Interview of SOURIS MANFREDI
by Serge TREFEU (2020)
Hello Souris. How are you ?
Souris Manfredi: Hello Serge, I fought yesterday in the Thai Fight (Defeated against world champion Petchjeeja Lukjaoporongtom, November 7, 2020). I’m doing great and can’t wait to resume training next Thursday
In which corner of France did you grow up?
I was born in Besançon. I stayed there until I was 16
Were you a rather feisty little girl or not at all?
I grew up in a popular area where there were a lot of children and although I wasn’t looking for a fight, I found it a lot…
Are you the only sportswoman in the family?
My father and my brother are black belts in Judo. This is the first martial art that I practiced from 8 to 13 years old
How did you find out about boxing?
I left the family home very early to travel the world alone, by hitchhiking or by bike. While on a trip to Romania, I stumbled across an MMA gym and decided on a whim to take the lesson. From then on and for the next six months, I learned Kickboxing and BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu)
What attracted you to boxing and more specifically Muay Thai?
When I returned to France, I wanted to continue training and having gone to city of Grenoble, I was referred to the Martial Gym of Cedric Combes
SOURIS MANFREDI WITH HIS FIRST MUAY THAI COACH CEDRIC COMBES
How many fights did you do in France?
Basically, my goal was to fight in MMA. I then started Muay Thai in parallel with the BJJ competitions to perfect my boxing. I became European champion in BJJ and then joined the national MMA team with which I competed at the amateur world championships in Las Vegas.
In total, I did 7 amateur and semi-pro fights in Muay Thai.
The year after my national semi-pro title, I had to fight abroad because I had no proposal in France. I fought there 10 times and won a European belt
SOURIS MANFREDI MMA FIGHT AGAINST ROMANIAN CHAMPION DIANA BELBITA
What do you think of the level of female Muay Thai in France?
There is a very good level, the categories are full and the arrival of young fighters already very seasoned promises an explosion at the international level of our French in the years to come!
In what year did you go to Thailand?
I went there for the first time in 2016
Which camp have you been to train in?
I started training with Namsaknoi and then I went to the FA Group camp in Bangkok where I rented a room near the camp. Afterwards, I decided to put my luggage for three months on Koh Phangan at Chinarach Muaythai and sleep in the camp. I shared the dormitory with tourists who didn’t mind the rest of those who got up early to train in the morning. So I cut it short by taking over housing outside…
Were your first training sessions in these camps difficult, did you easily adapt to Thai living conditions, high heat, spicy food, foreign language?
Like most foreign boxers, it took me a fortnight to adjust to the temperature and humidity.
Regarding training, I came from Romania where at the end of the commando training courses we were made to walk on embers, so physically and mentally I had already experienced a higher level of intensity.
I ate spicy long before I came to Thailand. I like to be dependent on my food and wherever I go I have always cooked on my own. I like to share my recipes and even if at the beginning we did not understand each other, the culinary language is universal and open to discussion
Which camp are you currently training in?
For over three years, I have been training at the Lookyamo Training Camp in Charlton Henri
SOURIS MANFREDI WON HIS FIRST BELTS IN THAILAND WITH KHRU CHARLTON
How was your first meeting with coach Charlton Henri? Charlton Henri is renowned for being an excellent coach, but a demanding, meticulous and passionate coach who does not give his students any favors, did that suit you right away?
I was looking for a coach who could really give me time individually to improve technically. My coach from Grenoble then guided me to Charlton.
In the Thai camps that I had been able to do, I felt that training women pissed them off more than anything else.
The first thing Charlton said to me in our first message conversation was that he was glad he could train a woman, so I grabbed my plane ticket and went to his camp in Isaan.
At the first practice, he completely changed the position of my legs and my guard. Each of his explanations made sense, so I decided to stay to follow his learning.
Charlton has a reputation for being tough and cold, yet he is the most open-minded, attentive, closest and available coach to his boxers that I have ever known. He’s demanding because boxing is. Charlton is only preparing his boxers for a reality they will have to overcome when they step into the ring. And as he says, “Prevention is better than cure”.
Anyone can step into a ring, stand in it, and get to the end of a fight takes work. Win a fight requires even more. Continuing to win and perform against ever stronger opponents requires high standards of daily work. And if the coach does not set the tone, boxers often tend to rest on their laurel. Charlton doesn’t give him that chance. He is a competitor and he asks the boxers to be constantly at the level of their goal.
