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Temps de lecture : 9 minutes

Interview of CHARLES FRANÇOIS by Serge TREFEU (2010)

Serge TREFEU: Hello Charles how are you, well?

CHARLES FRANÇOIS: Hello to everybody, Yes everything is well and everything can only go for best after this wonderful end of year 2010

You have just gained World Champion WPMF’s belt in Bangkok, can you return over this strong moment, what is that you knew your opponent Swiss Alexandre Boyancé, the titleholder?

It was I could even say the most intense moment of my career, after soon 10 years of sacrifice and work I was lucky to compete for a world belt in Bangkok, it is much more than a dream and a consecration for me. My Swiss opponent was me in no way unknown because on 2 or 3 occasions I fought during events organized by his gym in Geneva and I was able to see him fight, it is the person whom I knew and whom I respected a lot because I knew his human values and of fighters…

It is the second time which you fight in the King’s Birthday, you also fought for the Queen’s Birthday, what are your sensations when you fight during these great events, made share us your feelings before rising on the boxing ring?

Effectively I participated twice in the Queen’s Birthday and now twice in the King’s Birthday it are fights with a particular flavour because it calls back to me my youngest years when I watched fighting the biggest during these events and today to follow their way it is for me a very big honour!

You fought several times in Thailand, what is that you have already fought in one of big stadium of Bangkok?

Regrettably I ‘m not still lucky to fight in a big Thai stadium but I hope that it would be delay…

What difference for you there is to fight in Thailand and in France?

In Thailand it is much more relaxed the preparation and the fight because we really feel that the boxing is very professional over there. We don’t have to manage so much in quoted we can much more concentrate on our fight, we don’t have to juggle between our working schedules and our schedules of training, we swim in the boxing 24 hours a day and the day of the fight is just a formality. While in France we have many thing to be managed, our work, our trainings we accumulate these both tire, the preparation has no same flavour and the public is not still in appointment you regrettably…

How it are crossed your stays in Thailand, what is that you trained in camps, describe we your first ones training over there?

The first time when I went in Thailand I am trained to the camp of general Pinsinchai in Bangkok, it was really the Thailand as I imagined myself him, level dilapidation I was not disoriented because I knew the much worse gyms in France. Otherwise for the training I learnt quite a lot of things especially by observing the small things that taught the professors to the young pupils…

You often came in Thailand with the French team, what is that you also came alone to fight and to train?

Not yet

To Stay in Thailand for a long stay in a camp, to fight then for the camp it is something that you would like to make or in no way?

I have not still had time to come to perfect me in Thailand much more for a long time. But for the moment I do not feel the need my method of work has can be his gaps but it suits perfectly in my style of boxing thus for the moment I prefer to train me in France because we have very good professors also and who have show their ability

What are the opponents whom you met in Thailand?

Isae ingram gym, Samson Sith Ubon, Bird Kham, Alexandre Boyance and the others but I don’t remember the name …

Among the Thai champions known in your category, – 67 kg, there is Sudsakorn, Samranchai, Noppadet, Kongfah, Big Ben, Numpon, you know them would like you to face them?

Yes of course I am interested in Muay in Thailand a lot thus quite his champions are not unknown me and I would like to meet them because they are fighters whose style I estimate and they are of great champion!

Before conquering your World champion WPMF’s belt you gained champion’s belt of Europe, it was against which opponent, can you return on this fight, it was when?

I gained this belt in February to Ludres (near Nancy 54) in an event organized by Mr Gabriel Henion, I met Edgar ” the Fox ” Zunga of Friends Gym of Brussels then in June I put back my title in game in front of champion of Italy Michele Bottai and I gained this fight by stop of the referee in the 3rd round. Was it a very big year for me because I competed for 4 belts in all and I gained 3 thus I can be only satisfied

You really climbed levels little by little, by being at first several times champions of France, then Europe Champion and finally the supreme title, World champion, what are your ambitions now, which title would like you to have, that of the WBC for was example held by the Thai Big Ben Chor Praram?

Yes it is true that I really climbed everything levels, I took everything the titles one by one in the order in passing regional titles in educational then national then regional and national in junior and amateur and so on until the world champion’s supreme title. Now I would like to gain the biggest belts thus the WBC is a make party of my objectives and why one day to be lucky to compete for a belt of one of big Thai stadium!

What are the known boxers whom you fought since the beginning of your career?

Edgard N’ zunga, Elias Aharam, Ibrahim Chiaou, Bouba Konta, Abdellah Azbiri, Michelle Bottai, Bird Kham, Isae Ingram Gym, Kaoponglek, Arezki Chayem, Sula Jetmir

The opponent who gave you most opposition?

