Andre Demm Malti Zeitoun interviewed by Stephen Azzopardi

Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 9:55

Following the first meeting with Andre Zeitoun, I met him once again and it was a great pleasure interviewing him.Andre Demm Malti Zeitoun is half Maltese as his mother was from Hamrun. After the Second World War, like most of the Maltese of those times, she emigrated and met a good Jewish boxer and it was love. Since his childhood he received “boxing education” at home obviously by his father and his elderly brother who was also rather a talented boxing. His continuation for boxing comes from his close friends living in his district, where they practiced several fights at once.

Andrei started training Thai Boxing on the 5th of November 1980 in Yamatsuki Gym of Roger Paschy in Paris. After 19 fights, he became a champion of junior France twice in 1985 and 1986.

The first time when he travelled to Thailand in 1988, his aim was to become an immense champion and be able to fight against the best fighters. It was there where he immediately realized that his level was very far than that he claimed to be. There he spent 64 days in a training camp and felt in love with Thai Boxing. By time being in Thailand and also in Japan he managed to specialize in Muay Thai Boxing and he has skilled in high level preparation for fighters.

His first direct connection with Malta was during the first Thai Boxing Seminar at the SkolaSport Marsa with Adrain Axisa in 1992. It was also the gathering of martial arts in Malta. Between 1993 and 1995 he trained the Maltese boxer Vince Bongailas.

During summer of 1996, he organized the first international Thai Boxing Seminar in St. Julian’s. More than hundred boxers from various European countries attended during this one week seminar. During this seminar, participants every morning at seven they used to run by the St. Julian’s strand, following they had three hours of training. They also had time for leisure with their family members during the night.

Andre expressed his great satisfaction for this event and in the future he will try to do it once again. Being in Malta for a holiday, during a boxing competition, he also met Billy Corito who was a spectator like him. Corito introduced himself, and after that Zeituon saw his videos, he accepted to be his trainer only for some fights. During the interview apart from boxing Andre expressed his extreme love for Malta and everything which is Maltese. He enjoys the smell and colour of Malta that as he described it looks like honey. Around in his gym in Paris he has four Maltese flags and a Hamrun Spartans’ gear dating 1971. He regularly follows the Maltese national team, both football and especially rugby. Talking about international football, for him the best football player of all time is the Bulgarian Hristo Stoichkov.

While thanking Andre, for his availability I would like to congratulate him for his more than 30 years of involvement in this sport. I shall conclude with a repetitive Andre’s quote “I’m always behind Malta…” Like Andre Demm Malti Zeitoun we should be proud of our nation.

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