Interview with Marie-Eve Dicaire
By Jeff Jeffrey, TVA Sports Boxing Columnist, JiC show
Another opportunity for a world title is already shining upon the already amazing career of Marie-Eve Dicaire (17-1), the former IBF junior middleweight champion. Indeed, since the French-Canadian fighter held her own against pound for pound best, Claressa Shields in a unification attraction, the door quickly opened as Dicaire will face Patricia Berghult (14-0, 3 ko’s) June 18 for the WBC super welterweight that Shields will leave vacant in the coming weeks.
As the first women’s champion in the history of Quebec, Marie-Eve is making a habit of establishing new chapters in the book of the beautiful province by taking part in the most popular card of the story of women’s boxing with Shields. She is now trying to become the only woman pugilist in Quebec to win two titles.
The charismatic Marie-Eve has agreed to talk with me about her next fight and what women’s boxing needs to further prosper.
Jeff Jeffrey: Since winning your IBF title against Christina Namus in 2018, your popularity has been growing. In addition, you will have the chance to become the first woman in the history of Quebec to win two major titles. Your thoughts?
Marie-Eve Dicaire: I have always wanted to do great things in life to inspire people. I have the chance to do it again against Patricia Berghult on June 18th.
JJ: You faced the best female boxer in the history of noble art. Do you agree that your inspiring performance against Shields is more a victory than a defeat?
MD: Clearly! It’s not the result I was hoping for. When I get in a ring, I do it to win. On the other hand, I am proud of the work we have done, me and my team. I learned a lot. My relationship with Yvon Michel, my promoter grew and my team and I are closer than before. We didn’t tumble down in the rankings; I remained the number one contender due to my performance.
JJ: I told Jean-Charles Lajoie on the Battlefield segment of his show, JiC on TVA Sports that if you put in a great showing versus Claressa Shields who wants to do everything at once, she couldn’t keep all her titles and you’d be in a world championship fight very soon.
MD: That’s what’s happening. By standing up to Shields, I’m still in a good position for another title, like the WBC. Shields will go into MMA and when she will return to boxing, she has a good chance that it will not be in 154 pounds division. Therefore, it is impossible for her to meet the criteria for title defenses, so she has to give up titles. I didn’t want to start again at the bottom of the ladder and I think my resilience paid off.
JJ: I’ve seen female boxers get discouraged against Shields in the ring, Christina Hammer, Hanna Gabriels among others. But that was never your case. You didn’t give up.
MD: Despite the defeat, I had a big wave of love by the people, it was amazing. I’ve always been in solution mode to win during the fight. I managed to push her in the last few rounds, but she has a good execution speed.
JJ: Do you think three-minute rounds would have made a difference?
MD: Absolutely! With one more minute, I would have tired her more and the result would have been different. I am a very tough boxer and more than enough energy to fight for 12 rounds of 3 minutes.
JJ: The great thing is that you immediately went back to training by the end of your quarantine.
MD: I can’t stay at home doing nothing, I’m a gym beast. I immediately contacted my coach, Stéphane Harnois and the rest of my team to make things happen for the rest of my career.
JJ: What did Yvon say about your performance?
MD: He was extremely proud and he thought I was at my best in the ring. That being said, there is room for improvement. It’s really positive, because it means it’s not the end.
JJ: What can you tell us about your next opponent, Patricia Berghult.
MD: At this point, not much. My focus was really just on Shields. However, my coach analyzed her back and forth and the strategy is already ready. So, we’re ready to start work.
JJ: We saw the integration of women at the London 2012 Olympic Games, the recognition of women by associations like the WBC, WBA before 2010, the WBO, that same year and the IBF finally embarked in 2014. The huge success of the Shields-Dicaire gala marked a turning point in women’s boxing also. What does female fighters need to continue this progress?
MD: Rounds of 3 minutes and I think after the next Olympics, the quality of the female boxers on the world stage will be even better, so the fights will be more competitive and we will gain greater credibility. We’re a long way from pugilists like Lisa Noel Garnen. Today’s female boxers have better training programs and women are increasingly taken seriously when they enter a boxing gym and say they want to step into a ring. Young girls must be allowed to dream and allow them to live from a career in boxing.
Everything is governed by the law of supply and demand, we fight for equal pay with men. The more people buy our fights, the more money we will make. For this, the product must be good and, in my opinion, it’s getting better and better. The medias are doing a great job covering female fighters and events. This helps enormously.