Kemayo: “I need to test who I am”

Kemayo: “I need to test who I am”

Wednesday, Jul 12 2017

French heavyweight Freddy Kemayo (67-20-1, 46 KO’s) is a veteran of more than one hundred amateur and professional fights to his name, but still he is motivated by the same thing which got him into fighting in the first place: the need to challenge himself.

For Kemayo, fighting and the martial arts are a test of character and mental strength, not just another sport. He has fought all around the world against names such as Peter Aerts, Daniel Ghita, Gokhan Saki and Alexey Ignashov.

Now on Friday June 5 he faces another big hitter in the form of Jamal Ben Saddik (25-4, 21 KO’s) at GLORY 22 FRANCE.

“I have fought the best in the world. Sometimes I won, sometimes I ate a KO,” he says. “Many times I have fallen, but every time I have not been afraid to pick myself up to fight again.

“I do fight for my living, but I also need to test who I am. If I take easy fights in France I can make easy money but it is like I am hiding. Now I fight for myself. I fight to test how strong I am.

“Jamal is a big boy of 2.06m (6’7”) and 120kg (264.5lbs). He hits hard and is a good puncher, so it is in my interest to stay mobile. I need to play [a movement game] like Muhammad Ali, get him tired and see if he still has it by the third round.”

This is GLORY’s first visit to France. Kemayo is making his debut for the organization and says he wants to make “a strong impression” with fans and GLORY executives alike. He also wants to make a statement for French fighting. Kemayo is of the opinion that some French fighters are not doing enough to challenge themselves.

“Some of the guys here in France call themselves champions. That is not true. They are not, because they only fight in France [and not in international organizations],” he says.

“Unless you test yourself against the best you cannot call yourself a champion, but there are many who do.”

GLORY 22 FRANCE takes place Friday, June 5 at Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille, France. The card is headlined by Rico ‘The Prince’ Verhoeven defending the World Heavyweight Championship against Benjamin ‘Mr. Gentleman’ Adegbuyi of Romania in a five-round fight.

The co-main event sees hard-hitting African boxer Zack Mwekassa return to the ring looking to get back into the contender conversation. He faces karate stylist Carlos Brooks of New York, a veteran of Chuck Norris’ World Combat League with a style not entirely unlike that of GLORY welterweight Raymond ‘Real Deal’ Daniels.

Rounding out the Spike TV card is an exceptional four-man Lightweight Contender Tournament. Former champion Davit Kiria faces Thai standout Sitthichai and young prospects Josh Jauncey and Niclas Larsen face off with the winners facing off in the tournament final to for the chance of a lightweight title shot.