Andreas Valavanis, AKA King Cheetah, is the highest ranking professional boxer in Egypt and the Middle East. Egyptian international champion, WBF African champion, WBF international champion, WBF intercontinental champion, and World Title challenger, he truly is an inspiration. Between boxing, his 9-5 job, and his family, André tells us his story.
How/when did you first get into boxing?
I got introduced to boxing back in 2010. I was a little chubby then
and I’d decided to lose the extra weight. The gym became too boring for me, and I always loved the movie Rocky, so I thought I’d try to lose weight via boxing. I would work so hard during the trainings and at some point my trainer at the time told me I had the talent and that I should fight at the national championship. I competed at the national championship that year and won. Afterwards, I moved to Sweden to pursue my masters in finance, and while I was there, I fought in the amateurs and I won multiple championships in both Sweden and Denmark. I came back to Egypt and became a professional boxer in Nov.2015. It’s now been 8-9 years since my first introduction to boxing, and I’ve been a professional for a little over 4 years now.
How did you become King Cheetah?
King Cheetah is my boxing alias. In my very early training days, they used to call me cheetah because I had very fast reflexes. I added the “king” part later on because, in the animal kingdom, “king cheetah” is a very unique and rare type of cheetahs, which is exactly what I aspire to be. Not only do I work hard to be unique and stand out among my fellow boxers, but I also balance between being an Associate VP of Investor Relations at my full-time job, my trainings, and my personal life.
What keeps you inspired?
The word “legacy” keeps me inspired. I want to make history and I want to pave the path for all the Egyptian boxers. I want to be the first to do it, and by doing so, I aspire to inspire more Egyptians to go down the same path, and hopefully even surpass me.
What impact does boxing have on your life?
Boxing is simply my passion. Whenever I put the gloves on, I go somewhere different. I leave all my problems behind, and I enjoy every second of it, big time! I think about it all the time. I watch fights and study how to fight, how to walk, how to move in the ring with different styles and against different boxers, how to work on every single detail in my body, and how to achieve more. I also formulate more and more strategies in my head and work on making my muscle memory stronger.
Do you have any plans coming up?
My manager and I are actually working on big things for 2020 at the moment. I will be fighting 3 times this year; dates and opponents are yet to be finalized. I will; however, definitely be needing the support of the Egyptians, who I promise to make them proud.
What would you tell someone who’s just starting?
I’d tell them to be consistent because consistency is the key to success. Never skip workouts, be disciplined, work hard, be dedicated, always go into your workouts with the right mindset, and do what you have to do to be disciplined. You always need to be working on something, improving something. Go one step at a time and you will, by time, become a better fighter.
Anything else you’d like to add
There is no denying that my hard work and my dedication got me to where I am today, but I must admit that I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my support system. I am very grateful to each and every member of my family, to my manger and promoter Richard Nwoba, and to the sponsors who believed in me since the start. GB Auto’s never ceasing support got me to where I am today and Fitbox gym is where I got my start .