Wasfi Tolaymat Interview: Ringside Eyewitness Behind Timekeeper Says Barthelemy Won
By Robert Brizel, Head RCM Boxing Correspondent
In a Real Combat Media international exclusive interview, Wasfi Tolaymat, manager of Chicago middleweight Osumanu Adama, who was ringside for the International Boxing Federation super featherweight championship bout between champion Argenis Mendez and challenger Rances Barthelemy in Minneapolis, Minnesota this weekend, contradicted the notion of Barthelemy landing the knockout blow after the bell had ended the second round of the main event at the Target Cent on Friday evening, January 3, 2013.
Tolaymat was seated at ringside immediately behind ESPN commentator Teddy Atlas and the timekeeper. He explained to Real Combat Media what happened at the end of the second round.
Real Combat Media: “What happened? What did you see? What did you hear?”
Wasfi Tolaymat: “I was sitting behind the timekeeper and Teddy Atlas. The timekeeper started counting after the knockdown. He told everyone it was 2:59 when he started the count on the downed fighter (Argenis Mendez).”
Real Combat Media: “Promoter Iron Mike Tyson said he heard the bell ring first, and then Rances Barthelemy threw the two punches which knocked out Mendez-after the bell had rung.”
Wasfi Tolaymat: “No, I don’t believe so. The timekeeper, he was counting before the bell rang. The referee, Pete Podgorski, was looking at the timekeeper, as he was counting 2, 3,4. (The referee picked up the count). The guy (Argenis Mendez) couldn’t get up. He went up and down, up and down, up and down. I heard the bell ring, but this was after the timekeeper started counting.”
Real Combat Media: “Everybody is now claiming the bell rang first, and referee Pete Podgorski then hesitated and did not separate the two fighters after the bell. That’s when Barthelemy knocked out Mendez, well after the bell sounded signaling the end of the second round.”
Wasfi Tolaymat: “No no no! It was 2:59 of the second round when Barthelemy knocked Mendez down. The timekeeper began the cunt before he sounded the bell ending the second round, and the referee picked up the count from the timekeeper.”