Interview of DAVID HERGAULT by Serge TREFEU (2009)

(Thanks to Alex Romain for the contact)

Serge TREFEU: Hello David can you appear at the readers who does not know you?

DAVID HERGAULT: Hello to all, I am the former boxer of the 90s, today Professor of Muay Thai in Hong-Kong...

You began the boxing towards which age?

I began the boxing in 16 years

You began directly with the boxing thai?

Not, by the Full-Contact

In what gym you began?

I began in a gym to Mongallet (12th Arr. of Paris), my trainer was called Eric, Eric my given taste to the boxing generally

That what is what attracted you in the practice of Muay Thai?

What my attracted it is all the array which we had and also the beauty of the sport

What were the champions of time, is that there is which you one inspired for the continuation of your career?

Joss, Dany Bill, Nikiéma, Sari, Dida, Jo Prestia, Kaman, inescapable Ramon Dekkers, thais as Samsong, Kobal etc. It was one of the best times of the boxing thai (the warriors)

Your first fights in France you remember it?

Yes it was in Full-contact, fight in amateur, and also fights in the center of Daniel Renesson's Full-contact karate FKC, then in the AEP13, my gym or I began the boxing thai

In what category you fought?

I fought in France within 61.5 kg

What is that you fought in the other disciplines that Muay Thai?

I fought in Full-contact and in Kick boxing, but it is really Muay Thai which was best convenient for me…

You left very young in Thailand, that what is what urged you to go to install you over there?

I arrived in Thailand at the age of 19, actually my mother did not too much agree (Only child, hard for my mother to let me leave) especially that I had to go to a business school or I had crossed examination successfully. What my pushed, simply the Thailand and the nation of this sport!

Tell us your first sensations the Kingdom of the Siam, your first camp of boxing?

My first sensations, ha! Ha! Ha! I arrived in a camp which was dirty, holes in bags, in the middle of the boxing ring of iron bars (it is simple I wanted to come back). I had quite a different image of camps in Thailand… 

Do you stayed in the same camp or did you try several camps?

Yes I stayed in the same camp during several years, then I left to Sit Or a few months. I’m trained with Trapaya Sit Or who was in the time a champion of the TV7 in 63.5 kg. I have make some fights for the camp of Sit Or but always under colors and David Singpatong's name. Then I tried Fairtex in Bangkok or he wanted to keep me. But at the end I returned to my camp of origin which was Singpatong (my family)

You training with champions?

Yes with Trappaya Sont Or, Rambaa, Yok Sit Or and the Pun Louang Singpatong which was the champion of the south and very known to TV7

You are begun to fight in which stadium in Thailand?

My first fights a place of in stadium of Phuket, Sapanhin to Phuket Town (Oh ! which the atmosphere, that's right which makes you love the boxing)

How much do you as make fight?

I have made 65 fights with 49 wins, 1 draw and 15 Losses

Are you gained many fights by Knock Out?

I have 40 victories by KO!

40 KO it is enormous you had to be a very physical fighter, what fighter's style you were?

Yes I was a fighter who advances of the first to fifth rounds. Even when I won at points and when my trainers told me to stop, to manage, I continued to advance (He called me " qwai " the buffalo)

What were your strong points and your weak points?

My strong point, first of all I would say my heart in the fight, never fear, I do not put off, my knees, the clinch and my right. Points weak, can be the lack of big technique if we compare me to certain Thai boxers as I fought. I am persuaded when sparring with some of my fighters, I would not have been in best, now on the boxing ring it is another story…

Did you did gain titles?

I gained the championship of the South of the Thailand. In France I was Champion of Isle de France and France

How many times you fought in Lumpinee?

I fought 15 times in the stadium of Lumpinee

Did you fought in the stadium of Radja also?

Unfortunately not never

You also are one of the first foreigners to fight in the stadium TV7 of Bangkok, how had you this opportunity to fight in this very difficult stadium of access to the foreign fighters?

Simply having beaten the champion of the South to Phuket then the champion of the North in Bangkok in Lumpinee. And after a certain number of victories of sharpened in Lumpinee, promoter Chun Kiatpetch my given my luck. I have to say that the stadium of the TV7 is for me the best stadium which exists, the atmosphere is there simply explosive!

Had you the opportunity to fight on the King’s Birthday?

Unfortunately no, I belonged to a promoter Chun Kiatpetch who he in the time took charge of the TV7 and the Lumpinee. The King’s Birthday was under somebody’s Songchai Ratanasuban and Sami Kebchi (French promoter). Sami Kebchi wanted to make me fight but my promoter did not want to leave me or only condition buying back me (Seen the price which was asked and good I have never had this luck)

What are the known Thai opponents that you faced during your career?

