French-Senegalese boxer Souleymane Cissokho, 29, who has been preparing in California, took part in a big night of boxing in Arlington, Texas, where he defeated Britain’s Kieron Conway to win the WBA intercontinental belt. The Dakar native had hinted shortly before the fight that his dream was to become world champion.
For the first time since the global Coronavirus pandemic, a sporting event was attended by 70,000 spectators. In Arlington (Texas) on Saturday, Souleymane Cissokho faced English boxer Kieron Conway for the WBA intercontinental belt. The French boxer, who has not fought for 18 months, had to quickly find his rhythm. « I don’t forget that my goal is to become world champion. So I need to box, I need belts. It’s an incredible show, in front of 70,000 people, it’s a very anticipated fight, » he said.
Super-welter Souleymane Cissokho was preparing to take « a new step » against Britain’s Kieron Conway. « There is a WBA intercontinental belt at stake, that puts you in the top 15 in the world. Once you’re in the top 15, you can make a world championship. It can go very fast. Here I’ll have incredible exposure in front of about 70,000 people. So I’m going for it 100%, » said Souleymane Cissokho.
The 29-year-old French-Senegalese boxer was given the win by two judges out of three (92-97, 96-93, 95-94). In the middle of the fight, right from the start, Cissokho threw a series of left jabs that made his opponent’s nose bleed from the third round. The victory was already secured. « It’s really crazy, I’ve seen incredible things, I’m incredibly happy to bring this belt home, and it wasn’t an easy fight, » the boxer said after his coronation.
Blocked by contractual problems and Covid-19, the 2019 French champion had not boxed for 18 months when he was finally able to put on his gloves on March 13, to rub shoulders with Mexico’s Daniel Echeverria. His 12th victory in as many fights. The pandemic has not been easy, leading to five fight cancellations. In solidarity with « other boxers in difficulty », he took the opportunity to launch an application project, « so that they can benefit from a small salary ».
« When I come to train here, I pay a lot of money to my training partners. Why not do it in France? « In recent years, he has also set up an association, « Secteur sport éducation », to help young people.