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M’billi Knocks Out Nicholson But WILL Need Further Step-Up Fights To Challenge For World Titles

M'billi Knocks Out Nicholson But May Need Further Step-Up Fights To Contend featured image
Christian MBILLI of France during the No Limit XI at Salle Marcel Cerdan on December 13, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Anthony Dibon/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

The most recent match of undefeated French 168 lbs contender, Christian M’billi, ended in success after his 4th round victory over American fighter Demond Nicholson. Despite the win, doubts have surfaced as to whether M’billi can be considered a legitimate world title contender or mere prey to the likes of David Benavidez. The M’billi-Nicholson match was the main event for a fight card held at the Lac Leamy Casino in Quebec, Canada, on September 8th.

Christian M’billi’s (25-0, 21 KO’s) achievements at super middleweight have been overlooked for a better-known contender in David Benavidez (27-0, 23 KO’s). Benavidez has proven himself on many occasions, partially due to recent victories over another former world champion Caleb Plant (22-2, 13 KO’s) and David Lemieux ― who Benavidez virtually retired; both of which were dominant, but also because he had already been a world champion prior to being stripped.

M’billi, 28, seems to have shown the potential to perhaps trump someone like Benavidez after his September 8th KO victory over 30-year-old American contender Demond Nicholson (26-6-1, 22 KO’s), though it is admittedly hard to gauge where he stands compared to other contenders like David Morrell (9-0, 8 KO’s) whose record speaks for itself.

His match against Nicholson was a dominant display of boxing ability on M’billi’s part, a testament to his ability to grow as a fighter following his previous unanimous decision win over former IBO super middleweight champion Carlos Gongora (21-2, 16 KO’s).

Though he already netted an easy victory over his previous opponent, M’billi looked a step above his usual self when he faced Nicholson; a fighter good enough to be drifting in or near the top 10/15 of the sanctioning bodies’ rankings.

During M’billi’s fight with Nicholson, he produced a superior performance that saw him eventually knock the American fighter out in the fourth round. He also retained his WBC Continental Americas title as a result.

The fight card, held at the Lac Leamy Casino in Quebec, Canada, was devoid of any other notable matches, with Christian M’billi’s performance only being enhanced by the fact he headlined the card together with Demond Nicholson.

However, despite M’billi now being on the radar as a future world title contender, his resume lacks a definitive top 10-ranked opponent, including the likes of Edgar Berlanga (21-0, 16 KO’s), Erik Bazinyan (30-0, 21 KO’s), and Jaime Munguia (42-0, 33 KO’s); all three of whom are undefeated like M’billi and have also produced dominant displays at times at 168 lbs.

M’billi faces a tough road ahead of him as he will no doubt continue to establish himself as a contender but will always seem second-par to fighters such as David Benavidez with proven credentials. Moreover, the division is filled with a multitude of ‘dark horses,’ including the likes of Sena Agbeko (27-2, 21 KO’s), Jack Cullen (22-4-1, 10 KO’s), and Rohan Murdock (27-2, 19 KO’s); fighters that have ‘stained’ records given their losses and/or draws but who have shown the ability or potential to topple some of the more well-known contenders in the division, including some that have been mentioned in this article previously.

Despite the challenges, M’billi has shown potential to perhaps become considered a worthy title challenger, but he is definitely up against steep competition and will need to properly challenge himself against the division’s wild cards or fellow unbeaten contenders if he is to beat someone like David Benavidez; a fighter deemed good enough to beat, and quite possibly dominate, pound-for-pound fighter and undisputed champion Canelo Alvarez (59-2-2, 39 KO’s).