• Sports

Boxers of Monaco and France finally in the same ring

11 February 2019 - 10h25

A new chapter is being written in the history of Monegasque boxing. From now on, any boxer who is a member of the Monegasque club or the Monegasque Boxing Federation (FMB) may participate in French federal competitions, whether amateur or professional. An agreement between the French and Monegasque boxing federations was signed on 29th November last year to this effect. Laurent Puons, President of the FMB, explains how the agreement was set up.

Since his arrival as President of the Monegasque Boxing Federation in August 2014, Laurent Puons has been constantly challenging himself with a new organisation and a new structure. This boxing enthusiast has set up a fully independent entity, with its own sports rules, commissions and referees. It is in his office, decorated with medals and cups in a warm atmosphere, and with a smile on his face, that the President of the FMB welcomes us.

During the 13th edition of the Monaco Boxing Challenge on Friday 1st February, you and André Martin, President of the French Boxing Federation (FFB), officialised the agreement allowing boxers from Monaco to participate in the French boxing championships.

That was one of my objectives when I joined the federation! Monaco has always been a boxing ground. There used to be many boxing galas organised, including many world championships.  But for years, only one boxing gala has been organised by SBM and a major promoter.

We therefore decided to organise the Monaco Boxing Challenge and restructure the organisation, which was a little ‘under the supervision’ of the French federation. For me, it was something that could not last because at the moment, there is an official federation and an official club. Things were not moving forward. Then I met André Martin, its president. Together, we have found common ground.

This protocol allows Monegasque boxers, amateurs or professionals to participate in French competitions, and vice versa. For example, if we organise a Monegasque boxing championship, a boxer licensed by the French boxing federation may participate.

In three years we have made so much progress. We are proud of this success. I would like to thank all those who contributed to this project. It requires a lot of work and investment.

What impact does this have on the Monaco Boxing Challenge?

For me, this partnership is very encouraging. It gives our boxers a lot of opportunities. First of all to the boxers of the ASM club who will be able to participate in the French championship. In addition, the boxers of ‘Team Monaco Boxe’ will also be able to participate in French federal competitions. I am happy to have formed this team, with all these boxers, each coming from different backgrounds.

For example, Diego Natchoo, holder of the title of French middleweight champion, was forced to be licensed by the French boxing federation. Today he is able to be a member of the FMB only and keep his title while continuing to fight to keep it under our colours.

André Martin mentioned that he wants to organise the French Elite Championships in Monaco. Do you think that’s possible?

Yes and no. A final is about 12 fights, 24 boxers and their entourage. That’s a lot of people. For some clubs, this requires a substantial budget. I am not against it, but I would like it to allow one of our amateur boxers to fight in a final in front of his audience. In this case it could be interesting, and the financial investment would be worth it.

Propos recueillis par Daniela Guerra

®Camille Le Saux

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