Mathieu Bauderlique: “I’m not going to Moscow for tourist purposes, so you’d better prepare yourselves.”17 September 2015
French southpaw Mathieu Bauderlique is one of the most powerful competitors in AIBA Pro Boxing, and on Friday night in Moscow, Russia the 26-year-old will fight for the APB Light Heavyweight (81 kg) title against Champion Ehsan Rouzbahani (IRI).
The two fighters previously met in a captivating six round battle last December where Rouzbahani edged a tight contest, while their rematch will take place over 12 rounds.
Bauderlique will enter his key title match on an incredible run of form, and is confident regarding his chances of becoming the second French Champion in APB history.
“I lost to Rouzbahani narrowly in our first bout after he took advantage following a knockdown in the 4th round, but I managed to reduce the gap throughout the fight, and that’s why a 12 round bout will be a serious advantage for me,” confirms Bauderlique to AIBAProBoxing.com.
The challenger has never competed in such a high level match before, but is bullish regarding his ability, and has been training vigorously to adapt to his new surroundings.
“Indeed it’s true that I have never fought more than six rounds before in APB, so I’m training hard in order to fight 12 rounds. I am not particularly worried, because my staff and I are working very hard, and in fact I would love to adapt my strength progressively throughout the bout.”
Bauderlique’s last three opponents have all failed to hear the final bell, after the Frenchman stopped both Nikita Ivanov (RUS) and Joseph Ward (IRE) in dramatic fashion, before his truncated Cycle I Round 2 bout with Spas Genov (BUL) was halted in the second round.
Blessed with fearsome power and a tremendous sense of opportunity, Bauderlique has also displayed tremendous resilience in the competition, having been forced to recover quickly from various issues in his matches.
“Regarding my fight against Spas Genov, there is unfortunately not much to say because he got injured after a head clash. Despite that, in the short amount of time I had in the ring I felt serene and defensive. As for Ward, I was quite surprised by his mobility in the first two rounds, but I was then quickly able to adapt my tactics and finish the bout,” he remarks.
His next opponent represents a completely different challenge however, as Rouzbahani has consistently produced excellent performances over the course of his APB career.
The challenger is well aware of the difficult task in store, and has learnt considerably from their first meeting in the competition.
“Rouzbahani is indeed a great boxer and he’ll be ready to face me, but this bout will be different from the first because I am an instinctive boxer which everyone will see on the night. In any case, I want to win the belt, and he’ll be ready to defend it.”
Boxing fans first became aware of Bauderlique’s talent when he started performing well in France.
“I started boxing after having tried a lot of different disciplines, but it was boxing which matched my temperament and personality. I was the French National Champion twice and I fought in numerous international tournaments, but my favorite memory remains being French Senior Champion.”
Between 2011 and 2014, Bauderlique amassed a perfect 9-0 record in the professional ranks, before signing for APB as a result of his desire to compete against the best Light Heavyweight boxers in the world, while maintaining his Olympic Games eligibility.
The decision to compete in APB paid dividends when he won an Olympic quota place to Rio 2016 after his victory over Genov, and the idea of becoming both APB and Olympic Champion is one which burns bright in his mind on a regular basis.
“Right now I’m focused on my next fight with Rouzbahani, and after that my next milestone is the Rio 2016 Olympic Games where I hope to represent France thanks to APB.”
It’s clear from every aspect of Bauderlique’s demeanour and performances that boxing represents an incredibly important aspect of his life, and the sport has given him a superb opportunity to build a career doing something he loves.
“Boxing is the noble art,” he suggests. “Beyond that, boxing is a sport that is similar to life: you always question yourself, but you never give up, you grit your teeth to finish what you started, and push yourself to the limit every day.
On Friday night, Bauderlique will be forced to push himself further than he ever has before as likeable the Light Heavyweight attempt to win the Championship belt.
Despite the tension, the clarity of the number one contender is clear, and he believes the success he has already enjoyed in APB will help him greatly during the contest.
“I feel great, and I’m constantly working hard to feel this way. I would like to thank APB for organising this tournament, as it is an amazing event which matches my expectations.
“I’m not going to Moscow for tourist purposes, so you’d better prepare yourselves. This bout will go beyond the expectations of all the boxing fans in attendance.”