Tuesday, October 03, 2023  |


Christian Mbilli: ‘It’s time to take on a big name’ after stoppage win over Nicholson

Christian Mbilli celebrates his victory over Cesar Ugarte at the Bell Centre in Montreal. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Fighters Network

The town of Gatineau, just outside the Canadian capital of Ottawa, played host to rising super middleweight Christian Mbilli on Friday night and those in attendance at the Lac Leamy Casino weren’t disappointed.

Mbilli, who entered as The Ring’s No.3 ranked super middleweight, jumped on opponent Demond Nicholson and scored a knockdown in the opening minute and then patiently stalked his American opponent dropping him again in the second round before closing the show in the fourth.

While Nicholson isn’t the undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez or David Benavidez, he has always shown a sturdy beard and taken the likes of Edgar Berlanga and Demetrius Andrade the distance in losing efforts. He was expected to provide some resistance but he couldn’t handle Mbilli’s power.

“I’m very happy with this, I have showed I am the best of all the fighters he has fought,” Mbilli (25-0, 21 knockouts) told The Ring. “Now it’s time to take on a big name, I want everybody.

“He has good power, every fight is dangerous and you have to be careful. I had to take my time, this type of fight is very dangerous, you don’t have to go fast, I had to take my time. [I give myself] a ‘B’ I’m very critical. I’m difficult with myself.

Demond Nicholson was overwhelmed by Mbilli, The Ring’s No. 3-rated super middleweight. The tough veteran announced his retirement after the fight. Photo by Vincent Ethier (Eye of The Tiger)

“[I will have a] little bit of vacation, take time, go out of the gym but stay in shape.”

His coach Marc Ramsay was largely happy with what he witnessed.

“Good performance, but I’m a coach, it’s never perfect, there was a little thing in defense we try to fix,” said Ramsay. “But it was way better today. It was about this performance but it’s also about what we are targeting in a championship fight and the guys we want to fight at the end of the road. He showed constant evolution in his boxing.

“At the beginning, he started a little bit fast for me. When he came back to the corner after the first round, I ask him, ‘I want you to box that guy until we hurt him. When we hurt him we’re going with the strong punch. Right now you’re going about business a little bit too fast for me. I want you to be good technically and also the transition between offense and defense more tight. And make sure you don’t receive any punch.’ He did a good job.”

It was a definite statement of intent to the top guys at 168-pounds.

For now, Canelo has business to take care of against Jermell Charlo on September 30. It is widely expected that Benavidez will return against Andrade, while Caleb Plant and Jermall Charlo have jawed back and for and that beef is primed to see both face each other in the not too distant future. Berlanga and Jaime Munguia are in talks to fight. The dangerous David Morrell will likely fight on PBC in the fall.

The 28-year-old Mbilli is the odd man out but his team aren’t going to wait for the phone to go, if they can’t secure a big name they’ll continue to push the envelop and face the best available opposition.

“Right now everything is stuck at the end because Canelo has all the belts and Benavidez is fighting Andrade,” said Ramsay. “We are ready for everybody but we don’t want to wait for their plan. We have our plan and keep Christian busy, make sure he’s getting ready and keep that evolution and make sure when he receives the big call, he’s going to be ready not only to challenge but also win a world title.

“[Artur Beterbiev-Callum Smith] is probably the target [for his next fight] right now. We’ll see next week, how he feels because that was a long and tough training camp.”

Mbilli, who was born in Cameroon before moving to France when he was 11, took up boxing when he was 15 and enjoyed a productive amateur career. He won gold at the European Youth and European Union Championships. He also represented France at the 2016 Rio Olympics, losing at the quarter-final stage to eventual gold medalist Arlen Lopez.

However, his style was made for the professional ranks. He is one of the most fan-friendly and exciting fighters in boxing today.

Unlike other fighters and promotional outfits in his division and others for that matter. Mbilli and Eye of The Tiger aren’t content to cherry pick or wait for their shot, they want to push the envelop and force the issue.

EEOT stepped Mbilli up against former world title challenger Nadjib Mohammedi in March 2022 and Mbilli delivered one of the Knockouts of the Year, last year. They boldly took on Carlos Gongora, who nobody was in a rush to fight and outworked him in a fight that was very exciting. Mbilli showed crazy heart to overcome adversity when he was hurt in the eighth round to roar back and by the end of the round had Gongora covering up on the ropes.

I wouldn’t say the aforementioned top guys at 168-pounds are afraid of him but they’re not in a rush to face him. He’s high risk versus low reward. It’s known that fighters price themselves out when Mbilli’s name comes up.

He could be a good style match up for Canelo, Benavidez et al., however, he could also be their worst nightmare due to his aggressive, high-energy output that suffocates opponents. He just wants the opportunity to find out.


Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected].