Paris will play host to an epic rematch as IBA Champions’ Night on 18 October will bring together three-time World champion and local star Sofiane Oumiha for a EUBC Cup final rematch with Bulgarian prospect Radoslav Rosenov in their 62kg, 6-round, 3 minutes format main event fight.
‘My preparations went very well; all was according to the plan.’ Oumiha said. ‘I am very proud to take part in the IBA Champions’ Night, it’s a huge honor for me. I am proud of my country and myself. What adds to this is the upcoming Games coming to Paris, I am home and at the same time in the capital of the upcoming Olympics.
IBA Champions’ Night is an event boxers have never had access to before. The scale of the events IBA is organizing is truly huge and cannot even be compared to old times. My plan for this fight is not to have a plan. I need to be flexible and adapt to the situation. I fought Rosenov on Saturday, but on Wednesday he could be totally different in the ring. It is silly to compose the plans; you should work according to the situation – here and now. That is why I never have a plan.’ Oumiha went on to say.
French boxers’ trio Amina Zidani, Fatia Benmessahel, and Wassila Lkhadiri are looking forward to their debut at the IBA Champions’ Night.
IBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist, Zidani, 30, has already had experience in professional boxing, although she goes to IBA pro ring for the very first time. She is excited about her fight in the 57kg division against Michaela Walsh from Ireland which lasts 5 rounds, 2 minutes each.
‘We will not have a headguard that appeals to me a lot. But for the five-round format, I have never tried it yet at the IBA events. I prepared for the event as I do for all my other fights, but the difference was in heavy bag work. We did more of two-minute rounds to get used to the format,’ Zidani said.
‘Michaela Walsh is an opponent I know very well; we have already met twice in the ring. The first time she beat me, the second time I beat her at the European Games. I studied her a lot. For me, it is important to perform well everywhere, but even though it is even more crucial in France, I would have put the same commitment and determination anywhere in the world for this victory,’ Amina Zidani concluded, saying that she would have solid support at the tribunes.
IBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist, Fatia Benmessahel, 24, faces Dutch-born Megan de Cler, who has already won at the Champions’ Night event in the 63kg category.
‘It will be my first pro-style event, and it is a challenge for me. At the same time, I cannot wait to test a new format that, in my opinion, will be truly spectacular. We readjust our training schedule to show as much action in the shortened time of the round. I was lucky to have a training camp with the Irish team and Turkish boxers to prepare for this contest. I wish my opponent Megan de Cler good luck in this fight, we always saw each other at the competitions but have never faced in the ring,’ she explained.
‘This is a rare and unique opportunity for me to box in France. It’s a great chance to be able to show my skills and progress on such a beautiful night of boxing. It is definitely a rehearsal for Paris 2024 for me. My family and friends will be there to support me in this magnificent setting of the IBA Champions’ Night,’ Benmessahel concluded.
Her compatriot and Wassila Lkhadiri, 28, another IBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist, also was a part of the training camp in Ireland as well as prepared at home in her boxing club. She meets in the ring with Marta Lopez del Arbol from Spain in a 50kg contest.
‘I debut in a pro-style format, and I am delighted to combine my professional career with IBA boxing. It is an excellent combination. In addition, I adore the element of the show that surrounds Champions’ Night events. I know my opponent, a few years ago before my maternity leave, I managed to win her once,’ Lkhadiri said.
‘Less than a year before the Olympic Games, it is important for me to perform well. To represent my nation at home is incredible, and I can’t wait to make this experience come true. My club, my friends, and family will support me in this journey,’ she mentioned.
The event will be hosted by Westfield Forum Les Halles, Terrasse 1, the entrance is free of charge and starts at 17:00 CEST on 18 October.
For the TV spectators in France, the boxing night will be live streamed on Eurosport. For the rest of the world, the IBA invites to join the stream on the FightNation platform and enjoy the best boxers in action.
Full fight card of the event can be seen here.