Interview of BRICE GUIDON by Serge TREFEU (2010)

Serge TREFEU: Hello Brice and thank you for grant me this interview. You have just gained a beautiful victory in front of Champion of Germany Martin Jahn, so keeping your champion's belt of Europe, can you return on this fight and give us your sensations after this victory?

BRICE GUIDON: Hello, I am happy to keep my European belt even if I am far from being satisfied by my performance. To summarize quickly, I did not manage to find the good rhythm in this fight. My opponent, the octuple champion of Germany, Martin Jahn was not very aggressive and did not make for me not bad, of the blow I allowed to pass the fight without moving on and by marking quietly my points to the detriment of the show. 

Fortunately that in the 4th rounds Jérôme (Le Banner) knew how to motivate me by telling me to be nastier, it is from there that I began to hurt the German, I put him KO in the same round. I am going to need much more speed if I want to continue to rise in the hierarchy of the heavy.

It was very pleasant to fight in Marseille and the Urban Boxing United was a very successful event, I thank moreover Rani Berbachi and Serge Singer which relied on me to put me in the top line

Some time previously you beat, by thwarting everything forecasts them, experimented Hesdy Gerges (World champion and Europe Champion), it is a beautiful performance, can you say to us what was your state of mind before the fight and especially later?

The promoters of "It’s Showtime" proposed me this fight in only 7 days the event in cause at withdraw of Daniel Ghita. Hesdy Gerges was a very big piece, he stayed on an impressive series with a defeat in points in front of Shilt and 3 landslide victories in front of Balrak, Karaev and Slowinski. I was not specially hone but seen that I go in for sport permanently (in particular of the rugby) that allows me to remain in shape even when I have no fight of planned. Whether it is my trainers or my agent, nobody was heat so that I made this fight but me I really wanted to test in front of a top of the new generation (besides advanced by K-1), It was really a beautiful playing card for me and I do not wish a "protected" career, I like leaving "in the war" with the feeling that is going to be hard...

The objective thus was to make a good fight and I made better still because I am win, I played the "ping-pong" with Hesdy and my strategy worked because I marked more point, a real happiness to take him and then André Mannaart (my coach) was also very happy because Gerges comes from Chakuriki Amsterdam and Mejiro-Chakuriki, it is a little the Dutch OM-PSG (Team football French).

"It’s Showtime" is broadcasted on a big channel in the Netherlands and we often speak to me about the fight...

Year 2010 begins really well for you because you gain champion's belt of Europe WPMF in front of English Chris Knowles (World champion IMFA), because represents this title for you?

I am very happy to gain a title in Muay Thai, furthermore I really demonstrated that I was well and truly "Nakmuay" by serving me perfectly as elbows. I finish the fight in the 1st round by cutting 4 times English. I who really wanted to take out elbows for my 1st fight without elbow pad I was not disappointed, it is really a redoubtable weapon.

In 2009 you participate in a tournament K-1 in Japan, you know well stadium of Tokyo to have often gone to it to accompany your friend Jérôme Le Banner, but how did you live this evening as fighting in it prestigious global event?

To Know the Japanese circuit "from the inside" doubtless played in my favour. I approached all this very simply, savour every moment and by being really very happy to fight in the most prestigious of organizations. I did not put to myself pressure, the objective was to take some pleasure and that was completely filled. I was satisfied to beat the new Dutch "phenomenon" in the person of Rico Verhoeven. Before our fight there was only for him, the new Peter Aerts, at the end of a few days it had become a little bit irritating. Regrettably I have accumulates 1/4 and 1/2 final within 10mn! I am thus defeated in half finale but that remains nevertheless an excellent experience.

Find you in final of Grand Prix K1 and to win this supreme title, it is a thing in which you aspire?

In whom I dream, YES, about whom I aspire, we shall see later, there is a very long road before aspiring in such a coronation. Of course, it is the dream of every boxer that to win one day K-1 but until now were only 7 capable. As for me, I take the fights one after the other, always in the optics to indulge itself and I like that the boxing remains a passion and a compulsory duty. So if I manage one day to skip into 8 finalists of the K-1 I could begin to think of the coronation, but not before, it is useless.

