Watching Guillaume Babouin fight is a moment by itself. In Claire Désérable’s new short film aptly titled “Synchrony of Self,” they celebrate the liberating power of individuality but also mirror the real-life narrative of its protagonist, Guillaume Babouin — a professional boxer and a seasoned model. Set to Frank Sinatra’s iconic track “My Way,” the film captures Babouin’s onscreen persona breaking free from the monotony of suburban life, joyously dancing to his own rhythm. Babouin’s dual identity as a champion boxer and model becomes a metaphor for the character he portrays — both challenging and breaking their own narratives. The short film serves as a reminder that true fulfillment comes from living authentically, unapologetically embracing one’s unique path.
The French WBC European champion and model sits down with Schön! from a bustling city between Rio de Janeiro & Vitória, Brazil, to talk about his dedication as a professional athlete, fighting for a living and the fashion industry.
How are you feeling at the moment?
I am well, I am spending two months here in Brazil because, to tell you a secret, I have a lot of trouble with winter in Europe. The cold makes me lazy, so I rather spend time in beautiful and sunny Brazil with my girlfriend, who is Brazilian. The energy and vibe here are amazing; their way of life, their music, their dedication to sports. I’m making the best out of it and taking the opportunity of the warm weather to train a lot and move forward on my professional projects.
How did your passion for martial arts start?
I think I was born with it; the art of fighting. My dad was a karate fighter and later a teacher, so I always saw him training. Also, as a kid, I was watching a lot of fight movies and became a big fan of Jet Li. For that reason, it made me want to practice kung fu. However, due to the lack of training opportunities in my area, my father convinced me to practice karate instead. As a result, I came to train karate for 6 years and get a black belt in karate.
How was it to discover Muay Thai?
It was after those years of karate, I came across a Muay Thai gym. It was a revelation: more powerful, more complete, more effective in my opinion, and endowed with freedom of execution that I did not find in karate, with above all an exceptional coach who took me to Thailand very quickly after my beginnings to continue.
How was the journey to become the WBC European Champion?
Becoming a professional fighter was a source of personal pride. I never thought I would reach this level when I started thaï boxing in Thailand. So winning a WBC European title was a consecration for me, the effort of a lifetime. I was so happy when they put the belt around my waist. And to tell you the truth, throughout the preparation for the WBC European title fight, I was sure I would win this fight by KnockOut. I trained so hard, twice a day, 6 days a week, that there could only have been one possible outcome.
Was there any hardship in becoming the champion?
I went through difficult stages of being close to overtraining before the fight, but I had to give it all. The possibility to fight for the WBC European title is a unique opportunity. If you miss it you probably won’t get a second chance. Maybe you will get a chance to fight for other titles and other belts, but not for “the green one”. My coach knew it, and I knew it. Defeat was not an option. We worked hard and the work paid off.
What has that journey taught you?
It has proven to me that with desire, seriousness and attendance – we can achieve great things. The victory of the sport is not only the work of two months training camp. It is due also to a healthy lifestyle for years, love for this sport, blood, sweat, tears, questioning, doubts, a caring environment, friends to support me, amazing coaches I met through my journeys. It is the result of so many years of practice, fights, persistence and determination.
Do you have any advice on how to continue to stay focused, but also slow your mind down when needed?
I think that doing any sport, regularly, slows down your mind. Following that, knowing how to control our breath helps us all to stay calmer and more lucid. Which is important in sports, and life in general.
However, it’s very easy to just say that, but controlling your breath when emotions take over is very complicated to do. When we are filled with emotions, we forget to breathe. I would therefore advise that if you are in a difficult situation, to recharge and focus only on your breath. I learned it from my coach during my first years of practice and It has been a game changer for me.
As you have a second profession within the fashion industry. Have you noticed any common qualities between being a professional athlete and a model?
Combat sport and modelling are both arts, each in their own field. Believing in yourself is a common quality that a model and an athlete must have if they want their dreams to last. Not to mention, a healthy lifestyle, nervous resistance, and physical resistance.
What inspires you when working in fashion?
Fashion has a big power over the daily lives of everyone in our society. In a world where image is very important, whether we like it or not. Fashion allows us to give an image of ourselves. I have often heard fashion is our way to show the world who we are, but I rather think fashion is a way of showing who we want to be. Just because I dress a certain way, doesn’t mean I am that person. On the other hand, this is the image I show to the world. The power of fashion allows me to give a different energy depending on the outfit I wear. The more pronounced the styling, the easier it is to adapt. If you add accessories it’s even simpler.
When not at the gym as a professional athlete, what do you love to wear?
Out of the gym, it depends on the weather, but I love to wear linen clothing when the weather is nice. When it’s cooler, I would say that I’m more of a dark-coloured chino type with a uni t-shirt or polo shirt and leather jacket.
I like wearing clothes that can be used during the day, as I could also use it for the night. Small changes, like a jacket, a belt, or different shoes will make my style different. I like to dress “chameleon way.” I guess it’s representative of my personality.
What’s next for you? What are your hopes and plans for this year?
I feel ready to take a step forward this year. I have two main projects, the first one is to enter the British Stunt Register. The BSR is the longest-established and largest association of stunt professionals working in the Film and Television industry internationally. I must therefore acquire the technical and physical abilities of 6 disciplines, so I train a lot for it, 6 days a week. I already have the fighting skills needed, so right now I am focusing on swimming and climbing. Sport, being my life, I love the journey of this project to be able to use my experience and also learn new skills.
My other plan for this year is to sign with an acting agent from one of the most renowned talent agencies in Paris, which I am very excited about. I had the chance to take acting classes and to do a few commercials last year, Tissot being one of them. So this step will therefore be important to my bigger goals for the year to come.