Estelle Mossely is an Olympic gold medallist, a world champion in her sport and, since making the move into boxing’s paid ranks, has reeled off nine wins from her nine professional bouts.
It’s the sort of CV that has prompted her promoter to label her, as promoters are wont to do, already the best female pound-for-pound in the world. The promoter, the vastly experienced Richard Schafer now president at new stable Probellum, also compared Mossley in talent to none other than Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Yet Mossely, 29, smiles simply at the suggestion.
“I think every boxer is different,” the Frenchwoman tells The National from Paris, not long out from her headline fight at the first of two Probellum events next week in Dubai. “But I think I can be the best boxer in the world, maybe in one year.
“It’s right that, when I talk with Richard, I feel that this history and this objective is possible: to be the biggest champion and the biggest boxer in the world.
“But Estelle is Estelle, Mayweather is Mayweather. I will not compare. Every boxer has their own identity. But his ambition and my ambition are to be the best boxer in the world, and to have only wins in my career.”
Mayweather, long since retired from meaningful boxing, called time at 50-0, one of only a handful of truly elite boxers that can claim to have gone through their career undefeated. For Mossely, even this early into her professional journey, that matters. The “0” must not go.
“It’s very important,” she says. “I like perfection. It’s really important for me to box, to fight, but to fight with the best, to do the best fight every time. Winning is important, but for me it’s not only to win, it’s make a good fight, don’t have a lot of damage. Like Mayweather.
“I’m a woman, I’m a mother, and I don’t want to look like a boxer who has hard fights. I want the other people to see that I can be a boxer, I can be a woman, and I can win my fight.”
Clearly, being a role model matters. Mossely recognises that her IBO world lightweight title defence on March 18, against Argentina’s Yanina del Carmen Lescano at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, is significant not only for her career, but for women’s boxing, too.
“It’s good for me to be one of the first women to fight for a title in not only Dubai, but the Middle East in general,” Mossely says. “It’s important for me to represent women. It’s an important fight for me, an important fight for boxing, and an important fight for women in general.
“I want to make history; I want to be an important fighter in the world and in my generation. And a fight like this can be, for me, the first step to become a big professional boxer.
“My ambition is to fight with the biggest women in my weight. And this is the first step to go in the best fights, to fight for all titles.”
Performing under the Probellum umbrella is not the only first next week for Mossely: the 2016 world and Olympic gold medallist has never fought professionally outside her homeland. She captured the belt in France in June 2019 and has won four times since. Her pro record reads 9-0, with one win coming via knockout.
That said, Mossely has not competed in year, a combination of the pandemic and wanting to choose the right promoter after three fights in six months following the birth of her second son, in 2020. Mossely settled finally on Probellum, signing in January, convinced they share the same vision as she plots a path to the top of the game.
“It’s important to have a big promoter in a professional career,” she says. “I have one target, one big target: to be world champion in lightweight. With Richard, we have the same objective.
“And I can see this target because I have a team, I have a coach, but now I have a promoter who comes with me in all my fights for this target and prepares the right fight.
“It’s important that the world know me. In Paris, they know me, in France they know me. But it’s important the world know me and know my quality as a boxer.”
The recent deal has, Mossely says, signalled a “new chapter” in her career. She decided early to put family before fighting, having her two sons – the eldest is four-and-a-half, the other three years younger – and has now found the balance to focus when required on boxing.
And, anyway, there is the belief built from her stellar amateur career. After taking up boxing age 12, Mossely was soon competing, winning competitions in France before moving onto the European scene. A couple of months from the 2016 Games, she took gold at the World Championships, defeating current female pound-for-pound No 1 Katie Taylor in the semi-finals in Kazakhstan.
The gold medal in Rio quickly followed, elevating Mossely to the first Frenchwomen to triumph in boxing at an Olympics. The medal resides at home, but as notable achievement that is, she stresses it’s in the past. Ruling the pro game is the present aim.
“It’s not really motivation because now I’m a professional and I know I became Olympic champion in the past,” Mossely says. “All I did in amateur I can do in professional, but I must understand the particulars of professional training and the professional career.
“It’s not because I was Olympic champion in the past that I will be champion in professional. I understand the difficulties. It’s important to see it step-by-step. OK, first step, I become Olympic champion; it’s the reason that my team and I know I can become professional champion.
“But we will start at the beginning. I will grow up in the professional [ranks] and I will learn. It’s not a new sport, but like a new sport. It’s a good start, but it’s not the finality.”
Although wary not to overlook Lescano (10-2, 2 KO), Mossely does have an eye on the biggest names in the sport. Women's boxing is thriving at present, evidenced by next month's lightweight title encounter between undisputed champion Taylor and seven-weight champion Amanda Serrano. It is the first women's boxing match to headline Madison Square Garden.
“It’s really a big moment for women’s boxing,” Mossely says. “It’s with a fight like this that the world can see that women in boxing really is legitimate. We need big fights like this; women need big fights; boxing needs big fights to show the world that women boxers can be just boxers, not women boxers.
“And for me it’s good to know that maybe in a few months, maybe in one year, I’ll probably do a fight like this, to take part in this history for women’s boxing.”
Step one, though, on this freshly rerouted road comes against Lescano.
“Winning is the most important, yes, but I like to win with a good quality of precision,” Mossely says. “When I come to the ring, I want to make a beautiful fight, for everyone to see that I don’t take a lot of punches in my face, I have good eyes, I see the punch coming.
“It’s really important to give a big performance, because a big fight will stay in people’s minds. I want to make an impression on everybody.”