Noakes vs Mendy Predictions: Sam might have to go the long way round

 | 19th April | 

3 mins read

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Kent’s unbeaten Sam Noakes takes on the toughest opponent of his career this Saturday, April 20, as he faces Yvan Mendy. The iconic York Hall in Bethnal Green will host this battle for the vacant European lightweight championship. TNT Sports will televise the bout. Here are my Noakes vs Mendy predictions as the Brit prepares to face an opponent with a history of playing the spoiler.

Noakes vs Mendy Tips

  • Noakes on points @ 13/10
  • Fight will go the distance - Yes @ 11/10

UK fight fans will remember Mendy well. He was Luke Campbell’s undoing back in 2015, taking a split decision victory to inflict the first professional loss of the Olympic gold medalist’s career. Only four men ever beat ‘Cool Hand Luke’ in the paid ranks. Mendy sits alongside Jorge Linares, Vasiliy Lomachenko and Ryan Garcia. Exceptional company to find yourself in, for sure. 

While Campbell would avenge that defeat in 2018 later via unanimous decision, only one man has beaten Mendy in the five-plus years since. Highly-touted Olympic silver medalist Denys Berinchyk scored a points win over him at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in December 2022. But Mendy is 8-1 overall since the Campbell defeat. This isn’t a fighter trading off former glories.

In fact, the experienced Frenchman has even reigned as European and IBF international champion in recent years, Mendy is 38 years of age but he remains a live underdog. He certainly has the most pedigree of any fighter Noakes has met on his professional journey so far.

It has been a successful professional journey for the man from Maidstone. Noakes has a 13-0 record with every single win coming by way of knockout. In that time, he has collected the British and Commonwealth titles as well as WBC international silver and WBO international belts. The latter organisation currently rates him as the 10th-best lightweight in the world.

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Now he follows in the footsteps of Campbell, who at one point was the British lightweight prospect du jour. We all know what Mendy did to him. While the Frenchman is older these days, he is still notoriously difficult to beat. Mendy has lost six of his 54 fights but no man has ever stopped him.

Something has to give. Mendy has never been knocked out while Noakes has stopped every professional fighter he has ever faced. Nothing lasts forever in boxing, something the older Mendy will probably feel more keenly than the 26-year-old Noakes. But ultimately, one of these men could see an extraordinary streak end on Saturday.

What will be interesting is how Mendy’s durability meshes with Noakes’ tendency to finish the job quickly. In 13 knockout wins, the British champion has only been past four rounds twice. A ninth-round knockout of Shaun Cooper showed that Noakes can carry his power late into a fight. But now he is facing a man who has gone 12 rounds, the scheduled distance on Saturday, on 12 occasions. 

This fight could be unlucky 13 for Mendy. I think he will feel Noakes’ power without fully succumbing to it. For the first time, I can see the British and Commonwealth king extended the full distance. It is the sort of education that can be invaluable to a learning pro. Noakes is set to learn more in 36 minutes than he has in 13 fights so far. Ultimately I think he will pass this exam with flying colours, which is why I’m backing Noakes by decision at 13/10. Class is in session.

You can find all our latest boxing tips and analysis at our Betfred Insights Boxing page

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