By Marco Bratusch
Italian boxing promoter OPI Since 82 won today’s EBU bid in order to stage the European lightweight title between freshly-crowned titlist Francesco Patera (18-2, 7 KOs) and mandatory challenger Yvan Mendy (37-4-1, 18 KOs). OPI outbid other two offers at EBU offices, submitting a considerable 67,717 Euro bid, topping an Asloum Events proposal of 45,200 Euros and a third one made by GMG Promotions of 15,000 Euros.
The 24-year-old Patera, from Genk, Belgium, won the European belt in the fourth and voluntary defense of former title holder Edis Tatli in Finland last May, via a disputed split decision. The EBU rules do not allow immediate rematches except in particular circumstances accorded by the EBU Board. That’s the reason why the request of Tatli’s promoter was rejected in that case by the Committee. However, the former champion will soon occupy the next mandatory position for the Patera-Mendy winner and will have the chance to get his revenge later on if he intends to.
Mendy and Patera already fought one another one year ago in France, with the strong Mendy winning a unanimous decision to secure the vacant European Union (EU) title.
OPI Since 82 is now working on its next show scheduled June 17th at the Casinò St.Vincent in Valle d’Aosta, Italy, a historical location where good boxing has been staged frequently years ago. The venue might also be considered for promoting other OPI’s shows in future. The card includes many fighters of OPI’s roster as jr. welterweight Andrea Scarpa (21-3, 10 KOs), former world title challenger Devis Boschiero (41-5-1, 21 KOs), a comeback fight for heavyweight Matteo Modugno (18-0, 9 KOs), all of them expected to fight in 6-round bouts. French heavyweight contender Carlos Takam (34-3-1, 26 KOs) will face Croatian Ivica Bacurin (27-11-1, 16 KOs) over 8 rounds. The feature bout of the evening will be European middleweight champion Emanuele Blandamura (26-2, 5 KOs)’s first defense against Alessandro Goddi (30-1-1, 14 KOs) in a voluntary affair.