LiverKick

Switch to desktop Register Login

Mohamed Khamal and Mosab Amrani Put on FOTYC at It's Showtime 45

  • Published in Kickboxing

Mosab Amrani and Mohamed Khamal went to war at It's Showtime - The Sands, It's Showtime's 45th show on December 18th. It was one of the most anticipated bouts of the evening and was for the "King of Amsterdam" crown. With all of the speculation and anticipation, it ended up being put in the main event slot for the It's Showtime broadcast, which was aired live on http://www.itsshowtimefights.com for around $10 USD. Basically, if you missed this show, make sure to catch the next one.

Mosab and Khamal put forth a battle that can easily lay claim to one of the greatest fights in combat sports all year, as both men poured everything into their three rounds with neither man giving an inch of being knocked down. The officials at ringside had no choice but to score the bout a draw and move on to an extension round.

The extension round was incredibly close, with both men standing toe-to-toe and both connecting with clean shots on each other. It was dead even until the last minute of the round where Khamal reached down deep and had Mosab on the ropes. This was enough to impress the judges and score him the big win, in what many might consider an upset with Mosab Amrani being a favorite going into the fight.

Read more...

Simon Rutz Interview Part 2

  • Published in Interviews

Simon RutzAmidst all the bad K-1 news, Europe’s top fighting organization, It’s Showtime, has been a hot topic of conversation lately. As plans for 2011 come together, we’re seeing more and more events announced by the company, who find themselves constantly expanding their product throughout the world. But in the middle of all the positive news came an unfortunate announcement last week – due to a planned co-promotion with K-1 falling through, It’s Showtime would not run their big annual show at the Amsterdam Arena in 2011.

Between this latest news, all the rumors swirling around K-1, Badr Hari’s return, and various other stories, now seemed like a good time to speak to the always forthcoming It’s Showtime president Simon Rutz. As always, Mr. Rutz offered plenty of insight into their dealings with K-1 and so much more.

If you missed part 1 yesterday, click here for the story on exactly what happened with the canceled Amsterdam Arena event and the state of affairs for K-1 and It’s Showtime.

LiverKick.com Exclusive Interview with Simon Rutz Part 2

LiverKick.com: It’s very exciting to hear Badr Hari will return in May in Lyon. Is that fight confirmed?

Simon Rutz: It is not confirmed yet because the contract is not signed, but I think we will have the contract signed in 2 weeks.

LK: Any news on his return opponent?

SR: At this moment we are talking with possible opponents.

LK: Where do his legal troubles stand?

SR: Nobody knows what will happen in the future with this case! This case was big in the news in The Netherlands, but from what I understand, the police still don’t have any witnesses.

LK: So do you have concerns about Hari’s reputation considering the trouble kickboxing recently had with the government in Amsterdam?

SR: Of course it doesn’t help! But these are two totally different cases. Amsterdam wants to have big sports events in their city, but with one of the biggest events (It’s Showtime), they make it difficult. When we don’t run show in the future in Amsterdam, it will be a shame for the city, but not for It’s Showtime. We will survive with or without Amsterdam.

LK: Remy Bonjasky is working with It’s Showtime now. Have you discussed him having a retirement fight with you?

SR: Yes, I discussed a retirement fight for him, but the money he asked for I don’t want to pay! Of course he can ask, but believe me, nobody will pay him that much money!

LK: How did you feel about K-1’s response to the protest regarding the Hesdy Gerges vs. Semmy Schilt fight?

SR: What they said and did was bullshit. They say that the corner for Schilt was wrong, and they punished the judges? I understand why K-1 did this, because last year they didn’t get Badr Hari and Remy Bonjasky, so they needed the 4 time K-1 winner Semmy Schilt in the final. I think if Hesdy Gerges was in the final, it would have been a totally different final.

LK: You had an unfortunate falling out with Cosmo Alexandre last year. Why couldn’t that situation be worked out?

SR: Because it was the second time he did something wrong. But for me there’s no problem. He is a nice guy and a good fighter, but I don’t use him anymore.

LK: I understand your clause regarding fighters taking fights before It’s Showtime shows – is that written in to their contracts?

SR: It’s always written in their contract, but with Cosmo, we didn’t write the contract because, stupid as I am sometime, a word from me is more important than a contract. But don’t misunderstand me, in 99% of the cases we have a contract!