For the moment I would say Kaoponglek because he has a great deal of experience and in spite of what we can say of he is not finished yet and plans well to prove him…

Who are for you the best world fighters in your category?

I am not going to quote from Thai because there is far too much but I would say in the first one Fabio Pinca after there is Andrei Kulebin, Liam Harrison, Mosab Amrani if he can again make the 65 kg weight …

What was your hardest fight so far?

The one who my given most difficulties for the moment I would say that it is Bird Kham because it is a very clever and vicious boxer those who met him are not going to contradict me. Otherwise on the physical plan and the power I would say my fight in front of Vito Russo and Kaoponglek more recently…

Your best memory of boxing?

At night from 4 till 5 December of this year for the moment I cannot dream better!

And the worst?

My wound in front of Thanassak (In Paris) because it is the fight which I had great well prepared, I felt very well and the fight had started rather not bad, it would have make a beautiful fight for the public, I think and regrettably I injured myself the 1st round. My ankle typed in the elbow because of an error of my part, fortunately thanks to a good re-education and sessions of osteopathy it did not compromise my fight for the belt…

How much you have make of fight until today, victory and defeats?

By counting only the Classy fights In A and B, I have 38 fights for 32 victories among which 25 before the limit and 6 defeats. If I count with the amateur fights and junior I think that I arrive has little near in 70 fights

You have a lot of victory by KO?

I have 25 wins before the limit on 38 fights

How you discovered Muay Thai?

Thanks to reports and by looking at fights at the television at the beginning of the 90s, I was very young I was approximately 8-9 years old but I remember it as if it was yesterday, I wanted at once to practise this sport but regrettably there was no gym near my home. When a gym opened in my district I went to it directly!

Speak to us about your debuts, in what gym you began with which professor?

I began in my district in the city of Metz, in the time the gym was called Cobra Gym. We trained in a room in the limit between a cellar and a garage. But she was great well ordered and she really made boxing for the former. She was every day opened and I had even keys seen as it was just in quoted by my building. I was there all the time, I trained, I looked at videos of fights, we were made barbecues, it was my 2nd house. The president was called Mr Gourville, it is known in the world muay to have organized of very beautiful events in the nearby city (Woippy) with at the time of championships of Europe and the World in which in participated Farid Villaume among others. In my debuts there were several trainers in the gym, Fabrice Riconneau, Kamal Benlafquih, Alain Kricka, Franck Gourville, and Stéphane Leichtmann. Some are not any more in the world of the boxing of the others created their gym. But since the beginning I am with my current coach Stéphane Leichtmann and I always have about the small team which revolves all around to advise to me, more new as Mammar Houari and Benjamin Duarte (sorry for those whom I forget)…

When you began the Thai boxing, what is what there are champions who inspired you, who gave you the envy to rise on a boxing ring?

There was a lot, I really had no model, I was inspired by the maximum of fighters’ style as well French, Thai, from Dutch as Japanese or other. There was Danny Bill, Samath, Masato, Kaman, Hug, Namsaknoi, Farid Villaume, Vincent Vielvoye and many others…

You grew in which region, in which district?

I was born and I always lived in Metz (57) in Lorraine, I lived at first in the district of Borny until my 14 years and now I belong to Bellecroix. It is there where I began Muay just a step from my building in a gym which serves now as automobile cleaning company…

In your region, Muay Thai is developed well?

Yes in Lorraine there are many gyms but it is a very big region thus it is not evident that we meet to turn between us rather regularly. Fortunately my department has 3 borders (Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany) thus it facilitates the exchanges with the foreigner. Concerning my city she has already sheltered the champions such as Ahmed Lain and Mhand « doudou » , Boukhedim and in my gym we are several classy fighters A among whom Karim Souda and Amine Zitouni

Who attracted you in this sport?

His real sport, before discovering Muay Thai, I also looked as everything at the young people of my age of wrestling matches but we were not fooled we knew very well that it was of the show. And when for the 1st time I saw a fight of Muay Thai and when I saw that he did not pretend, this sport my at once interested, much more than the boxing because there was besides the techniques of legs and clinch. I saw reports on camps of training in Thailand and to see the hardness of the trainings, it my tempted to practise a real combat sport…

For you the Muay Thai it is a sport above all or is it much more than one sport, how would define it you?