What are the strongest champions in your category at present? And do you hope one day to face them?

To day we cannot deny the superiority of Sem Shilt, then even if its style is not very attractive and if sometimes we miss in front of his fights, there is the best!

Many persons denigrates him, it is true that it is not the most charismatic champions but it is the most impressive, he beat everything them better and deserves the respect. There is also Badr Hari who becomes more and more impressive, to be me train with him some years ago, it knocked already very then in the time and did not stop of progressed since. I think that it is rightly considered as the current number 2.

Of course, I would like to face the best of my category, a fight with Badr is moreover can be not so distant because I beat his 2 precedents challenger in "It’s Showtime" (Mourad Bouzidi and Hesdy Gerges). A fight of such an importance can be only beneficial for me and if it had to arrive it is sure that I would give myself to 200 %.

You are a beautiful heavyweight with your 1m97 and your 108 kg but in front of opponents experimented as Semmy Schilt (2m12, 130 kg), Alistair Overeem (1m95, 118 kg) or Badr Hari (1m97, 105 kg), what would be your tactics of fight?

I am now in 116kg, my habits of trainings changed and he results from it an exponential weight gain, almost 1kg a week in the 10 weeks. My style is not very attractive (same as Schilt) but I have the peculiarity to blur the boxing of my opponent by counter a lot. If such fights took place for me, I shall remain faithful to my technical style, I would need all the same more power and more speed to hope to counter one of these "monsters".

You like to fight in Full Muay Thai, when you fights in rule K1 you also feel at ease when Muay Thai? In what shape of fight you prefer to fight?

Muay Thai! Muay Thai was always my favourite style and although I do not train any more with elbows for example it is always a pleasure to find them the space of a fight, I indulge myself moreover very often by cutting my opponents. By way of contrast, the clinch is not my speciality and I more feel at ease in blow of direct knee, that is why I also very feel at ease in style K-1.

It is rather difficult to find fights in the full Muay Thai for a heavyweight it is in France or abroad, what you think of it?

It is generally the elbows which raise problems, in heavyweight elbows are a redoubtable weapon and few heavyweights indeed want to take the risk of fighting in full Muay Thai. There is also a problem of the hegemony of K-1, today to propose an event K-1 or K-1 rules is often more attractive for the public who knows better this naming. It is harmful for Muay Thai because of many fights would be interesting in Full Muay Thai but for a concern of popularity the organizers often propose them in rule K-1, it's a pity…

I have the impression that you like very much the Thai Boxing because you went as far as be tattooed « มวยไทย » (Muay Thai in Thai) on him behind of the skull, which means this tattoo for you and think you that Muay Thai is more than a sport, is that you see him as a Martial art?

Even if I started by the Savate it is always of the Thai Boxing which I wanted to make. It is by looking at the events of Thai Boxing on TV canal + (and especially the King’s Birthday, appointment inevitable for me) that my passion for Muay Thai was born. Make me tattoo Muay Thai in the skull was thus logical because I wanted to put in the honour my passion.

With all the traditional side which surrounds Muay Thai, it is evident that than makes of this last one much more that a sport and it is no shocking that to consider Muay Thai as a martial art.

Are you already going to train in Thailand?

Yes, I had the pleasure to accompany Jérôme Le Banner for his preparation in K-1 in 2008. We crossed more than 2 weeks in the Fairtex gym of Pattaya. It was really very pleasant, between the sun, the lessons of PAO when we wish it, the fitness gym air-conditioned and the general atmosphere of the Thailand, it was a very enriching journey. Complex Fairtex is really High Tech, we find the champions there who train for it (Narupol, Yodsenkaï, Kem), there is also an Olympic swimming pool, a climbing wall, a football pitch it is really a complex 100 % dedicated to the sport and the conditions to train are optimal.

It said I wish to come back to Thailand for a journey more dedicated to the "roots" of Muay Thai, I intend there to attend a fight in Lumpinee or in Radjadamnoen and to train in a prestigious camp and not necessarily dedicated to farengs (foreigners) but on the contrary more traditional

What are your Thai fighters preferred in Thai Boxing, of the former and the new generation?

