INTERVIEW OF MOURAD SARI
By Serge TREFEU (2016)
(Thank to Nash Ular)
SERGE TREFEU: Hello Mourad, how are you?
MOURAD SARI: Very well, thank you
You grew up in what place of France?
I was born to city of Gennevilliers in Paris suburb, I lived behind the carrefour store but I stayed only 2 years in this city, then I grew up to Argenteuil who is a city of the Parisian suburb too
In what district of Argenteuil you were?
In the district of the Yellow City in front of the hospital
It’s in this district that you discovered the boxing?
Yes with guys of my district by means of an association but at the beginning I trained at home and in my cellar of the building…
Then you were go in a gym?
Yes in the gym Tip Team which opened with as coach Bruno Benlabed (European champion of Thai boxing)
BRUNO BENLABED WITH MOURAD SARI
There was a lot of people in this gym?
Yes the place were small but there were all the guys of my district!
At what age you began the boxing?
I began enough late the boxing towards the age of 18 years, 17 years and 10 months to be exact, it’s little late when I see my friend Kamel Jemel (World champion Thai boxing, Europe Champion Thai boxing) which was already inside in the age of 13 years, but good here is…
You had make other sports before the boxing?
Yes I have make on one year of karate
How you knew the Thai boxing, there were champions whom you knew who inspired you for this sport?
I knew nothing of the Thai boxing but really absolutely nothing, I have make this sport because guys of my district by making. Because on the base I was not really a sportsman, I have make this sport to let off steam to me. Then later, we suggested me making a fight and we were there here is…
How it passed your first fight?
My first fight we proposed it to me at 2 pm of after noon to fight in the evening, I promise you, it was like that, I remember it myself it was in event in Hall Carpentier in a big event, I won at points against a guy of Nanterre
What was your first important title?
My title of champion of France, at the time, I had fought the finalist of French championships classe A Philippe Sapan whom I beat in points. Then, he wanted his revenge thus we found ourselves for champion’s belt of French professional in an event to Aubervilliers and I gained
It was in which year?
Then, you took away champion’s belt of Europe?
Yes against Christian Garros in 1995
Christian Garros you beat him twice, I believe?
Yes, I met him twice, once for champion’s belt of Europe and once in the Tournament of 50 000 dollars
In which year you were the first one time in Thailand?
It was in 1994, I fought in a big event in the North of the Thailand to Chiang Raï, there was Dany Bill, Stephane Nikiema, Guillaume Kerner, Farid Villaume, I met a Thai which I beat by KO. It was not my first Thai but the first time that I fought in Thailand…
How it passed your first time in Thailand, you trained in a camp?
No I did not train in camps when I went in Thailand. The only camp where I trained seriously it’s the Pinsinchai camp in Bangkok but I did not stay in the camp, I trained in the morning and after noon, then I went into my hotel
You did not stay of long periods in a camp in Thailand?
No, not I did not want to stay for a long time, at first the training it’s very hard over there, the heat it’s the madness, and then my family missed me too much, my mother missed me too much (Laughter). One day, I promises you, I was in a restaurant, I wanted to hit my head against the table and to come back immediately at my home, I could not any more…
You were not as the champions, Dany Bill, Stephane Nikiema, Guillaume Kerner, Fabrice Payen, Jean-Charles Skarbowsky who stayed for a very long time in camps?
No, them they stayed during long periods in camps. Me, the only camp where I remained longer it’s the Pinsinchaï camp, I stayed there one month. I have also make a camp in Pattaya who was in a building in third floor, a camp which Stephane Nikema had for a moment. I quickly trained just before a fight in Thailand for the camp Jocky and for the Kietbanchong but it was just for the physical to paos, I did not make of sparring…
How much you have make of fights in Thailand?
I have make 25 fights in Thailand
You often fought in the King’s Birthday?
Yes I had to fight seven or eight times in the King’s Birthday. My first one fights in the King’s Birthday it was in 1994, I met Sensing Muangsurin, I beat him by KO. I even fought in the Queen’s Birthday in August, I had met the Thai Bagio which I beat by KO. He was good this Thai, he was very tall for his weight, he was more of 1m80!
MOURAD SARI AGAINST RAMBOJEAW AT THE KING’S BIRTHDAY IN 2004 (DEFEATED BY POINTS OF SARI)
Do you fought several times in the big stadiums of Bangkok, the Lumpinee and the Radja?
At the Lumpinee, I fought six times and at the Radja twice
Do you remember a few of the Thai people you met?
