Last Updated: 25/08/13 8:54am
Argenis Mendez (R): With training partner Matthew Hatton and trainer Lee Beard
Argenis Mendez retained his IBF featherweight title but only after a controversial draw with Arash Usmanne in New York.
Mendez, who is trained in Manchester by Lee Beard, appeared to call the shots in an entertaining fight as the Dominican utilized a 'hit and don't be hit' policy to good effect.
Challenger Usmanne was the aggressor, and the judges clearly favoured his approach while Mendez could be accused of sitting on the ropes for too long.
The champion, in his first defence, typically began slowly but was in charge by round five as he made the Canadian-based Afghan miss the target at will, countering with pinpoint accuracy.
Usmanne appeared to run out of steam but still enjoyed his best moments late on, troubling Mendez in the 11th and 12th rounds.
However, it came as some surprise to those in attendance when a score of 115-113 for Usmanne and two tallies of 114-114 meant the result was a majority draw.
Mendez had talked before the fight of making one defence of the title he won by stopping Juan Carlos Salgado earlier this year before stepping up in weight, however a rematch could now be in the offing.
The bout was the main attraction as former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson made his promotional debut.