For me I see it like a trade, I involve myself almost the every day I sacrifice my family life, social, for this activity. And that saddens me that in spite of the number of year of existence of this sport in France, it is also difficult to be able to live about it especially in France. But fortunately the things start to change, it is on there will be always people to criticize and say that it is not necessary that becomes a business. But I think that it is really important that become an activity as another simply by respect for all that the old ones achieved to promote this discipline. It is inadmissible which still today boxers “professional” fight for nothing, one sacrifices oneself much, one risks of serious wounds, one cannot do that without nothing, the money is not an end in itself and can sometimes rot the sporting spirit but a happy medium is needed nevertheless. That what is one will become at the end of our careers and which is what will remain us except for beautiful memory and some trophies. So still, 10 years after I continue to do as much sacrifice, I will speak frankly, it is well to be able to release me nevertheless a small remuneration of Muay Thai, and to be able to put money of with dimensions for my projects. One my always known as and I learned thanks to the high level sport that one with nothing without anything… 

Are you pure a nakmuay, is what you already fought in other disciplines and would like you to go to defy champions in disciplines different from holds?

Icarried outonly onefightinK1againstAbdellahEzbiri,itwasarathergoodexperiment,for the momentIdevote myselftoMuay Thai.But if one proposes good opportunities to me I am ready fight in all the styles in boxing, I am opened with any proposal but at present my priority remains the Muay Thai…

Which technique you like to make more on the boxing ring?

Iliketo do everything,Iadaptmystyletoeachcombataccording tomyadversaryIdo not havetechniquewhichIam fond ofmore particularly

Do the techniques of blow of elbow you also work them in the gym?

Yes in the gym one works primarily into pure Muay Thai thus one also works the elbows and that since always. I carried out almost the totality of my fights with the elbows and almost all my fights classifies A with the elbows without elbow pads apart from the championships of France or the elbow pads was obligatory.

Is there an adversary in particular which you would like to meet?

There is several but it is on I would like fight Fabio Pinca because it is him number 1. I do not want to roast the stages but I hope well that this fight will be done one day considering which one evolves now in the same category (between 65 and 67kg)

Do you work, how manage you to reconcile works it and a high level training?
I work on my account recently thus I am able to get clear a little more time for my preparation. But it is on it is not obvious because I do not have fixed hours and I have projects in preparation, I never stop, I work 7 days a week, that should not be obvious for my wife, she has courage and I thank it for being understanding…

How much times per day you training, describe to us a little a standard training before a fight?

In period of fight, I’m train 5 times per week. In general, the morning I leave to make a light jogging or I make bicycle and the evening in the gym it is more centred general physical preparation and work technical-tactic. One starts with rounds of attack directed with pre technical topics establish by the coach then rounds of pao, 5 minimum, that can go until 10. Then one passes to the sparring, clinch and at the end one always finishes by pumps, abs and reinforcement of the muscles of the neck and nape of the neck. When I cannot go in the gym of boxing, I work my cardio on bicycle or I leave to make split on a track of athletics. My physical preparation is not copied on those of the peoples of Thailand, I work more on explosiveness than on automatisms…

Which are your projects for 2011?

The sporting project which holds me more with heart for 2011 would be to defend my title in my city in Metz. There is never event here but there is request and the local mediums are close following, the project I hope that will be able to be carried out. If not at the level I fight hope to have very good proposal for fight a little abroad (the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, United Kingdom or others) because I wish to discover new countries and to export itself, I hope that my title will open doors to me!

Your next fight?

For the moment I do not have any date still fixes, I wait until all is finalized and to have good proposals as well financial as sporting. I am not materialist but it is necessary to be realistic a sporting career it is short in time. And to gain a world title the day of the King’s Birthday that can be minted, others thus touch good purse without asset taken no title if one can for one one can for the other, and I hope well to take advantage of my rights and to put in advance my competences. I hope that all the combatants will make in the same way and will not agree any more to sell off their competences under pretexts which they do not box enough and which they make that just by passion. One needs that it thinks of all that there is concerned as well the preparation as they undergo and the sacrifices which they must carry out, between the vacation which they take only for boxer or opportunities which they leave of with dimensions only for go fight, one needs well that is minted, not. In the life of the every day one will never propose to a graduate of HEC to come to work for the smic under pretext which it would make a trade that it likes and well for me in boxing that should be the same thing…

Do you want to add something?

I make a point first of all of thanking all those which formed me, my trainer since my beginnings Mr. Leichtmann Stephan and all those who was there too at the time of Mr. Gourvil. I thank also my family and my wife to be always at my sides, to support itself, I also thank all those which believes in me since the beginning “sincerely”, my sponsor KAG Clothing, my partners of training and the members of the French team as well as the FFSCDA for all that it makes to promote as well as possible the disciplines, sorry for all those which I forget you be in my heart all the same…

Thank you for this interview and CHOOKDEE for your fights

Large a thank you with you and for all that you make for Muay Thai


Birth date: October 4th 1986 in Metz

Weight: 65 – 67 kg

Height: 1m79

Number of fight: 38. 32 wins (25 KO). 6 Losses.

Title: 6 times France Champion. Twice Europe Champion. World Champion WPMF 2010

Team : Cobra thaï 57