Sam Noakes will fight veteran Frenchman Yvan Mendy for the vacant European lightweight title on April 20 at London’s York Hall. 

The 26-year-old Noakes’ marauding style and heavy hands have made him one of the most exciting fighters in British boxing, and he next gets the opportunity to prove himself against an established, quality fighter in Mendy.

In February, Noakes, 13-0 (13 KOs), blew through Lewis Sylvester in four one-sided rounds to add the British title to his Commonwealth title and to maintain his record of having stopped every opponent he has faced.

A series of lightweights had been approached to provide him with an opponent for his first defence of the British title, but at relatively short notice Queensberry Promotions have chosen to capitalise on Noakes' momentum and to pitch him into a contest for the prestigious European title. 

Until recently it was held by Gavin Gwynne, but it was declared vacant after the Welshman was stopped by Mark Chamberlain in Saudi Arabia in March. Noakes and the big-punching Chamberlain regardless seem to be on course for an explosive, high-stakes shootout. 

Mendy, 48-6-1 (22 KOs), is a two-time European champion at 135lbs, and held the title as recently as 2022. After beating Gianluca Cegila to win the title, he then lost it to unbeaten Ukrainian Denys Berinchryk. The talented 38 year old’s most notable victory came in 2015 when he shocked the Olympic gold medallist Luke Campbell, and for all of his advancing years he has stayed active and has never been stopped. In May 2023 he outpointed the previously unbeaten Bastien Ballesta.