There is a lot, I do not remember all the names, Sakraopet, Pet Mang Gna, Chorchai, Chingtong (TV7 Champion in the time) Lou Siam, sorry but the names of camps I have no memories. And many others, can import the name, I met boxers known thais and less known but I learnt every time…

You often fought in Thailand but did you also fight in the other Asian countries?

I fought in Japan, in Hong-Kong, in Korea and in Macao

Your hardest fight it was against which opponent?

Most hard, I do not think that he is there really of hard fight, there are trainings very hard and if the training is very hard the fight in him even is a delivery. An average training there we can speak about hard fight, it is the way we approach the fight. Naturally there are fights which stand out (physically) it was against a Thai in Ko Samui. He had offended me in the fifth rounds and I gave him a voluntary headbutt. He bet again with another headbutt then I took a big step of moose to give him the other one. During this round there were stony jets on the boxing ring because the punters had bet and I gained the fight, the result I am given losing (Lack of cold blood of my part). I fought again against the same Thai and I put him KO. We fought together 3 times and at the end we were friends. We made even our hand wrap together. It is there or we see the difference with the European mentality. People came to see me and asked me the question " against whom you fights ", I answered them " And indeed my opponent is just next to me ", it surprised them. And yes on the boxing ring no friendship but it not hard that maximum about twenty minutes, later we appreciate for what we are. We know what we bear during the trainings, all the hostility does not exist any more…

One of your best memories of boxing?

Without hesitate my victories in front of champion of the South to Phuket and to the champion of the North in Lumpinee!

And the worst?

The worst of my memories, it was against a famous boxer, Balat. My promoter call my trainer by advancing the fight of week, for it he prevents us 5 days before. I thus had to lose 7 kg in 3 days. Not to eat still it was bearable, but especially forbids to drink, nothing during 3 days it was horrible. Thai locked me into a car having skipped me in the rope. The night I banged sucks her against walls, impossible to sleep. The day of her weighed, no problem, I was for the weight, even down for 59.5 kg, the fight was 61.5 kg. On the other hand the fight took place at 12:45 am thus not enough time resume strengths. The only thing that I wanted it was to drink, to drink and still to drink. But impossible to swallow although is, result, for the first round I did not have strength anymore. I was twice counted, the second time I took 15 or 19 punches in the jaw before fall then to held up me. But I could not go any more to the fight. An advice, there are fights that was needed forcing accepted even to please the promoter, even if there it was a combination of circumstance. Then we tried to fight again against him with a "donpam" (sum of money involved by both camps) in 62.5 kg but he refused. It leaves me a bitter taste. It is sure, I was stupid to have made this decision to lose so much weight. The fight in himself, I do not refuse, but the way that I had to approach him by losing all this weight, in 3 days, which error!

You fought a lot in Thailand but little in France?

I liked fought in Thailand because there is bet money and the punters gave me of big tip in the time. In France not too much atmosphere generally...

You had the opportunity all the same to participate in big event in France as the Tournament of 50 000 dollars in 1997 organized by the promoter Sami Kebchi, you remember this event in which you participated?

Yes naturally I remember very well. I had fought François Pennachio (World Champion Savate, World champion Kick Boxing), at this moment there I was in the army. Thus no possible training, absolutely nothing, and I was not sure to make the fight. The day of the event, no news, I go to the barracks because I was in permission, then we phone me to say me David you fight. OK, no problem, I go to the event, I am told that I fights against François Pennachio. No hand wrap in gloves, nothing, no clothes. I make the fight and I make him count TWICE. Then I lose on a cut of absolutely nothing. 3 stitches, the wound was so small, it is shameful. In Thailand I met myself with 15 stitches, and I continued the fight. The doctor comes to see you and if you make him sign of the head by saying (no problem, I continue, I continue) furthermore if you win or the fight is close, you continue regardless. But in Thailand it is another mentality. In France, the sport is very, very protected, too even, rules are not the same, the score is different, finally …

Did you gain good purse when you fought in Thailand, could you live on your sport as Thai make him?

For my very first fight I had to gain 2000 bahts (40 euro) then it increased. In the lumpinee in the time my first purse was 15000 bahts that is 300 euro, then afterward I could live on it correctly. Furthermore when we live in Thailand as a Thai one in step need of much. Most of the time we cross him or to train or to rest, thus yes I could live on it. But you should not forget that in the time the Thai Boxing was not developed as well as now. In Thailand camps grew, stadium also, and it became really commercial. Even if the foreign boxers do not win enormously, their first ones objective is the fight, the experience of power and to be lucky to fight in Thailand in a small stadium with small bonus…

What are the Thai champions whom you prefer, former generation and new generation?