There have been many, I have fought fifty Thai, I don’t remember too much, I fought Orono, he beat me in Thailand after I beat him in Las Vegas, I met Jemthai who was No. 1 in Thailand at the time, Somchai, I beaten by KO, Samaï we met three times, I fought several great names that I put KO like Thedkiet, Den Muangsurin, Kaolan. I also beat Nuengtrakarn, Sakmongkol, Samkor, beat them at points, I fought three times with Nuengtrakarn, beat me twice and beat him once, twice with Sakmongkol, beat me once and I beat him once. I beat the young Thai Samranchai, I fought Jongsanan also, I lost at points against him. I met a lot, I also remember a champion who was very strong, he was champion of the Radja in two categories at the time, it’s Seankeng Pinsinchai I met him in a event in Nanterre, I had made a fight of madness against him, he had beaten me to the points. For this fight we received the trophy of the best fight of the evening. He was a boxer of General Pinsinchai and after that fight, General Pinsinchai he made me fight to Thailand where I met the No. 4 and No. 5 of Radja that I beat. Buakaw also I fought, we did a draw…
MOURAD SARI AGAINST NUENGTRAKARN
MOURAD SARI AGAINST SAKMONGKOL
MOURAD SARI AGAINST SAMRANCHAI
Seankeng when you met him he had the belt of Radja?
Yes it was in 1995 he was a champion of the Radja in 140 lbs. In fact, it was Joss (Jocelyn Christophe, Europe Champion) who had to meet Seankeng, he had to make his last fight in the face of him but he was not able to make the fight. Then they called me two days before the fight so that I meet Seankeng…
You were warned really “on short notice”, you were prepared well to face such a champion?
Yes I was prepared well at that time, I trained hard, I was always ready to make a fight whenever, wherever, I often fought, no problem. I remember once I had fought three times in one month, in France, in Switzerland, I had taken away my three fights by KO. On the other hand, later when I began to fight in kickboxing in the 2000s, I trained much less, I got ready just before the fight, sometimes it was a little bit just because the fights were too much spaced out, there I was lacking boxing ring…
After your fight against Seankeng you met the N ° 4 of the Radja, you only had to face the N ° 2 and the N ° 1 to dispute the belt of the stadium of Radja?
I had already beaten N ° 5 of Radja, later I beat N ° 7 and then I beat by KO with a hook in the body N ° 4 of Radja but I don’t remember any more names of these Thai. Then, I had to fight Taximeter, a very strong champion, very strong in Boxing, and if I won against him I would have been able to fight against Seankeng for the belt of Radja. Taximeter had lost in points against Seankeng for the belt of Radja, were classified N ° 1 in Radja and as me I had beaten N ° 4, I could face Taximeter. But the fight was not made because we did not get on the purse with General Pinsinchaï, he wanted to give us just 7000 francs (1100 €), and we asked him at least for 12 000 francs (1800 €) with plane tickets and hotel but he did not want…
MOURAD SARI BEAT GREAT CHAMPIONS IN THAILAND. HIS NAME WAS KNOWN IN THE WORLD OF MUAY THAI. WHAT WAS WORTH HIM A COVER WITH “ON THE FRONT PAGE” IN ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS SPECIALIZED MAGAZINES OF THE COUNTRY
Samkor was also a formidable opponent, you met him in France?
Yes to city of Levallois but we were already “tired” both. I liked this champion, I remember the first time I met him he had just fought Wilfrid Montagne and he took me directly in his arms like a friend, you know the Thai is rare that they take friends with you, and I did not even know him…
You have make many tournaments at that time, you liked to fight in the tournaments?
Yes but it was in Kickboxing not in Thai boxing, I did not like too much, I fought in the tournaments because in the time there were problems with the federation of Thai boxing, thus I was in the Kickboxing. Then, it did not disturb me to fight in Kick Boxing in the tournaments. But I preferred to fight in Thai boxing
MOURAD SARI AGAINST RIAD REKHIS IN 2003 FOR THE FINAL OF THE GREAT TOURNAMENT IN KICK BOXING, TOURNAMENT WIN BY MOURAD SARI
What was your hardest opponent whom you met in your career?
Den Muangsurin, very hardly. Buakaw also but I met him when I was over the end and in Kickboxing. It was not his knocks which hurt me but it was a rock, when I hit him I had the impression that I hit in some stone. I have make a draw against him but well needs not him to hide he had gained. He had won it is sure but attention I explain to you how it passed before the fights, for my last fights I fought in 75 kg and Buakaw wanted absolutely that I’m below 71 kg otherwise he did not accept the fight. The day of the weighing, his promoter he came to kneel down to verify my weight, I weighed 69 kg 800 and he weighed 71 kg, if I had exceeded 71 kg, they cancelled the fight!
Against Samaï it was very hard also, him when he knocked it was not to laugh, his left leg was powerful, he hurt he, very badly. Samaï he was strong, there are not many which beat him…
MOURAD SARI AGAINST BUAKAW
Samaï you had met him three times?
