No Peyns No Gain: Cedrick Peynaud interview

Luke G. Williams (trans Luca Rosi)
20/06/2018 9:55pm

Photo: Twitter @Peynsboxing

Frenchman Cedrick Peynaud speaks to Boxing Monthly ahead of his eagerly awaited rematch with Conor Benn, telling Luke G. Williams "there will be a winner - by knockout"...

One of the most memorable fights of 2017 was the six-round war between British prospect Conor Benn and hitherto unknown (in boxing circles at least) Frenchman Cedrick Peynaud at York Hall in December.

Although Peynaud entered the contest with a pro boxing record of just 5-4-3, kickboxing aficiondos were well aware of the 32-year-old Parisian's combat sports pedigree.

After flooring Benn twice in round one, a huge upset looked on the cards and although the Englishman rallied to down Peynaud in rounds five and six, the final 57-54 scorecard in Benn's favour caused many a raised eyebrow at ringside.

Now Benn (12-0, 9 KOs) and Peynaud (6-5-3) are set for an eagerly awaited rematch on 28 July on the undercard of the Dillian Whyte vs Joseph Parker showdown at the O2 arena.

Soon after the announcement of the fight, Boxing Monthly's Luke G. Williams - with translation by Luca Rosi - caught up with Peynaud, whose catchy motto runs 'No Peyns No Gain'...

BM: What are your feelings now that the rematch with Benn has been confirmed?
CP: I’m very happy. It’s going to be a good fight as we both go hell for leather.

BM: You had a boxing match in April against Christopher Legendre. Can you describe this fight and your performance?
CP: I came in as a substitute for a boxer who was injured but I was only told on Monday ahead of the fight on Saturday. This wasn’t a problem for my weight as I don’t pile on the pounds. I’m beginning to feel more comfortable with boxing [Queensbury Rules] and when I caught him flush, it was all over.

BM: Since the first fight with Benn what have you been up to?
CP: I boxed in a big K1 international tournament in March, which I won and then boxed the winners again of the previous tournament from October. I was due to box in a K1 April tournament that I won last year but which was postponed to November. In May and June I had two offers – to fight in K1 on 19 May and boxing [Queensbury Rules] on 2 June. My manager refused both as we were due to box at the end of May against Benn. However there was a problem there too and the fight was moved to 28 July.

BM: Were you surprised Benn agreed to fight you again?
CP: Not at all because I had been warned that we would have a rematch at the end of May, then his team apologised when it was postponed. These things happen.

BM: Are you concerned about the judges for the second fight after what happened in the first fight?
CP: No, that’s sport and in France sometimes it’s even worse. In this case [vs. Benn] the promoter and the manager are very sporting (it’s a fight with British fair play) and that’s why they made the rematch, hopefully it will make up for the error from last time. Congratulations and respect to them. Furthermore, it's going to be a great fight.

BM: Looking beyond the Conor Benn fight, what are your ambitions in boxing? Are you going to stick with the sport or return to kickboxing?
CP: There are two possibilities – if I win I’ll continue on my boxing path to the top, if I fail then I’ll take a step back down. As for kickboxing, we’re only going the big events now and that’s why I’ll be boxing less.

BM: Do you think Benn was afraid to take this rematch?
CP: I don’t ask myself that question. I think he’s a professional so probably not but you should ask him!

BM: How are you preparing for the fight with Benn?
CP: Normally I wait until I know the number of rounds – eight or 10 I’ve been told.

BM: What is your prediction for what will happen on 28 July?
CP: There will be a winner - by knockout.

BM: What do you see as Conor Benn’s greatest strengths and weaknesses?
CP: He’s a very good boxer with a very good team around him. I think [in the last fight] it was the first time someone really hurt him. He can bang and also has a good defence with his warrior style. So it's going to be a very good fight. That pleases me.