Interview of STEVE ZAIDI by Serge TREFEU (2011)
Serge TREFEU: Hello Steve, how are you, in shape?
STEVE ZAIDI: Yes I am well thanks
You began the boxing towards which age?
I began the thai boxing thai in 16 years
Why to have chosen this sport?
I tried some sport in my youth but I have at once to stick for the thai boxing, for what this sport represents and for the atmosphere which reigned in my first gym. All this made that I wanted to go to train me all the time and to try to learn of news thing to progress…
You began directly with the thai boxing?
No, I began at first with the kick boxing
Who attracted you in Muay Thai?
What made me prefer the thai boxing, it is all the technical panel of this sport that is for me the most complete!
Before of begun the boxing you have make the other sports?
Before the boxing I am crossed by several sports, such as the handball, the basketball and also the swimming
In what corner of France you increased?
I am native of city of Bobigny in 93 (suburd Paris) and I live there always today
What was the gyms of boxing in your district?
There was a gym of kick boxing (ACB Bobigny) and a gym of muay thai (AAE Bobigny)
Speak us of your very first gym, with what trainer you began?
I discovered the thai boxing with Djaffar Hammoum, trainer of The A.A.E Bobigny. There was a good atmosphere we were all united, welded. It is there that I made my first ones training and that I made my first fights for this gym
What champions there was when you began in this gym?
Being a really associative gym on the base, we had little crenel in the time, and the gym was rather young thus there were still no champions. But of numerous young people with a good technique and a good potential to give way in the future in the muay. It is all that I wish them and why not to fight same event as them one day to find them during the same event!
At what age you have make your first fight, which memory you keep?
My first fight I made him in the age of 16 years and I met somebody older that I. It was in Nanterre and I was the last one to fight, just before my fight a boy of my gym fought, I was thus alone in changing rooms. I smelt that I cooled then I recovered a small coat of naman muay, knowing that I already had little to perspire before, my skin warmed me, limits burned me. A thing is sure, it is that I was warm for these first fight (laughter). That this it is crossed well because I gained by stop of the referee in third rounds
When you began Muay Thai, what is what there are great champions who influenced you, champions who had a beautiful boxing and by which you were inspired?
We all knew and to like very much the time of Ramon Dekkers, Danny Bill, Rob Kaman and height of the others. I looked their fight on the net and it was a real pleasure being really fascinated from my debuts. Having said that I am there to inspire for the motivation, yes, because it motivated me and really tempted me to fight. But at the level style no because I do not think of having Danny Bill’s style for example…
Today, you are in the Mée Sports Muay Thai Gym, at Nicolas Subileau, you can speak to us about your new gym, and about your coach?
Yes since the comeback in September I am at Nicolas’s Subileau’s alias Bilos to the Méé Sport Muay Thai. I stuck at once on the atmosphere which reigns in this gym because we laugh, his joke but its work so very hard. As well the competitors as the beginners. With Bilos everything takes place well, I think that we still learn little to know at the level of the boxing because every trainer is different in the style of boxing, in the lesson in paos, in the methods of training etc… But he takes care well of me and I came here for it. He takes care of his boxers and he trusts and affinities with them even beyond Muay. It is one truth family!
With what sparrings you train at Bilos?
Then at Bilos he good small one list for sparrings. Some known and the others less but who one a very good level and who I think will make speak about them in the future. There is indeed on Farid Villaume that we do not present any more, idem for Bobo Sacko, then the one with whom I trained mostly is De Agba in the same category as me which is very good. He also Saharou Touré, Mehdi, Kesty, David, Younes, Colonel, Timal, Foamed etc….
Otherwise when I have time I also trained with Gregory Choplin, Wendy Annonay and Baghdad Kharbouchi who belong to the Derek Boxing Gym, my former gym…
How many times a week you train?
It varies according to my terms. In period of fight I train twice by days from Monday to Friday and when there is no fight of planned I train once a day 4 times a week
Do you work, how manage you your high-level training with the work?
I work in my municipality thus I have certain ease, at the level of schedule they are suitable safe during the school holidays, it complicates a little seen that I am a activity leader in a youth center and it is the period when there is most work…
Do you fights only in Muay Thai?
I have already fought in Kick boxing, in Full-contacte and in Muay Thai. Quite my last fights it are made in Muay Thai because it is my discipline of preference but I remain opened to the other disciplines if a big challenge or a good proposition came to me…
What technique you like most in fight?
I really have no favorite technique but if I had to quote from it a I would say the techniques of leg, particularly low kick
What are your key points?
In quite humility, I would say my severe coach when I train, I do not cheat, I really give everything. Then I am really tuned in to my coach for progressed from days to days. And in fight I try of applied what we have to work and I give everything till the end
And your weak points which you would like improved?
Some small reflex or automatism which does not come still alone but all which is not completed is for me a weak point thus I try to remedy all this in the gym…
You were three times Champion of France Professionnel in class A, in 2007, 2008 and 2010, against what opponents you gained these titles, and which keep you of your fights in front of them?
Yes I am triple France champion Professionnel in -81Kg but today I came down from category and I fight in – 75Kg.
In 2007, I met a boxer of the North, I don’t reminder first name but his name was Allouache. It was a fight very close where the decision fell over to the 5eme and the last one rounds, I made the difference being still freshly compared with my opponent. I gain my first title at points.
In 2008, I meet Fatah Abderrazak of the Lumpini Gym of Sam Berrandou, to home in Saint-Denis city, my opponent fought at home. The 1st round I loses him but after I come back and I gain by stop of the fight at the 4eme rounds.
In 2010, I meet again Fatah Abderazzak to Japy where the face of the fight is the same and I win by default to the appeal of the 4eme rounds.