Yes the first time I met him in the Bataclan, it was live in Thailand in the TV, in France they declared me loser and in Thailand they declared me winner. The second time, I beat him for world champion’s belt to the Arena of Gagny, and the third time he beat me by KO for finale of the tournament of 50 000 dollars. In semi-final of tournaments, Garros he had already killed me, he had affected well me, I had died, I could not it any more and Samaï he finished me…
MOURAD SARI AGAINST SAÏMAÏ
How many world champion’s belts you gained?
I gained seven, and I tell you honestly they are all in a bag in my garage (Laughter). I really made a complete break with all this…
You remember against what opponents gained these belts?
I don’t remember too much, against Saimaï already, also Den Muangsurin and Orono, another Thai which I don’t remember any more the name, the others I don’t remember anymore
You were the first foreigner to win the famous Lumpinee belt in 1999, what memory do you remember of this memorable moment?
Yes good memory but it was hard, for the weight especially. I arrived in Thailand at 71 kg and I had to come down to 63 kg 500, the preparation was hard, it was a period when he made an infernal heat in Bangkok, he had to be 40 degrees. Besides, there was Sami Kebchi (Promoter) who put me the pressure, there was Stephane Nikiema who got ready with me, he was very ready, he made me do madman’s things, I had died, we did not stop going to run, I trained with the combination to sweat, I could not any more…
MOURAD SARI AGAINST SOMCHAI FOR THE BELT OF THE LUMPINE IN 140 LBS, VICTORY OF SARI
THE GREAT PROMOTER SONGCHAI RATANASUBAN WITH THE WINNER OF THE LUMPINE BELT IN 140 LBS, MOURAD SARI
MOURAD SARI AND STEPHANE NIKIEMA PARTICIPATED TOGETHER AT THE ADVENTURE OF THE LUMPINE STADIUM
YOUCEF TOTOF, FABRICE ALLOUCHE, KAMEL KHEMILI, MOURAD SARI, HAKIM KEBCHI, STEPHANE NIKIEMA, TO THE SMALL RESTAURANT OF LUMPINEE STADIUM BEFORE THE FIGHTS OF SARI AND NIKIEMA FOR THE BELTS OF LUMPINEE, MOURAD AND STEPHANE WERE AT THE COMPLETE DIET, THEY EAT NOTHING
The day of the fight in Lumpinee, you were not too much weakened with this loss of weight?
No I was good but it’s for lose weight that I really suffered. I also suffered like that for another fight to lose weight it was against Orono for the revenge because I wanted to beat him absolutely. Because the first time when he had beaten me it was for the King’s Birthday in 99, and I had a personal problem, I did not have been able to train, I fought him without training, I had already died before rising on the boxing ring. Then, I beat him in the United States, I remember Orono after the fight he had told me ” Sari, finity, finity ” (Laughter)
MOURAD SARI AGAINST ORONO
Orono was also a great champion, it was in Las Vegas that you beat him?
Yes it was a tough him too. I remember a small anecdote in Las Vegas, there was Jerome Le Banner, Kamel Jemel, there is Sakmongkol who arrives with Orono, we all take pictures. And there is a star Floyd Mayweather (World champion of Boxing WBC, WBA, IBF, unconquered) who arrives to take a photo also, after Floyd he catches me and he puts me a blow of knees to laugh, it’s good memories!
With Sami Kebchi (Promoter), he often presented me actors and singers known but I didn’t care. On the other hand, once in the United States, there was a commentator Christian Delcourt and he presents me George Foreman (World champion Heavyweight WBA, WBC, IBF), there I caught him at once as if it was my friend (Laughter)
And in Thailand you have some anecdotes to be told us?
You know me in Thailand I did not go out too much, I went to the weighing and then I was leaving quickly, I went in my hotel where I liked to stay, I made my jogging in the morning, that’s all, I did not move too much…
You were a little as Ramon Dekkers, you came in Thailand to make your fight then you left at once?
Yes exactly, I never remained for a long time, camps all this, it did not interest me. Besides, camps when people they tell you that they trained well, it’s not true, most of the time in camps Thai they’re not even paying attention you. I remember the first time that I fought in Thailand when I was in the camp Pinsinchai to train, the boxers they look at you but they don’t train with you, the one who holds the paos makes you work a little on paos and then he tells you goes to the punch bag, he does not even look at you.
On the other hand, after I did my fight all the Thai they came to see me, he called me ” Sari, Sari “, they trained all with me. So that they pays attention on you he really needs that you stay for a very long time in the camp and that you often fight, as Skarbowsky who stayed for a long time, and still, they do not care about you. The Thailand it’s good for the holidays, I returned to it with my grilfriend, it was cooler (Laughter)
What is your most beautiful memory in your career?
The belt of Lumpinee, it’s my most beautiful memory. I remember the head of the military which they made when I gained, I promises you, they did not think that I was going to gain. Same Songchai (Promoter) he did not think that I was going to gain the belt. Because the Thai that I met Somchaï he had just beaten Orono and they thought all that he was going to beat me!
