BOXE

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Un titre qui, pour saluer la mémoire de Jean-Baptiste Mendy, ne siérait assurément pas au footballeur Bafétimbi Gomis, qui lui a du reste préféré un adage bien plus poétique, “un lion ne meurt pas, il dort !”. Né à Dakar en 1963, le boxeur franco-sénagalais s’est éteint le 31 août dernier, à 57 ans, des suites d’un cancer du pancréas qui s’était déclaré au début de l’été. Charismatique voix du noble art, le journaliste Jean-Phlippe Lustyk, qui a notamment officié sur Canal Plus et TF1, évoque avec émotions le boxeur au double titre de champion du monde et aux 9 championnats d’Europe remportés. “J’ai eu le bonheur de suivre sa carrière, des premiers pas au sommet. Je le situe parmi les cinq plus grands boxeurs français de l’Histoire. Il était lumineux dès qu’il pénétrait sur le ring avec sa pirouette légendaire. Pour moi, il y a d’ailleurs un contraste entre le boxeur qui attirait la lumière, par son élégance, sa technique, sa vitesse, et l’homme qui, dans la vie, était très discret”. Ses six combats disputés à Levallois, dont trois championnats d’Europe et deux championnats du monde, le lient éternellement à l’Histoire pugilistique de la Ville. Tel un symbole, il boxait aussi lors de la réunion du 12 mars 1988, qui a vu la Ville organiser son tout premier championnat du monde, entre Ramirez et Whitaker. “Le combat qui m’a le plus marqué, poursuit Lustyk, c’est son championnat du monde WBC contre Gonzalez à Levallois en 1994. Jean-Ba était au sommet de son art. Et pourtant il perd, comme tétanisé par l’enjeu, contre un boxeur trop fort, dans la lignée des Chavez. Grâce à sa grande force mentale, il s’en remettra et partira à la conquête de ses titres de champions du monde WBC contre Murphy, toujours à Cerdan, en 1996, puis WBA contre Nazarov deux ans plus tard. C’était quelqu’un de généreux, qui aimait la belle boxe, et qui pensait au public. Son enterrement fut à son image, avec des gens élégants, simples, authentiques!”

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A propos de l'auteur

La Rédaction d'Info Levallois exerce au sein de la Direction de la Communication de la Ville de Levallois. Toute l'équipe a un seul objectif, vous informer tout au long de l'année de l'actualité levalloisienne, et ce, dans tous les domaines.

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