Then, as for the former generation, I estimated particularly Saïmaï and I keep in head its victorious fights against Christian Garros, Johmod was also pleasant to watch fighting even if he went too far not bad. My favourite Thai will remain Sagmonkon. His fight against Perry Ubeda or he dislocate the shoulder several times but wins all the same by means of middle on the arm of Dutch is simply heroic, one of my favourite fights moreover...

As for the new generation, I have (as everybody or almost) liked Buakaw when he landed in K-1 Max with his legs of madness’s. 1ères years he really had madman's style, afterward he sharply improved sound English but of the blow his style was less spectacular, at least for me who like kicks, it also a little lost of its "grinta" that he had during 1ers K-1. There is also a machine Yodseanklai which is impressive and I like the caustic of small Khem.

And for French?

As I said, I grew with the events of Thai Boxing which broadcasted on TV Canal +, it was in the 90s and in this time, Dida, Danny Bill, Stephan Nikiema, J.C Skarbowski or Mourad Sari was often of the part. I liked very much all boxers who defended the colours of France during the King’s Birthday in Thailand, nevertheless I had a preference for Danny Bill's style, a visible redoubtable "nonchalance" of efficiency. I had also quite a lot of admiration for Christian Garros who often proposed very beautiful fights (victory or defeat). Then I discovered K-1 and it is naturally Jérôme Le Banner whom I followed particularly. His power was really impressive and as soon as I wanted to impress my friends with a video of boxing, it is the fight of Jérôme that I showed.

As for the new generation, Team Nasser K really produces excellent fighters, that whether it is Lidon, Pinca or Mabel, they are very hardly all besides being spectacular. Karim Gadhji is also a good fighter enjoying to see evolving.

You began the boxing in which gym and at which age?

I began in 12 years in Boxing Gym Lariche, in the time there was only a Savate, I have of to wait for my 14 years to pass in the Kickboxing and finally in 16 years I put myself in Thai. The gym was in 45km from my home and after the school I go there, my mother waited patiently in the car for the end of the training, sometimes several hours (thank you Mom).

In 18 years you decide to leave for Holland, the country of the Kickboxing by excellence, why you chose to go you to train over there?

I wanted to become professional a fighter for some years already, except in France he was very difficult to progress because I was one JUNIOR heavyweight, I did not thus meet many peoples what was worth to me several journeys in Paris to come back there without having fought… It is then that I turned to the Netherlands, I went there at first a weekend to test the ground and once the high school diploma in pocket I left during the undated summer of return planned. I was in a camping, (the tent canvas the summer of the heat wave it is not top), and I visited everything the prestigious gyms. Liking the style of Remy Bonjasky and having an excellent contact with André Mannaart it is in Mejiro that I decided " to put my suitcases " for, finally, to become professional a boxer.

How it is crossed your first approach in the Dutch gyms, were you welcomed well?

The answer is categorical, YES, I was very well welcomed everywhere or I went me to train. Whether it is Mejiro, Your Gym, team Aerts, team Hoost he always a good welcome which is reserved for the serious boxers and come to progress.

According to you who tested the great Dutch infrastructures, which miss in France in Kickboxing to have something similar, the craze of the public? Financial means?

It is true that it is paradoxical to see a "big" country as France producing fewer champions than a "tiny country" as Netherlands (and not Holland, simple Dutch province). Once in Amsterdam I fast understood that our sport was not accommodated in the same sign in 2 countries. In the Netherlands, the boxing really benefits from a very good media exhibition. The champions as E.Hoost are going to participate has many television quiz shows for example, the posters of events show are visible everywhere, at the school it is normal to say " I make of the boxing " for a kid while to us it is rarer, the television proposes summaries of the events or broadcasts the big events…

In brief with a more important exhibition, a state of mind more voluntary and more many events it is evident that than brings more means, it is what is often lacking in France…

In the 80s and 90 Dutch very often came to fight at home, today there is practically nobody more Dutch boxers in our events, you who are often next to them that think of the Dutch fighters on the current events in France?