This title in 2010 was a beautiful year because I gained quite my fights of French championships before the limit!
After three titles national in class A, do you had propositions for champion’s belt of Europe?
Regrettably no, I had no proposition, no contact, for an European title although it would have pleased me to reward my national titles, and pass in a superior stage to go one stage further
In New Caledonia you gained twice the tournament Fight Night, in 2008 and 2009, tell us this adventure at the end of the world, it was against what opponents that you gained these tournaments?
Then as for New Caledonia I hold many memory of this journey, people, their kindness, landscapes and the simplicity of the life which is different from all that I had seen or of what I saw every day.
As for the tournament it was against an Australian ” Schmidt “, I do not remember any more the first name and twice I won against him in finale. It was really the war between us especially the first time because he had a mentality which I did not estimate and it was really electric between him and me!
In 2010 you fought in the King’s Birthday, in Bangkok, you beat the Thai Prajacksil Maxsport, what to remember you keep of this fight and this participation for this big Thai event?
The King’s Birthday was a good experience. What marked me, it is to have been prepared with all other boxers, in changing rooms if we can call them like that, it was very small, limit we walked above. But that really showed me that over there to make a fight it is really the routine, we put you your bandages, we mass you, a pair of shorts and it left. The highly-rated which I estimated, thais fighters, it is that they keep their simplicity in spite of their good level. After the fight it is rather spent well even if the thai from second rounds was very hard, he tried absolutely to open me by taking out enormously the elbows and by shooting hardly in my legs. But I managed to manage and to impose my boxing and I won at points…
What is what you met the other Thai boxers, and what think of you of the thais fighters?
Yes before having fought in the King’s Birthday in 2010, I had met a thai to Pattaya in 2008 in the stadium Thepprasit. The thais fighters are very bright technically, they express nothing on the face. They are hard in the evil but except the boxing ring they are simple, smiling and sometimes charming people…
What are the Thai champions whom you prefer, the former and the new generation?
The former generation I has him know not too much but in the new generation the one of which I like most his boxing it is Buakaw Por Pramuk!
How many times you fought in Thailand?
I have to fight 3 times in Thailand. In 2006 for championships of amateur world with the French team. In 2008 against a thai to Pattaya in the stadium Fairtex Thepprasit. In 2010, in the King’s Birthday with the French team
You already went to a Thai camp?
Yes in 2008, I left one month and I trained at this moment there for the RMB Pattaya. And I redid one month in 2009 in Singpatong to Phuket. The jogging is very rough because there is a very stiff slope but it was necessary to make her. (Laughter)
So in 2006 and 2010 with the French team for some trainings in camps before the competition…
Until today you have make how many fights, how many victories and defeats?
I have make 40 fights for 37 victories and 3 defeats
You have a lot of victory gained by KO?
I must have gained approximately about ten victory by KO
In what category you evolve at present?
At present I fight in -75kg
In France what are for you the best in your category?
For me, the best are Gregory Choplin, Yohan Lidon and Wendy Annonay. Sorry for those whom I do not quote but I am not any more too much as before the current events of the muay thai. Even if I suspect that in France there is certainly the others…
What is that there is one in particular that you would like to face?
Nobody in particular but I am ready to fight quite boxers of my category with the agreement of my team if the proposition is correct and concrete…
And at the level world what is for you the best fighter in your category?
For lack of surprising you I am not any more really the boxing as before (video, media, etc.) thus I could not answer you on the best boxer of my category the level world even if I know that there is enormously worldwide, sorry..
What was your hardest fight so far?
My hardest fight and my worst memory of boxing was during my finale of the French championships of Kick boxing, in 2009, in – 79 kg. Fight which I lose while I was for a fight of the belt. I had a good preparation but I think of having too much forced on quantity to the training thus I met in overtraining (even if it excuses nothing) and from the 3eme rounds, more juices to make the difference…
Your best memory of boxing?
To choose my best memory would be complicated, between the belts that I gained, the persons that I met, the journeys that I made. All these memories are the most beautiful presents that the boxing made for me!
And the worst?
I did not really know the worse memory for the moment in the boxing..
What are your projects for 2012?
My projects for year 2012 are to try of evolved in my work as well as in the field of the boxing, why not of new challenges, whether it is against opponents of reappointed or an European challenge to begin, why not world if I deserve him and to live happy whatever he arrives at me
You want to add anything?
I thank my family as well as all the persons who surround me to the everyday life and who make that I evolve every days in all the domains whatever it is (boxing, professional or staff) thanks to all.
I thank quite the trainers with whom I was able to evolved (Djaffar Hammoum, Djaffar Guemri, Omar Benamar, Léon Pap and Bilos).
I thank Oualid and Mathieu which were always there for me when I fought, for me massed, coach me, thank you the brothers.
I thank quite the gyms for which I fought until now (A.A.E Bobigny, Derek Boxing, and Team Bilos)
Thanks to all those which moves when I fight and which so supports me that to Alan Kermorvan for what he made for me until now.
I thank you and my coach Bilos for this interview.
I cannot quote everybody, thus sorry but you are too much (laughter)
Thank you for this interview and CHOOKDEE for your next fights
Zaidi is a generous, powerful fighter, with a very clean boxing. In 23 years he it is already forged a serious experience by facing opponents of top levels such as Abderahmane Penda (victory), Kevin Haas (victory), Emilio Schmidt (victory) and Abderrahmane Coulibaly (defeat). And he has another big margin of progress. This humble boxer in all the qualities to be able to compete for a belt European, notice to the promoters…
Date of birth: 21/06/1988
Number of fight: 40. 37 wins (10 KO). 3 losses
Title: France Champion Thai Boxing (2007, 2008, 2010)
Team : Teambilos Le Mée Sport Muaythai