British Fighter Wins World Savate Title


British Fighter Wins World Title in Savate, French Boxing.

6th November 2014, London

In Rome on Saturday night, 1st Nov, James Southwood of London became the first British World Champion in Boxe-Francaise Savate, a kickboxing sport from France.

The World Championships in Savate Assaut 2014 saw around 220 athletes from more than 30 nations come to Rome between 30th October and 1st November. The usually dominant French team is selected from tens of thousands of practitioners with a legion of top coaches and government funding. Most nations, including Great Britain, represent fewer than several hundred athletes and are self funded.

James Southwood won a gold medal in the men’s -80kg category, beating the French fighter in the final, and his team mate James Antill won Silver in the men’s -75kg category. The GB Team in 2014 was made up of 4 men, 3 women,1 coach and 2 officials.

Savate is a French fighting sport dating from the early 1800s, combining English boxing and French kicking. It is an elegant, efficient kick-punch style. The word ‘Savate’ comes from the shoe worn in older times and today the boot is still the Savateur’s best weapon. Savate is practised in a 5m x 5m boxing ring, with gloves and boots.

Southwood, 35, started learning Savate in 1999 and has been fighting at international level for 10 years. He is President of the Great Britain Savate Federation and runs a Savate club in London.
“This year I told myself – no excuses” says Southwood. “I have been working on my strength, my psychology and my technique, and it paid off. I owe a lot of respect and thanks to my team mates, coaches and friends who have helped me to believe in myself enough to do this.”

Notes to editors:

The Great Britain Savate Federation (GBSF) exists to promote the sport of Savate – French boxing – in Great Britain and to promote communication and co-operation between Savate clubs.

The World Championships in Savate Assaut were organised on behalf of FISav, The Federation Internationale de Savate

Full scale photos available.

Contact the Great Britain Savate Federation on 07950 456307,, @GBSavate