They are often amazed not to see any more (or less in any case) "big events" to us. They remain persuaded that there is a big activity to us while it is not necessarily the case. It said they consider us as very good boxers and know well the French champions. He keeps the image of France the 90s which proposed very beautiful Boxing Show and which had redoubtable fighters, they it are not necessarily reported that it was different today.

You train at present to the famous Mejiro Gym in Amsterdam, what is your sparing partner and how takes place a session of training in Mejiro Gym?

The reputation of Mejiro is not to be any more made, he formed champions as Rob Kaman, André Mannaart, Fred Royers, Remy Bonjasky. At present, the new generation arrives, we have very good classy young people A (among which the Sons of Milo El Geubli and Léo de Snoo) and Andy Souwer for the light. To the Heavy, we are 4 professionals in more of 100kg (were 8 not long ago) and thus there are no concerns to train. My main sparring is Reamon Welboren, a beautiful baby of 2m02 for 110kg who had a lightning progress. Big champions are also often "on visit" and recently Ewerton Texeira passed one month in Mejiro, it was nice to train with him.

What is pleasant in the Netherlands, it is that it is regular to go to train in the other gyms, it is often popular (contrary in France), and for example in Mejiro, it is often that Saturday, is we receive a nearby dojo or then it is us who we move. So I sometimes train in Team Aerts, in Team Hoost, at Bob Shrijber, in Mike’s gym …

The Kickboxing in Holland is really professional, is what that is really that in the Dutch gyms even a boxer in class B can fight often and win of very good purse?

It is sure that it is not the events which miss in the Netherlands, there is until about ten by weekend, it is thus not difficult to fight, particularly there B. Very often we just have to say to our gym that we want to fight and with the communication which there is between gyms, the fights fall rather fast. For purse, it is very randomly, for example I took 100€ for a fight and 800 for the other one (2 there B)…

It is sometimes more complicated for the classes A because at the moment we meet too much side for "small" events but not enough for the big… 

Do you manage to live on your sport today?

Even if it is not evident it is possible to live on it today but it is all the same deeply recommended to have an activity close. It is moreover for that I am at present in formation in the creps of Vichy to concretize my professional project…

You make party of Team Le Banner, you can say to us what is the composition of this Team, set apart the great champion Jérôme Le Banner, which is the staff and the boxers who are in this Team?

Jérôme and me we are “the regulars" of Team and we benefit from the excellent job of the agent of the team, Alan Kermorvan. We constitute to us 3 the hard core of Team.

Then it is more "blow by blow" and Jérôme works in the feeling to spin sometimes a help to young fighters. There is also Jérôme's medical staff which does not hesitate to take care of us, whether it is Thierry the Physio, Jean Marc the Doc or Thierry for the access to the fitness room, all are very available for us and it is an undeniable advantage. 

Who is your coach to day?

Then, my main coach is André Mannaart of famous Mejiro Gym Amsterdam and it doesn't much matter or I fight André is present. There is also Jérôme Le Banner who is often present in my corner, it is especially as friend whom Jérôme accompanies me and it is a honour of credit in my sides, he knows me by heart and always gives me the trust which I need.

When I am at home, in Tours, it is Stan Pauleau (my 1st coach) who crosses me regularly to the paos

You like travelling to fight if I say to you Amsterdam, Paris, Tokyo, Bangkok, New York, Los Angeles, Milan, which evoke these cities for you?

Then, I am going to answer in the order,

Amsterdam, my second house.

Paris, I have little the opportunity to go to Paris but me who am of a small village, Paris is very too big for me…

Tokyo, very pleasant to stay over there and it is so different, everything is different…

Bangkok, The cradle of the Thai boxing, I would like to stay longer to discover her there more in depth.

New York, was not still lucky to go there, I limited myself in California.

Los Angeles, the madness of the USA, as to us but in XXXL, very pleasant, whether it is the climate or people, top.

Milan, I fought there twice and I was always welcomed well but I do not know well this city.

In a general way these cities remind me in succession the boxing, whether it is from New York for make them you magic of the noble art in Bangkok for the top in Muay Thai by way of Paris and the historic events which took place there.

Until today you how much fight? How much victory, defeat?

