Jean-Charles Skarbowsky – THE Official BIO

Posted: November 5, 2010 in Commentary/Opinion

Hello friends, or should I say, bonjour!  The Q&A we did with our friend, and world-class Muay Thai fighter Jean-Charles Skarbowsky has been such a huge success, we’re coming at you again with an official bio.  And by “official” I mean OFFICIAL.  Like you, I’ve turned to the world-wide web, or what my Mom calls “The Internet Space” to look for anything regarding the “Muay Thai Maestro” only to come up empty-handed.  With that, I specifically asked Jean-Charles to “hook a brother up.”  He was gracious enough to send me a bio written by Serge Trefeu.  Unbelievable.  Not only will you get the cold hard facts (e.g. records, titles) you’ll get Jean-Charles back story too. 

Disclaimer:  The original BIO Jean-Charles submitted was in French.  So good luck with that!  Kidding…kind of.  Actually, I did have to translate it, so there may be some errors in it, but after talking to Jean-Charles, he didn’t care.  In fact, he thought it would be “funny.”  Read it below!

JEAN-CHARLES SKARBOWSKY: Born in Paris on March 10, 1975.  Height:  5’7″  Fighting Weight: 140-158.  Number of Fights: 97.  Record: 74 wins, 20 losses, 2 NC , 50 KOs.  Numerous Titles: CHAMPION OF FRANCE, 3 time European Champion, CLASS NUMBER 1 TO RADJA in 2003 and 2006 and number 4 in 2005.  Only FUJIWARA Japanese champion since 1978, won a seat belt Radja, as a non Thai, no other foreigners have been ranked No. 1 in Radja. Frenchman, Fabrice Payen was ranked number 3 to Radja in the 90s. FAVORITE TECHNIQUE: TIP (Front Kick)

Jean-Charles Skarbowsky is a real phenomenon in the world of Muay Thai.  He can be classified as a living legend of European Muay Thai for the last fifteen years; as well as Dany Bill Nikiema, Sari, Kaman and Dekkers, who all possessed the “Fighting Spirit.”  With a “terrible” punch, Jean-Charles struck many of his opponents.  Often compared to the general Ramon Dekkers for his combativeness and his exceptional mind.  

Jean-Charles’ mother came from Romania to France at the age of 25 years.  Her struggles to overcome her situation as a single parent were very honorable as Jean-Charles’ father died when he was very young.  He was raised the hard way, but like a man, it is through them that he has always identified his “rage” in the ring during his fights.

Skarbowsky is also a “miracle” of boxing.  In 1997, he broke his right hand and the doctors’ decided that he could no longer box!  But three years later, Jean-Charles would defeat this obstacle with courage and faith and despite his doctor’s pessimistic diagnosis, he made a stunning return to the highest level.

In Thailand, he is recognized at the same level as the champions of the country.  It is not only his exceptional technique that the Thai fans adored, but his “brave heart” that was worthy of the great nak muay that ignites the stadiums of the country.

Jean-Charles discovered boxing, pushing the door of the club “Siam boxing” in the 12th in Paris in 1991.  This famous club is run by a big name in the middle of muay, Andre Zeitoun.  Jean-Charles was just sixteen years old and during his first muay thai fight, he found the game too hard!  But voila, Andre Zeitoun had lent him Thai boxing shorts.  Jean-Charles as a courtesy to the coach who had trusted him, returned those shorts and ultimately continued to train in muay thai.  Andre Zeitoun became his mentor and even his “spiritual father.”  An indescribable bond grew between the young talented boxer and passionate coach.  They would end up going a long way together … Skarbowsky made his first bout in February 1992 at St Maur in the Parisian suburb Karim Benattia cons.  He won on points.  Thanks to his determination and natural talent for muay thai, Jean-Charles put together a nice winning streak, all be KOs!

At 18 years of age, in 1994, he left for his first visit to Thailand where he won five consecutive victories.  This would be the 1st of seven trips there.   In Thailand Jean-Charles discovers the land of muay thai very enchanting.  His first training camp was at Gold Sit next to Pattaya.  The camp was conducted by Arjarn Rinthamart Prayad who has trained champions like, Thappraya, Yokthai and Ramba (Somdej).  One of the oldest camps in Pattaya, which is a traditional Thai camp where thousands of mosquitoes come tickle you late night drive … But Jean-Charles didn’t just train at the camps, he fought.  Unlike many foreigners who train for months in Thailand but never fight.  Jean-Charles needed to feel the passion in the ring. 

That first fight, he would perform ay the Marina Bar in Pattaya with his opponents increasingly hard because every time he won by KO … Back in France for his 13th fight, he confronted the technician Jean Luc Janvier (France champion 90, 93).  After a great meeting where Jean-Charles will open the tibia over several centimeters, he will lose on points.  This is his first defeat … For his next fight in Paris, he unfortunately also suffered his first loss by KO against a young boxer Mustapha Mekboul Gennevilliers.  Jean-Charles will later say that this terrible KO was the hardest of his career.

Jean-Charles would bounce back quickly with another string of victories, notably against 2x French Champion Khalil, who he would knock out in the 3rd round.  This win positioned Jean-Charles as the #1 contender for the European Title.
Skarbowsky with only 18 fights (15 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw) was set to fight Osman, a Belgian champion with 96 fights, for the European Title!  The fight takes place in St Denis, 27 May 1995.  The two boxers make a great fight but Osman suffered the terrible pressure of Jean-Charles to the final round and finished the match with his face very marked. Osman later reported that he had never met a boxer who hits as hard as Skarbowsky! At just 20 years, Jean-Charles Skarbowsky holds the European Champion Muay Thai Belt, a feat …
In July, 2006, Jean-Charles Skarbowsky announced his retirement from the ring.  After a fantastic career, full of difficult battles, Jean-Charles takes a well deserved rest.  Even if he never had the belt Radja or Lumpinee, or even the world championship belt, he was nonetheless “THE CHAMPION.”   He faced the champions at home and abroad, beating the biggest names in Muay Thai for over 10 years.
He left Thailand, his adopted country to move back to France where Jean-Charles will pass on his valuable knowledge to future nak muay.  France lost its best representative of muay thai in Thailand.  But the land of smiles, Skarbowsky, now a warrior’s name, is etched in the memories of Thailand.  Ask a taxi driver in Bangkok about who Jean Charles is.  He will answer you immediately, “Oh Skarbowsky! Big Champion “…
Translated to English by Fresh, based off a bio written by Serge Trefeu
You may also enjoy VigilanteMMA’s exclusive interview with Jean-Charles.
  1. Bill Coffman says:

    Very nice bio – Jean-Charles is the perfect example of if it is worth doing, it is worth doing to the best of your ability. He is awesome.

  2. OpsMarine says:

    This is what we needed. It’s clear he’s a champion of sorts by the way he can fight, even while intoxicated (no disrespect intended). I’ve tweeted it to share his story, and hopefully this makes it to Wikipedia someday.

  3. vigilantemma says:

    Thanks guys. Appreciate the support (and tweets) and so does Jean-Charles.

    S-Cla$$ and Fresh

  4. Stockholm - Belgrade says:

    Wonderful fighter – what a heart he has. I love his whole story.

  5. […] 9. Jean Charles Skarbowsky: The Official Bio […]

  6. Chris says:

    Interesting, I always thought his roots got to be Polish (as Skarbowski is one of the prominent noble polish family). Awesome fighter – wish there would be more youtube on his fights>

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