How many fights you have make during your career?
I have make 104 fights with approximately 89 victories
How many victories by KO?
59 victories by KO
It’s many victories by KO, nevertheless you were not a puncher but rather a big striker?
Yes exact, generally I did not put my opponents KO on a blow but after several knocks…
You had an Boxing good, you got ready with professional boxers in Boxing for your fights?
Yes a little, I did some sparring with Khalid Rahilou (World champion of Boxing WBA), little in the gym of promoters Acaries, but no more…
What technique you loved most in fight?
I bet especially on my left leg and my left hook
Is what you still watch the kickboxing and thai boxing events today?
No I disconnected completely. We sometimes invite me in events but I don’t feel so much like going there. I kept some contacts with former as my buddy Kamel Jemel, I have friends in the boxing still as Benatia, guys of Nanterre also, Nash he’s kind as guy
MOURAD SARI IN THAILAND WITH HIS “BUDDY” THE GREAT CHAMPION KAMEL JEMEL ( DARK BLUE T-SHIRT)
Of what think you of the Thai boxing today?
I cannot to tell too much you because I don’t look not much at the fights. But moreover, I believe now that there are fights in three round, it’s no more Thai boxing. The last time when I saw a fight I did not see too much technique, no blocking, no swerving, I have the impression that it’s less technical now but can be I’m wrong…
Want to add something?
I would like to thank all my friends of boxing, I say a big thank you to Kamel Jemel, Jérôme Le Banner and brothers Berbachi
Thank you very much Mourad for this interview!
Thanks to you
Mourad Sari says the “Left-handed from Argenteuil” is a quiet man who knew how to remain faithful to him even. Nevertheless, it’s one of the nak muay European the most titled and his fight’s record is impressive. It’s the real legend of French Muay Thai that wrote the history by becoming the first foreigner to take away the mythical belt of the stadium Lumpinee in 1999 by beating the Thai Somchaï Sor Nantana by KO.
This big fighter was not a stylist but a formidable striker who switched off the light to more than about fifty his opponents. His basic boxing was terribly effective. He control marvelously the swervings, the blockings and the grabes, furthermore, it was a warrior with one mental phenomenal which never moved back!
Mourad Sari met the greatest champions of his generation. He’s one of the foreign champions who met most of Thai champions, beating great champions of the Kingdom of Siam such as Orono Por Muang Ubon (Lumpinee Champion), Sakmongkol Sitchutchok (Lumpinee Champion), Saïmaï Chor Suen (Lumpinee Champion), Kaolan Kaovichit (KO) (Lumpinee Champion), Samranchaï 96 Peenang (Thailand Champion), Den Muangsurin (KO) (Lumpinee Champion), Thedkiet Sitepitak (KO) (Lumpinee Champion), Samkor Kietmontep (Lumpinee Champion), Nuengtrakarn Por Muang Ubon, Sensing Muangsurin (KO), Sakadoien Detlat, Vihoknoï Chor Malithong (KO), Somchaï Sor Nantana (KO) !
Mourad Sari also faced killers of the discipline as Buakaw Por Pramuk (Draw), Rambowjeaw Por Tubtim, Jongsanan Fairtex (Lumpinee champion), Seankeng Pinsinchai (Radja champion) and many others…
The left-hander from Argenteuil has also beaten the great foreign champions who are the French Kader Marouf (KO), Yassine Benahdj, Manu N’Toh, Eddy Saban, Christian Garros, Francois Pennachio, Stephane Nikiema, Wilfrid Mountagne, Riad Rekhis, American Hector Pena, the Dutchman Youssef Akhnikh!
SOFIANE ALLOUACHE, ABDELAH BERRANDOU (SARI COACH), MOURAD SARI, MOHAMED BERRANDOU (SARI COACH)
MOURAD SARI AGAINST MOHAMED BOURKHIS (DEFEATED AT THE POINTS OF MOURAD SARI)
MOURAD SARI AGAINST JAPANESE IOTANI (VICTOIRE BY KO IN THE 1ST ROUND OF SARI)
MOURAD SARI AGAINST WILFRID MOUNTAGNE (VICTORY OF SARI)
Date of Birth: June 20, 1973
Weight: 65 Kg- 70 Kg
Number of fights: 104. 89 Wins (59 KO). 14 Losses. 1 Draw
Title: Lumpinee Champion in – 63 Kg 500 (1999), World champion Thai Boxing in – 67 Kg (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000), Europe champion Thai boxing in – 67 Kg (1995), French champion Thai boxing in – 63 Kg 500 (1992, 1994), Winner of the Grand Tournament in – 70 Kg (2003)
MOURAD SARI IN ACTION