When I was told to stop Muay Thai, he told me I would become the world champion and that’s what happened after that. He has this madness that makes us transcend ourselves, having him around is something!
Can you describe a typical day of your daily training with Khru Charlton for us?
Whether private or group lessons, training changes almost every day. Of course, we stay on boxing but the exercises vary and are mostly themed or specific to the technical or physical progression of the boxer.
Outside of preparation, we mainly work on the technique, perfecting those already seen and adding new techniques. For physical work we set up programs according to the needs of the moment.
Upon confirmation of a fight date, we gradually increase the intensity, we put in place a strategy that we repeat in paos and sparring. The preparations are based on the style of boxers that I will meet, their strengths and weaknesses, which makes them different in each fight
SOURIS MANFREDI SPEND LITERS OF SWEAT IN PAOS WITH KHRU CHARLTON
These spartan physical exercises also strengthen your warrior mind. You have a huge “Fighting Spirit”, you can see it in your fights, you don’t let go until the end of the match, is that big fighter mind one of your strengths?
Obviously these trainings help to forge the mind. Going through these workouts and Charlton himself gives a very powerful mental toughness. The ring seems easier after preparations where you have been made to go through all possible states. When preparation itself is a constant struggle, you are ready at all levels. My mind also comes from the fact that I like a job well done and done. I try to stop my opponent by all means. I taste like blood in my mouth, and the ring is when I can express it!
What is your favorite technique in fight?
I don’t have a favorite technique, however I like clinch work. Particularly in Lethwei (Burmese Boxing) because there are no restrictions on taking to the ground, which allows me to be able to express my fight and my Judo and offers many opportunities for head shots
You quickly settled in Thailand, why this choice to live in this country, because you have more opportunities to fight than in France?
I wanted to improve more and better, so I looked for the best. I wanted to fight as often as possible, Thailand seemed to me to be the most suitable country. I don’t like living in France, everything guided me to the land of Siam.
I’m staying there because I’m making my career with Charlton. We started a project together, we will finish it together. We know each other very well, and in a sporting career it is essential to have a coach who knows how to work with the athlete. I am loyal in life, he is my coach and my manager. I have complete confidence in him.
What we have created is unique and precious. And to continue in the compliments for him, I think he is one of the best coaches in the world. When you have this level at your disposal, it would be really counterproductive to look elsewhere…
Can you tell us about your first fight in Thailand and how it went?
It took place on the island of Koh Phangan. I fought an experienced and technical young woman. But a clear difference in aggressiveness and power quickly made the difference
How many fights did you do in Thailand? In which stadiums you fought?
While preparing in Thailand I fought five times abroad. Once in Malaysia, twice in China for the WLF and EM LEGEND and twice for the WLC in Burma in Burmese boxing. I also traveled to London to compete in the Muay Thai Grand Prix against WBC champion Ruth Ashdown who forfeited a few days before the event.
In Thailand, I fought 25 times. At the beginning in the stadiums of Phuket (Chaweng, Patong), Korat (Suranaree), Chiangmai where I won two stadium belts (Thapae, Kawila, Chiangmai stadium) and in villages everywhere.
I fought for the “Nai Kanomthom” event in Sukhotai for the WPMF world belt, for the IFL promotion in Pattaya, Muay Hardcore and Superchamp in Bangkok which I did the tournament at 4, in Rachaburi on channel 3, in Kard Chuak (Fight without gloves) for the SIAM KARD CHUAK and recently at the THAI FIGHT
SOURIS MANFREDI FIGHTED IN KARD CHUAK STYLE (FIGHT WITHOUT GLOVES)
Who are the famous fighters that you have met?
Nora Cornolle (Champion of the Enfusion tournament), Diana Belbita (UFC), Sawsing Sor Sopit (Several times world champion), Sayfa (WPMF world champion, WBC international, 8 times Thailand champion), Eh Yanut (N° 1 in Cambodia), Luknum (WPMF World Champion), Dangkongfah (Thailand Champion), Hongkaew Mor Rajabat (WMO World Champion), Dokmaipa (WMC World Champion), Petchjeeja (World Champion, THAI FIGHT STAR, female fighter of the year 2017)
Who do you think are the strongest current champions in your category? Is there one in particular that you would like to face? What category do you fight in?