LK: Tyrone Spong is no longer the 95kg champ. Any idea when there will be a fight for that title, and who might fight for it?

SR: Yes, I am working on that and I think that 2 fighters are fighting for this title on March 6 in Amsterdam. Soon I will let everybody know.

LK: Melvin Manhoef said on twitter that he likely won’t fight for It’s Showtime this year. Might he be stripped of the 85kg belt?

SR: If he doesn’t fight for his title, yes I will strip him of the belt because those are the rules! But Melvin is Melvin, one day he says that and the other day he thinks differently. Also, if he doesn’t fight this year for It’s Showtime and K-1 is broke, who else can pay him? Last time Melvin was disappointed because K-1 didn’t treat him well and that’s the case.

LK: What are your personal favorite fights in It’s Showtime history?

SR: Badr Hari vs. Sem Schilt, Mootje Khamal vs. Chahid, Ivan Hipolyte vs. Rayen Simson, Rob Kaman vs. Alexei Ignashov, and almost all the fights from Gago Drago.

LK: Last year when I spoke to you and asked who we should watch for in 2010, you brought up Aussi Ouzgni, who then had a great year. So, who should we watch out for in 2011?

SR: Marat Grigorian is one of the biggest talents in the world. Watch him.

LK: Anything else our readers should know?

SR: A lot of people think that It’s Showtime is happy that K-1 is broke, but believe me we hope that K-1 survives. That’s really better for the sport. Also personally I like the people from FEG like Mr. Tanikawa, but in my opinion they do a lot of strange things. For many years I have said to them that they must do things differently but every time they do the opposite. I think that they were afraid of It’s Showtime, but that is totally not necessary. The world is big enough for two good and big kickboxing organizations. Also, I want to say that life is beautiful! Carpe Diem!

 

Read more...

Amsterdam Chief Justice Looking for Sources in Badr Hari Case

  • Published in Kickboxing

This is a follow-up to the article from the other day about Badr Hari and commentators on crimesite.nl reporting news about the Amsterdam assault from last February at the night club BlinQ (thanks to reader Ramon for translation help). Wim van den Pol of the website considers himself a journalist and the readers who comment on his articles as "sources." Like any media source, he claims, he refuses to disclose their personal information. Amsterdam officials believe otherwise, that van den Pol is a "telecommunications provider" and must abide by those laws -- which means to hand over IP addresses of those posting comments on his site so that they can be questioned and used as witnesses in the case.

How serious are officials? Van den Pol might be arrested if the IP addresses of the users are not forwarded to Amsterdam officials. That is pretty serious and shows just how much attention this case is garnering at this point in time. Officials are doing more research into the matter currently, with the investigation "frozen" until they can conclude if van den Pol is truly, legally considered a "journalist" or as an operator of a website, simply a telecommunications network provider.

Read more...

Badr Hari Attempted to Pay Off Beaten Bouncer

  • Published in Kickboxing

If you've been paying attention to the kickboxing world in 2010 you'll notice that Badr Hari's name has been continually coming up in regards to a February altercation in front of an Amsterdam night club. This led to a brief stint in prison as well as Badr Hari missing the K-1 World Grand Prix, a glaring omission from this year's tournament for all the die hard fans.

Dutch newspaper "The Telegraaf" is now reporting that Badr Hari had originally paid off the bouncer to not come forward with his name. Through intermediaries, the bouncer had asked Badr Hari for 15,000 Euros (around $20,000 USD). Badr Hari's lawyer, Benedicte Ficq, decided that it was in their best interest to pay the bouncer some money to keep him quiet on the "false" allegations. Instead, they opted to pay 5,000 Euros (around $6,500 USD) as to not damage Hari's career.

"It was hush money paid to the doorman, who had been asked to stop discussing the incident. There is absolutely no truth to it. The doorman kept gossiping and chat that Hari had beaten him, which is not true. It could cause Hari lot of damage to his career, so I thought my client would be smart to pay. "

As you can see, this did not exactly turn out the way that they planned it.

Read more...