I have 26 professional fights, 21 victories among which 10 by KO and 5 defeats. To note that on my 5 defeats, 4 took place during tournaments, really not easy to accumulate several fights in the same evening...

What was your hardest fight until today?

I had many hard fights, the latest one against Hesdy Gerges left quite a lot of marks for example, my cutting defeat against Ustinov in my debuts was not a trip pleasure. If I had to choose that the only one, it would be my victory against Paul Hooplot (champion of the Netherlands) in 2005. I had then 4 fights and 4 victories by KO in the 1st round. When I fought Paul, that surprised me having to deliver a relentless fight, me who was used to the ease. He brings in me inside from the 1st round and I have to lose 2 first ones, once past surprise and with the good advice of André Mannaart and Remy Bonjasky (then in my corner), I am to work me to it and I gain the last 3 rounds. A very hard fight or I went at the end of myself as ever previously, at the time of the decision, I never had (and even today still) was also happy to gain a fight, an excellent moment or we are really proud of one. I had also gained the respect for the team Mejiro (trainers, fighters) and spectators…

Your best memory of boxing?

Besides the fight which I have just described, the feeling of victory and the duty carries out after the fights is often very pleasant. I do not believe credit note of best wishes in particular, it is a whole, the meetings with the champions (Ramon Dekkers, Kaman, Yod, Narupol, Aerts, Hoost, Bonjasky, Hypolythe, Jérôme) are unforgettable moments for a passionate person as me for example. My 1st journey in Tokyo Dome with Jérôme is also a very strong moment, the discovery of the Thailand. The unforeseen also makes me die to laugh, I often take that with the smile and I have him transform into good memories, meet in Japan for coacher Jérôme WITHOUT Jérôme, have to go to fight without plane ticket… In brief, I have no memory in particular but it is more all the moments than constitutes boxers' life (journeys, victories, meetings) which form a good general memory.

And the worst?

boxer's life is not always easy, even there I have the worse moment no mind. I loathe the injustice, I am someone of very straight ahead and the feeling to be flown by the judges is very unpleasant, that arrived at me (fortunately not often) and it is the moment which I did not really estimate.

To pass to side his fight is also a moment when we dread all, nothing worse that to propose a show of a mediocre quality to the public.

Finally, wounds are also moments difficult to manage. The palm returns in my year of 2008 or I accumulate the rather grave problem, the sprain, phlebitis, intellectual concerns… This time, it is doubtless this year in its entirety that constitutes my worst memory.

What are techniques preferred which you like do in fight?

I like particularly the sweepings, I feigned my opponent so that he activates me a kick and I mow down then his leg of support. It is often frustrating to meet several times on the ground during the fight... Counter with a direct knee been a part also techniques which I like crossing during a fight. Naturally when elbows are authorized, I use it without restraint because it is one of my techniques favourite.

What are your strong points?

Difficult to throw flowers to one even... I think that my strong points are my blow of eye, my faculty to adapt me to the fighter whom I have in front of me and my way of anticipating once the boxing ring. In a general way I possess good legs, even if I abandoned them a little recently to progress in fist, as soon as I am in difficult, they come to my help.

And your weak points on which you would most like to work?

Without any hesitation, THE SPEED! I have the peculiarity to be "casual", it is effective but for the show I need much more speed, that goes out better and better to the training but that delays coming fight there. It is really my main gap, then I have to work to have a more clean Boxing and find a little more power, even if this aspect improves from fight to fight I am not still as high as the best.

Today in France in your category there is of very good heavyweight, if I quote you, Fabrice Aurieng, Tony Gregory, Jean Baptiste Kevin, Patrice Quarteron, Nicolas Wamba, Freddy Kemayo, Ennoch Effah, which one you would most like to meet?

I respect all boys, I know the necessary efforts to arrive at the high level and these lads there have of to make big sacrifices to be there or they are there today. In more our sport is one of the most thankless whether he is and it is difficult to live on it. We make all our road each from our part, some come from the other disciplines (with big success moreover) as Effah or Aurieng. That would raise me no problem to fight one of the quoted fighters, except can be a who definitively lost my respect, but exactly a fight with him would be can be the opportunity to make him understand that we are not of the smooth talk.

