Christian Mbilli faces the American Demond Nicholson on Friday in Gatineau (Canada) to try to get a little closer to the world super middleweight title in boxing, a category where the Mexican Saul “Canelo” Alvarez has reigned for several years.
Initially scheduled for August 19, the Frenchman's fight (24, victories in 24 fights including 20 before the limit) had been postponed following a jaw operation undergone by the Canadian Artur Beterbiev, who was to face the Englishman Callum Smith in the main fight of the evening.
Because of this rescheduling, the preparation camp was “very, very long”. “I was counting the days,” admitted the undefeated boxer at a press conference, before warning: “It was long but someone has to pay the bill. Friday my opponent will pay the bill.”
The only Frenchman ranked by the four world federations (N.1 WBC, N.3 WBA, N.4 IBF, N.6 WBO), Mbilli remains on a spectacular victory against Ecuadorian left-hander Carlos Gongora on March 23.
A 25th victory would allow him to further assert himself as a credible challenger for a global chance. Announced objective of its promoters: to force the hand of the federations to grant their colt a position of obligatory challenger of the undisputed champion, Saul Alvarez.
Based in Montreal since his professional debut in 2017, the 28-year-old puncher is far from being the best known French boxer, nor the most publicized of the former members of “Team Solide” who shone at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 .
However, Mbilli, renowned for his great power, his physical condition and his agility in the ring, is undoubtedly one of the most promising French boxers and most likely to join Arsen Goulamirian, the only Tricolore currently holding a belt worldwide.
Friday, at the Lac Leamy casino in Gatineau, he will defend his two super middleweight titles (-76.203 kg), WBC-Continental of the Americas and WBA-International.
Facing the American Demond Nicholson (30 years old, 26 wins including 22 before the limit, 1 draw, 5 defeats), he will face a fighter just as offensive and resistant as him. “It’s going to be a nightmare, the fight is going to start, he’s going to be eager for it to end,” Mbilli predicted.
“I know Nicholson has a reputation as an attacking boxer, that he is tough and will take every opportunity he can to strike first. But you know me, I’m ready for war.”