Dennis Taylor

Bute set to defend 168-lb. belt against Mendy on July 9

Jean-Paul Mendy will challenge Lucian Bute for his International Boxing Federation super middleweight title on July 9 in Romania in a battle of undefeated fighters.

The match between the 37-year-old Mendy (29-0-1, 16 KOs), of France, and Bute (28-0, 23 KOs), a Canada-based Romanian, will take place at Romexpo Bucharest, and is excluded from the agreement Bute has with the Showtime network, according to InterBox.

"It's a dream come true," Bute told Richard Cloutier of BoxingScene. "Romanians have been behind me since the beginning of my career and I wanted to share the excitement of a world title fight with them. I felt their support from afar, but on July 9 they will be very close to me to encourage me."

The 31-year-old Bute was born in Pechea, Romania, but lives and trains in Montreal. He won his IBF crown via an 11th-round TKO of Alejandro Berrio in October of 2007, and has successfully defended the belt against Williams Joppy, Librado Andrade (twice), Fulgencio Zuniga, Edison Miranda, Jesse Brinkley and, most recently, Brian McGee in March.

The only flaw on Mendy's 10-year pro record was a 2007 draw with then-unbeaten Anthony Hanshaw. His most recent ring appearance was last July, when he fought Sakio Bika, who was disqualified for hitting Mendy while he was down in the opening round of their bout at Mandalay Bay. That fight was an IBF title eliminator.

"I have been waiting for this opportunity for a long time," Mendy said. "It will be a very great night in Romania and I am very pleased that I will finally be in the ring fighting for the world championship against Bute. I expect to bring the IBF title belt home with me."

 
Dennis Taylor is editor/publisher of www.ringsideboxingshow.com and co-host of The Ringside Boxing Show.

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