In brief, I am not kind to choose my fights and anyway each of his boxers would propose an interesting challenge.

You are 24 years old he still stays in you of beautiful year to realize of big thing on the boxing ring, which would like you to carry out for these next years?

I would always like to progress to propose beautiful performances to the public and always keep this notion of pleasure, essential according to me in the good performance anyway. I fought in K-1 and in " It’s Showtime" but to become a "regular" of these organizations would really be security of a beautiful sports success. I also hope to bloom professionally by concretizing a project which holds me heart. I remain to persuade that we can associate sports and professional success, to me to demonstrate him now.

Can you tell us an unusual anecdote with a fight or to a boxing simply?

Oh anecdotes, I have many, hard to choose the only one... The fact of the most surprising fight has certainly be another time or we looked for my tooth on the boxing ring with the referee (Mr Ubeda). It was a fight to Beilen in the Netherlands against Koos Wessels, in the 1st round after a severe right I feel that something dangle in my mouth, I spit then my protect tooth, my tooth comes with... Hup a small to look for with the referee in front of the public died from laughter, we restore my tooth to André, I put back my protects tooth and returns to the fight, I am even going to win...

Except the boxing which make you, what are your favourite leisure activities? Do you practise the other sports?

I am a sporting bulimic, since very young I almost tried everything I think, of the football in the ping-pong by way of the circus (it turned out that the red nose was useless on the boxing ring finally). Among the sports which I practise more regularly, there is a Motocross, one of I 1st crossed, the tennis and the squash, always very physical ideal to unwind and finally my new passion for 2 years, the Rugby. I am dismissed to the club of Luynes and we play in promotion honour. It is a happiness to practise a collective sport where the notion of solidarity is so much present. Between the motorcycle and the rugby the risks of wounds are rather important and I worry sometimes not bad my trainers and my agent Alan, but nothing to make, the envy to indulge itself by playing or by running is stronger than the reason.

At the level combat sport I also tried many, Karate, Tae kwon do, and then that often manages at me to make a little ground to change the boxing.

Otherwise, if I dedicated myself only to the boxing for some years (by being in particular a good part of the year in Amsterdam), I come back, since last September, in Creps of Vichy to follow a BP JEPS pugilistic activities, 1st indispensable stage there for the realization of my professional project.

If I do not regret this decision, the atmosphere in the creps is excellent, we laugh well between boxers, Im longing all the same to me finding a rhythm of more steady training.

What are your next dates of fights?

I have the pleasure to fight on the Reunion island on July 16th, I never went to the Reunion and it is thus with big pleasure which I am going to fight there. I do not still know my opponent, my wish was to have a fight revenge against Tomas Hron, Atila Karacs or Sergei Laschenko but I do not know if it is going to be practicable. The fight will be in Thai boxing and heavyweight agreeing to fight with elbows are not so many than that.

That is going to be a particular evening because Jérôme is also going to fight during this event, once my finished fight I am thus going to rush in his corner, to leave " in the war " together enchants us everything them two excessively. Jérôme is going to compete for a world championship of Thai boxing against the titleholder, the Canadian Tomas Novak.

Do you want to add anything?

Nothing particular if it is not one thanks to those who support me, the friends, the family but also the partners (cefarCompex, Venum, BSC and Linout via Brice Bugnet). Thank you also to Alan Kermorvan my Agent / friend (and vice versa) who makes of very good job for my career. Finally a sincere thanking to the unknown persons who show me their sympathy via my web site (www.briceguidon.com), it is a real pleasure to feel steady and that often gives me the necessary energy to advance.

Thank you for this interview and Chookdee for your fights future!

Thanks to you and good continuation.

 

BRICE GUIDON  

Height: 1m97

Weight: 116kg

Number of fight: 26. 21 wins (10 KO). 5 Losses.

Title: Europe Champion Thai Boxing WPMF (2010). K-1 last 16 Qualifying GP in Tokyo, 3rd place (2009).Finalist K-1 France (2006). France Junior Champion -91kg (2003). France Minors Champion -86kg (2002)

Team: Mejiro Gym Amsterdam / Team Le Banner

Website : www.briceguidon.com


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