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Sam Noakes fights Yvan Mendy for the vacant European lightweight title at York Hall

Sam Noakes is looking for a statement victory when he fights for the vacant European title tonight.

Maidstone boxer Noakes gets the chance to add to his collection of belts against veteran Frenchman Yvan Mendy.

Maidstone boxer Sam Noakes is looking to add to his collection of belts. Picture: Queensberry Promotions
Maidstone boxer Sam Noakes is looking to add to his collection of belts. Picture: Queensberry Promotions

It’s the main event at York Hall and is set to be a fascinating clash.

British and Commonwealth lightweight champion Noakes, 26, has won all 13 fights inside the distance.

And while his 38-year-old opponent has lost six of his 55 bouts, with one draw, he’s never been stopped and is a former European champion.

Noakes, who also holds WBO International and WBC International Silver titles, said: “It’s a very good fight.

“He’s a veteran of the game, isn’t he?

“He’s a good-level fighter and he’s had the European title three times.

“He’s going to have a few tricks up his sleeve and it’s knowing how to deal with them.

“It needs a nice mature performance from myself and I think I’ll be all right.

“I’ve watched him and, in the politest way, he’s had his time.

“He’s never been stopped and I want to be the first man to do that.

“He’s very durable and if he wins it puts him in a good position.

“He’s probably going to try and take me down the back stretch.

“It would be a big statement to drop him but I don’t think it’s beyond me to do so.

“It’s the main event as well and that adds to the magnitude of it all and makes it a better occasion.”

Noakes is back in action just over two months on from winning the British and WBO titles against Lewis Sylvester.

European success would open more doors as he closes in on a world title shot.

“In terms of levels the European title is probably grander in scale but the belt that means the most would be the Lonsdale just because you’re a British fighter,” said Noakes.

“If I win the European, I think it offers me top-10 rankings in every governing body so it’s definitely a good one to win.

“I don’t really look at the rankings, I just try to win every fight and it goes without saying the more you win, the more you’re going to climb.”

Noakes would like to thank his sponsors and all those travelling to London to watch the fight.

“The people of Maidstone get behind their own,” he added.

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