In front of a noisy crowd at the Salle Marcel Cerdan in Thourotte, France, World Boxing Federation Intercontinental Light Welterweight Champion Yvan Mendy retained his title on Friday night with a fourth round stoppage over challenger Tarik Madni from Belgium.
In a clash of two stylish competitors, Madni started best and won the first round by being more active, but in the second Mendy picked up the pace and clinched the next two stanzas with excellent boxing. It was shaping up to be a very interesting bout between well-matched fighters, but in the fourth round things took a dramatic turn.
Out of the blue, after getting hit on his right elbow, Tarik Madni dropped to the floor holding his arm with a look of terror on his face, clearly in massive pain. Referee Paul Thomas from England had no choice but to start his count, and it was evident that Madni was not getting up before he reached ten, resulting in a knockout victory for Mendy.
This was the second successful defense for Mendy, who improved his record to 23-2-1 (12). Madni lost for the third time as a professional and is now 15-3 (0). The Belgian was immediately examined by the ringside doctor who diagnosed what was likely a torn ligament in the elbow, a serious injury that requires surgery.
After three completed rounds, judges Jean Marcel Nartz from Germany and Christope Hembert from France had it 29-28 in favor of Mendy, while Jean-Pierre Van Imschoot from Belgium had it 30-27. Time of stoppage was 1:05 of the fourth round.
After the fight Mendy expressed his desire to next challenge WBF World Champion Ali Funeka from South Africa, and based on the very good performance against Madni he seems to be ready for such a challenge.
The styles of Mendy and Funeka would make for another interesting fight that would hopefully have a more satisfactory result one way or the other than Mendy vs. Madni.