Former generation, there is Sam San Issan, Cherry, Samat, Kobal, Diesel Noy, etc. the list is long. I preferred the boxing of front, the much harder boxing. Today, a projection in the 5th round and you lose your fight. It is more a technical boxing, maybe I also say in cause my style. But many former Thai also say it that the boxing of some years ago was much harder. For the current fighters naturally Saenchai, Yodseanklai, Sudksakorn, Pet Ek, etc. also list is very long …

How do you see Muay Thai in France, you which is installed in Thailand and which made practically all your career over there?

I have, regrettably, the impression that Muay Thai does not to take off for all these boxers who have a very good potential and who suffer in the training, they have of the merit…

Do you known the French champions of the new generation, and of whom think of it you?

Yes I know of name and I saw boxing Fabio Pinca. A very good boxer technically and who is good-hearted, he has a beautiful future in front of him and a good margin of progress. So Yohan Lidon a powerful boxer and Medhi Zatout a fimeuu boxer. For others than I did not quote, sorry. I think that the problem in France it is that the boxing is badly perceived, it is can be of for the atmosphere which there is in the events. It is a shame we do not manage to develop this sport as in Holland or in Japan. In France the Thai boxing has no very good connotation while we have of very good boxers. It is really shame for them that one not they give no more means. By far I see the problems of federations and it saddens me for all the boxers who trains and have to work next to that…

You are installed for several years in Thailand, what is what you interests you in their culture, that what is what you like most at the thai people?

It is their culture…

You who has a beautiful experience in Thailand, which advice would give you to young French which wants to make a career in Thailand?

The advice which I can give it is discipline, perseverance and especially to be very respectful to its trainers. And the patience, a lot of patience, the work always pays, even if we are endowed you should not rest on its qualities, there is always to learn…

Today you stopped your career, which do you make?

Today I am "Personal Trainer" in Hong-Kong or I there work for approximately 1 year. I am also travel in Russia for one " private training " for business men. Before going to Hong-Kong I held paos in my camp, Singpatong

What is that Muay Thai is developed well on Hong-Kong?

Yes the Muay Thai is developed well on Hong-Kong. We have many of the former Thai champions who come to work here, to see even which still fights. There is an "explosion" of the Thai Boxing in Hong-Kong and also the MMA. I work also in Macao sometime, or we are also going to organize an event of Thai Boxing and MMA on November 7th 

It is difficult to set up a gym of boxing for a foreigner to Hong-Kong?

It would be a dream to be able to set up a big infrastructure on Hong-Kong but it asks for a lot of money. I see him or I work to the gym Kontact, we have a beautiful gym and it costs some money. Thus it is not difficult when we have funds

Have you pupils who fight?

Yes I have some pupils who fight. But most of people come in our gym more for the physical training and to be able to please by expend. However we have fighters who sometimes come by far to get ready here. At the moment even I take charge in Thai Boxing of Antony Rea and Jess Liaudin (The Joker). My friend Parfait N' Donda takes charge of them of it conditionning, they are everything them two of the fighters of the UFC, they get ready for the event which we soon organize in MMA and in Muay Thai

What are your future projects?

My future projects are to be able to evolve still in this sport, to have opportunities of journey by making discover what I learnt during all these long years of training and fights in Thailand. I like the personal training, it is sure that I would like to open my own gym multi-discipline, a big infrastructure...

Do you want to add some things?

I would like to thank quite those who supported me during these years, thanks to Alexandre Romain who my welcomed the first time here to Phuket and my taken and made discover the Singpatong camp…

Thank you very much for this interview and Chook Dee

Thank you, I am not someone who really likes exposing himself, I remain discreet but thank you it pleases me to have answered this interview


David Hergault makes left the race of the warriors as Dekkers or Prestia who marked the spirits by their manners to fight and their memorable fights. Practically unknown in France, David left an imprint with the country of the Thai boxing especially in the world of the Thai punters or it was very known. It is one of the rare foreign boxers to have been lucky to fight for the famous stadium TV7!


Weight: 61KG 500 – 63 Kg 500
Number of fight: 65 fights. 49 wins.1 draw.15 Losses. 40 wins by KO !

Title: South Champion of Thailand (1998). France Champion (1995). Isle France

Champion (1995).

Gym Thaïland: Singpatong in Phuket
Gym Hong Kong: 
Kontact Martial Arts Training Centre
9/F LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street – Central – Hong Kong
website :


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Lumpinee Stadium