She started Boxing at 14 years old, in 1997. Since then, she won everything, in amateur as well as in professional. In December 2013, she won the supreme title. She became the featherweight world champion (WBF) by beating Irma Adler from Bosnia.
3 years after, at 33, Gaelle Amand may become the 1st French woman to hold 3 world belts. On October 8th, the Rahilou Cergy Boxe girl fights Jelena Mrdjenovich, the WBA and WBC world champion.
Unbeaten in professionals (14 victories, 1 KO), Gaelle Amand is facing one of the most difficult fight she has to deal with. She is opposed to the tough Canadian who has much experience (34 years old, 47 fights, 36 victories) and is a good puncher (19 KO). She faces history. She has to write it. Let’s meet the new Adidas Team girl.
Did you watch the Olympic Games last Summer ?
A little bit, mostly Boxing. Actually, I mainly watched the girls. With Sarah (Ouhramoune, silver medallist in -51 kg), we started Boxing together. We competed in our 1st National Championships together.
And Estelle (Mossely, gold medallist in -60 kg) was my sparring many times since I am a professional. So, I supported them a lot ! I was totally rooting for them (she laughs).
« Silver and Gold ! That’s just awesome ! »
You should have moved by their performance ?…
Oh yes ! Silver and Gold ! That’s just awesome ! It’s totally crazy, even for woman boxing !
Why you didn’t try the Olympic adventure ?
Because I am a professional. 2016 is the 1st year you can see pros in the Olympics but only men were concerned. Women have still to wait. It will happen.
Do you regret it ?
That’s true my records miss only the Olympics. But, anyway… Moreover, my category (-57 kg) doesn’t exist in the Games. It’s still restricted for girls. So, do I regret it ?… Yes and no.
On October 8th, you fight for 2 Pro world belts. What’s going to be the key point of this match against Jelena Mrdjenovich ?
The psyche. Jelena is a great champion. She helds the WBC and WBA titles, she has fought a lot and has given many KO’s (19). She’s a tough opponent. But I have been training for that. I think the key point of this fight will be the mental strength. Never give up until the end.
I don’t know is she will be my toughest opponent until now. I will know it on D day… But, this is absolutely the biggest challenge of my career.
« I always move forward, move forward… »
When did you start your preparation for this fight ?
I started in the middle of August by a week of physical training. I then mad several camps where I usually trained for 3 to 4 hours a day. On mornings, I worked on my physical shape and, on evenings, it was more based on Boxing? The fight’s preceding week, I am more relax. I just maintain my shape.
How would you define your way of Boxing ?
I don’t know… (she laughs). I am quite an offensive boxer. I often move forward. I am like a warrior on the ring. I always move forward, and sometimes I do too much. We have worked on that. But it’s not easy to channel our energy. My Bowing has always been : move forward, move forward. But, sometimes, when you only move forward, you don’t find the key. So we have worked on it.
What is so fun for you in Boxing ?
To win fights (she laughs). To have some very high goals, to always something better. That’s what you miss when you stop. After my world championship in 2013, I couldn’t stand anymore talking about Boxing. I had made a so big preparation that I didn’t want to hear anymore about Boxing. But, actually, 2 or 3 months after, I missed something. I need challenges, goals, adrenaline…
« We always want more »
Have you tried any other combat sports ?
At my very beginning, I started with Karate. But I practiced it for some 6 or 7 months. I didn’t like it. There weren’t enough contacts for me. I have never tried any kick boxing. I don’t feel like it. At my age (33 years old), it will be difficult if I scatter my sports. It’s better for me to concentrate and give 100% to one single sport.
What makes you move forward ?
It’s because I missed challenges when I stopped. When you have a competitive spirit, you always want more. And then, we offered me this fight against Jelena. Every single fighter would have accepted this opportunity. 2 world belts are on stake !
If I win those 2 belts, I would be the only French woman to hold 3 world titles (WBF, WBC, WBA). It can be something positive to talk about woman boxing. The girls, after Rio, have got things moving. I f I can do it too, it would be perfect. It would give a good publicity stunt to woman Boxing.
Born on October 7th 1983
Category : -57 kg (featherweight)
Academy : Rahilou Cergy Boxe
Promotors : Abdillah Rahilou et Driss Chibili
Coachs : Ibrahima Mariko et Abdillah Rahilou
Physical coach : Frédéric Klose