Photo taken May 10, 2016 in Créteil of the former French boxing champion Amadou Ba posing with members of his club “Magic Créteil” (AFP / Archives / MEHDI FEDOUACH)
“To be killed like that is even worse than in Marseille”: ten days after the particularly violent murder of the former French champion of Thai boxing Amadou Ba, the terror still disputes him with grief in Créteil, in Paris suburbs.
Tuesday, April 4, past 22:00. Out of the gym after giving a lesson, the boxer is alone driving his car when another vehicle blocks his route, in a commercial area of small crown, on the border between Créteil and Bonneuil-sur-Marne (Val -de-Marne).
The aggressors dismount: one of them shoots the athlete while the others break the windows. They drag him out of the cockpit and beat him with bats, before fleeing. Hit by six bullets, according to the floor, the boxer dies in hospital.
“They have persevered,” says AFP a taxi driver. Arrived at the very end of the scene, this forty-year-old places the victim “in PLS” (lateral safety position). But, under “the face in blood, hammered”, he did not “recognize” his friend of almost 20 years, Amadou Ba. It is only when he learns of his death the next day that he understands whom he has helped.
At first sight, the violence used suggests the methods of criminal circles.
“Amadou has never been involved in any kind of traffic, he was a straight man,” say his two former coaches, Nordine and Amar Mahmoudi, in their club Bonneuil-sur-Marne.
A portrait corroborated by the parquet of Creteil: Amadou Ba, 39 years, was unknown justice.
Sunday, April 15, a thousand people gathered to honor his memory during a walk in the streets of the city.
– “Values” of the ring –
At the club Bonneuil, where he had donned his first gloves in 1997, his family are still sounded. “The way he died, I do not even want that to my worst enemy,” said one of them.
Photo taken on May 10, 2016 in Créteil of the former French boxing champion Amadou Ba posing in his club “Magic Créteil” (AFP / Archives / MEHDI FEDOUACH)
Between the multicolored embroidered shorts and the striking shields, some remember the good times: his title of champion of France in 2005 and his tournament in Thailand in the style “Kard Chuek”, with for only gloves ropes wrapped on the hands and the forearms.
All describe a man “discreet and humble”, able to cumulate for years his training with two jobs: newspaper delivery man early in the morning, and security officer for the town hall of Créteil. “I did not know he was champion of France until three years after meeting him,” says Jimmy, another friend.
“He applied the values learned in the ring in his life: respect, wisdom, self-control,” recalls Habib Namaoui, a 58-year-old engineer who helped him prepare for several fights.
“Amadou could cross the whole of France to take young people to competitions, always with a smile”, testifies Filipe Da Silva, with whom he had founded in 2005 the Magic Créteil club, in the popular district of Mont-Mesly.
So how do you explain such a wave of violence? The investigation was entrusted to the Criminal Brigade of the judicial police of Paris. The boxer’s relatives want to “let justice do his job” and the prosecution says it examines all the assumptions: from settlement of accounts to simple road dispute. “No track is privileged,” he says.
In Bonneuil, members of his former club are now organizing to lend a hand and maintain the teachings of the Magic Creteil: “Out of the question that kids fall on the street”.