Once out of the gym, Christian Mbilli makes sure not to think about boxing

With an immaculate record of 26-0 (22 KOs) and his place in the various world rankings, Christian Mbilli knows very well that he has no room for maneuver for his next fights. That’s why he tries to think as little as possible about boxing as soon as he leaves the gym.

“It’s rare that I hang out with boxers, it’s rare that I watch fights,” the 29-year-old athlete said in an interview with The Canadian Press earlier this week. It surprises many people when I say that, but I also have a life to lead, I have personal goals. I do everything I need to do in the gym. It helps me calm down psychologically to know that I did everything I could. Afterwards, I make sure I have the best lifestyle possible. »

This healthy lifestyle took him to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, where he represented France, his adopted homeland after leaving Cameroon with his parents, at the age of 11. years. It also led him to the world’s top four contenders for four belts at 168 pounds, all held by “Canelo” Alvarez.

If he wants to continue to fuel discussions of a possible world championship fight, he has no room for error. This is why his fight on May 25, in Shawinigan, against the Englishman Mark Heffron (30-3-1, 24 KOs) is so important.

“Unfortunately, (the lack of room to maneuver) is often on my mind. I no longer have the choice to improve and I can’t tell myself that things will go well. I absolutely cannot underestimate my opponents. That’s why I think I have the right mentality. Every fight for me is a world championship and I give my maximum. I touch wood ! “, he said.

This is also why he makes sure to find ways not to crumble under pressure. To escape, he is particularly interested in real estate.

“I always grew up with a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit,” adds the man who holds the WBC Americas Continental belt, which he will put into play on May 25. I also learn from boxers of the past. We all have a few boxers in mind who didn’t know how to put their pawns where they needed to be or who ended up completely ruined. It’s a bit of my phobia. I want to make sure I leave my career as a boxer and do what I love to do. »

Mbilli therefore renovated some properties to resell them (what we call “flips”) before the pandemic, but since life returned to normal, it is more towards income properties that he has focused more on. turned. The one who is now a Canadian citizen does not want to develop his real estate portfolio only to leave it once his career is over.

“I try to have “hobbies”, to keep myself busy a little. I’m currently trying to acquire a ‘plex’, to get a little more involved in real estate, despite the interest rates! I now want to get into real estate for the long term. As my fights are now a little more spaced out, I am trying to find a project which does not require too much of my time, but which allows me to place my pawns for my post-career,” he explained.

“I arrived in Quebec around 21-22 years old, it’s the only economic environment I’ve ever known. I have a few projects in France, but I don’t know this environment because I haven’t had any experience there. Quebec is all I know,” continued Mbilli.

France nevertheless still occupies a big place in his heart, and he is very happy that he has not been forgotten in France. He was also given the great honor of designating him as bearer of the Olympic flame for the next Summer Games in Paris.

“I’m very happy,” he admitted bluntly. The flame will pass through my town, where I started boxing; the town where I lived when I moved to France at the age of 11, Montargis. When the list of cities for the flame’s journey came out, it was quite natural that Éric Gaudet, who is very involved in sports in Montargis, gave my name. For the municipality, it was natural to have a former Olympic athlete to carry the flame.

“I was very surprised, it touched me a lot and I can’t wait to carry the flame,” added Mbilli. It’s a sign that I haven’t been forgotten. I hope we are not about to do that, even if I stay and perform far from France. »

Mbilli also plans to give back to his first adopted country once he becomes champion.

“The subject has already been discussed with Camille (Estephan, president of Eye of the Tiger Management). I told him that I hope to create a large Bell Center, a large Videotron Center, but also defend the belts in Paris and why not in Cameroon? (…) There would be a way to make this event profitable, with the right support (in Cameroon). »

And Mbilli, who thinks of everything, already has an amphitheater in mind for France.

“(The Palais omnisports) Paris-Bercy, I aim to fill it. But we also talked about it with Camille: Roland-Garros is a huge dream,” admitted the pugilist.

The legendary tennis stadium will host the elimination rounds of the Olympic boxing tournament and Mbilli could see himself raising the crowd there to defend a world title.

All that remains is the problem of taking the belts from Alvarez.

“Canelo kinda does what he wants. But after (my) next fight, we start our contract with Top Rank and ESPN. It’s a question of time: the big fights will come,” he mentioned.

“David Benavidez moved up to light heavyweight, like David Morrell. There is starting to be more space (at super middleweight). Canelo can do what he wants, but he won’t box until he’s 40. I think he’s starting to see that he’s experiencing a decline at some levels. Either he will have to defend his belts against an opponent that the fans demand, or he will retire and the belts will be free. It’s all a question of time,” he summarized.

“Am I positioned correctly? I don’t know. But I have a team that gives its all. (…) I will be world champion. It will take six months, a year or two years, but I will be world champion,” concluded Mbilli, with confidence.

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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