Whether in Muay Thai or K1, the best are between 51 and 54 Kg (My category). For a year now, I have been offered fights where I am the challenger, by fight record and experience. I am at a point in my career where I have to face the elite in order to improve. And although it has cost me some losses, they are essential to building my game and achieving my goals in the future.
The multiple world champion, the French Anissa Meksen currently lives in Thailand, she fights in – 52 kg, would you like to challenge this great champion?
Challenger a boxer under contract with an organization you are not part of is like the dog barking behind his gate. It does not lead to anything except making a fool of yourself. Anissa Meksen is the greatest French fighter of all time. In the absence of the challenger, it is above all necessary to be the challenger to claim to want to fight it.
If I got the chance to meet her in the ring, I would agree to it right away. But in no case would I start trash talking to interest people in this confrontation…
If this fight could be done, would you like it to be in Thailand or rather in France?
If it’s in Muay Thai everywhere except in France. Elbow pads and lack of training in how to referee the clinch would pollute the fight. In K1 style why not in France
What titles have you won?
Thapae stadium champion, Chiangmai stadium champion, semi-pro AFMT French champion, TOP KOMBAT European champion, Lethwei WLC world champion
THAPAE STADIUM CHAMPION
CHIANGMAI STADIUM CHAMPION
In August 2019, you were the first Frenchwoman to fight in the famous World Lethwei Championship organization, you beat the Cambodian Eh Yanut (Daughter of the legendary champion Eh Phouthong). Can you tell us about your first fight in Burma in Lethwei style, how did you feel about the atmosphere in Thailand?
My first fight in Lethwei was like a kind of revelation. I really liked it and felt more comfortable in this form of fighting than in Muay Thai or K1. The head shots came out spontaneously, I was able to use judo and wrestling throws. I really liked the atmosphere of the audience in Burma. It’s a step above Thailand, the crowd is really going and very supportive. I loved !
SOURIS MANFREDI IS THE FIRST FRENCH TO FIGHT IN THE WORLD LETHWEI CHAMPIONSHIP ORGANIZATION
How many fights did you have in Lethwei?
I fought 3 times
LETHWEI STYLE FIGHTS ARE VERY VIOLENT
A year later, in August 2020, you achieved a great performance by winning the title of world champion WLC (World Lethwei Championship) by beating the Spaniard Masha Katz, can you come back to this great moment?
I entered the ring with complete confidence. In the first round, I found the weakness and she took the first knock down. My right hook was the key, so I kept pressing with my Boxing while alternating throws to tire her out. She was counted again in the fourth round and on the call of the fifth round she had her eyes completely closed, her corner decided to throw in the towel!
As a WLC World Champion, do you know when to defend your title and against whom?
I don’t know when my next title defense will be, but I imagine my opponent will be the Italian Miriam Sabot who after her last victory has become the official challenger
Is your goal now also to win a world title in Muay Thai?
I want to continue fighting in Muay Thai and K1 and a world title in these disciplines are of course career goals
What has been your hardest fight so far?
My fight with Sawsing left me with a very bitter taste. I lost the decision, took a knock down and was open in the first round. I came back well despite that, and I think I won the other two rounds. Nevertheless, the decision is understandable. Being in his country, matchmaker of the promotion and favorite, I understand very well.
I long for revenge. But Sawsing had warned me that she didn’t want to fight with me again. The WLC offered to fight me for the world title. But she refused…
Your best memory of fighting?
My recent victory for the first women’s world title in Lethwei. I’m glad I was able to donate this belt to the camp. In thanks for the work and sacrifices Charlton has made from the start
What are your goals for 2021?
Take more experience to train myself and be able to compete with the elite in a few fights
Do you want to add something?
Thank you for this interview Serge, and to all the people who took the time to read it and who support me
Thank you very much for this interview and CHOOKDEE for your future fights!
Souris Manfredi is a ring warrior, she only lives to fight, her aggressive style and determination in fight make her impressive. She is a real rabid pittbull, she never lets go until the end of the match, she could be nicknamed “The Devil Pittbull”!
SOURIS MANFREDI IN ACTION
BORN TO FIGHT
Souris Manfredi entered the history of combat sports by being the first woman to win the title of world champion in ‘Lethwei’ style (Burmese Boxing). Burmese boxing is considered one of the most dangerous boxes in the world. It is a martial art originating in Burma (Myanmar) which uses fight techniques similar to Muay Thai, with the addition of head shots which are authorized. The fights take place with bare hands which makes the matches even more violent!
On August 28, 2020, in Burma, Rangoon, the French Souris Manfredi defeated the Spanish Maisha Katz (Muay Thai World Champion) by abandonment due to injury. Souris Manfredi became WLC world champion in – 54 Kg!
WLC WORLD CHAMPION
SOURIS MANFREDI IN BIRMAN MAGAZINES
In Thailand, Souris Manfredi begins to make a name for herself, because she does not refuse anyone, she is always ready to face the best fighters of the moment. She notably twice beat Saifah Sor Suparat (WPMF World Champion, WBC international, 8 times champion of Thailand), a first victory in points and a second victory by KO in the first round, as well as Dangkongfah Jaosurenoi (Champion of Thailand) by KO, Chinese champion Zeng Xiaoting and Cambodia N ° 1 Eh Yanut (118 fights for 88 victories).
SOURIS MANFREDI AGAINST EH YANUT
Souris Manfredi also had terrible battles against great champion Sawsing Sor Sopit (WMC World Champion, WPMF World Champion, WMO World Champion) and Dokmaipa (WMC World Champion).
SOURIS MANFREDI IN THAILAND MAGAZINES
On November 7, 2020, Souris Manfredi was the first French fighter to fight in the famous Thai organization Thai Fight. In Korat in the northeast region in the Thai Fight organization, she faced the formidable champion Petchjeeja Lukjaoporongtom (Or Meekhun) who was WMC and WPMF world champion. Petchjeeja has 202 fights for 187 victories and has already fought against men.
The Frenchwoman was unlucky because she was open at the front in the first round. The nasty injury, caused by a superb poke from the Thai, caused blood to flow in the eyes of Souris Manfredi who could not defend himself properly against the powerful attacks of Petchjeeja. The doctor stopped the fight in the second round because the opening of the French was too important. This is only part postponed for the French champion who will find the Thai in February 2021 for a tournament at Thai Fight.
SOURIS MANFREDI IS THE FIRST FRENCH WOMAN TO FIGHT IN THE THAI FIGHT ORGANIZATION
This injury defeat did not at all disturb the motivation of the French, on the contrary, Souris Manfredi is even more determined to become one of the best world fighters in her category. The Devil Pittbull have already returned to training with their favorite coach Khru Charlton. She will be on top for her next challenge against another great champion of Thailand, a match which will take place on December 5 during the King’s Birthday. The champion of Lookyamo Gym has not finished talking about her!
Date of birth: May 25, 1988
Weight: 52 -54kg
Number of fights: 40. 31 wins (19 KOs). 8 losses. 1 draw
Title: Lethwei WLC World Champion, European Top Kombat Champion, AFMT semi-pro French Champion, Chiangmai stadium Champion, Thapae stadium Champion
Team: Lookyamo Gym
Souris Manfredi is getting ready at Lookyamo Gym, a huge complex that has just opened in the Pattaya region. Khru Charlton is Lookyamo Gym’s head coach and camp manager, three Thai coaches are also in the Lookyamo Team. The Lookyamo is named after the camp Charlton Henri had at Korat (Nakhon Ratchassima) in the Isaan region.
Article on Lookyamo Gym camp in Korat on siamfightmag:
The Lookyamo Muay Thai camp is located 20 minutes from Pattaya and 15 minutes from Bang Saray with its beautiful beach. Built on a 6000 m2 plot, there are 9 buildings of 200 m2, a huge 350 m2 swimming pool and 4 mini-pools. The Lookyamo Gym also has 21 apartments and accommodation, a restaurant, a BJJ and MMA space, a Muay Thai space with a 7 x 7 m ring, a sports shop, a massage room and a SPA area.
Lookyamo training camp
345/3 moo 10
Ban Hua Nong Bon
Soi 19 Tombon Huay Yai
Facebook and Instagram : Souris Manfredi / Lookyamo training camp