Amsterdam Mayor NOT Looking to Ban Martial Arts Events

  • Published in Kickboxing

Eberhard van der LaanA while back, it was reported that Amsterdam's new mayor, Eberhard van der Laan had been looking to crack down on organized crime, with a distinct focus on Martial Arts events. He was even quoted talking about mobsters being "VIPs" at Ultimate Glory and It's Showtime events. This, to many, set off alarms as there was talk of outright banning these events to keep criminals out of the public eye like that, being paraded around as important figures.

Thankfully for us, one of the reporters in the Netherlands who posts on Mixfight.nl scheduled an interview with Mr. van der Laan to discuss organized crime and Martial Arts. The picture that he paints is much different than the original article that ran in de Telegraaf (which has been known to be a "sensationalist" newspaper at times). This is very important as Tokyo, Japan goes through a tough time, all eyes are on Amsterdam to be the capitol of the kickboxing world.

"I think that there was a big miscommunication. If we can clearly communicate mutual understanding, and cooperation. " Van der Laan continued this by explaining that he used to participate in a lot of sports. He played a lot, and has learned important things from sports. Things like health, discipline and social development through meeting people, few things. The one issue where he is-strongly opposed, is the connection between upper and lower world that currently takes place in the martial arts events, and robust studies with cooperation of the police has shown that this dynamic of criminals mixing with average citizens indeed takes place at martial arts events. This is the connection that he wants to remove, and to do this would mean that the enthusiastic fighters and government must work together.

I implore you to read the full article, which discusses a meeting that took place between Alistair Overeem, Marloes Coehen and van der Laan about organized crime and martial arts events. The mayor describes Ubereem as a "nice and neat guy." [source]

Read more...

Is Badr Hari Innocent? Sources Say "Yes"

  • Published in K-1

Badr HariCrazier things have happened in the world of combat sports which is so delicately intertwined with organized crime and, well, crime in general (then again, what sports aren't?), but the odyssey of Badr Hari's criminal exploits which ruined his 2010 might be cleared up soon. Of course nothing is a lock yet, but there have been some reports of late that have given further detail into the case against Badr Hari and that his name might be unfairly attached as an attacker for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time and being a world-renowned K-1 fighter.

There is an article up about comments left on a crime blog about the situation, seemingly from key witnesses at the night club that night. One of the comments below indicates that Badr Hari was simply with the group that attacked the bouncer, but steered clear to not risk injury.

The real story: He came with a group, and everyone was allowed inside except for two guys who previously been difficult. The doorman (a giant, larger than Badr himself) calmly handled the situation. Badr seemed at peace with the situation, only to suddenly throw a punch at the doorman. Badr remained calm and did his best to avoid the situation, as he was in training (and mean fighting) for K1 and did not want to the risk injury. Badr was with the group and the doorman was indeed beaten. Police: Create a chat with the staff and the DJ of that night .... you know enough.

The translation was cleaned up by me a bit, if you see anything glaringly wrong, let me know, I'm not a native Dutch speaker, obviously. As the article goes on to mention, the few comments of bloggers is not positive proof, but there do seem to be a few key witnesses and some stones that were left un-turned. This comes hot off the heels of reports on Dutch forums that Badr Hari has been back in the gym with Mike Passenier and his training partners getting back into shape.

Thanks our good friend Simon Raedts for the tip.

UPDATE: Minor translation tweaks.

Read more...

It's Showtime Cancels May Amsterdam ArenA Show

  • Published in Kickboxing

Simon Rutz and Saduharu TanikawaThere is a sad state of affairs in the kickboxing world right now, mostly revolving around the turmoil happening within FEG. Sadly, there is some collateral damage when it comes to FEG's financial and organizational woes by the way of Netherlands kickboxing powerhouse It's Showtime. It's Showtime has for the past few years ran in the Amsterdam ArenA, a large-scale arena, hosting kickboxing's biggest non-K-1 event. There wasn't much word on the show for the past few months, but the assumption was always that it would happen, regardless of any outside forces, as It's Showtime has been expanding and putting on bigger and better shows.

According to Simon Rutz today, he has officially put the final nail in the coffin of the May ArenA show, and sadly it all rests on the shoulders of K-1. K-1 has partnered with It's Showtime in the annual ArenA show, exchanging talent, helping cover production costs and assembling the card in 2006, 2007 and 2008. The last two years it has been an It's Showtime exclusive, but in 2011 it was going to be a joint production between It's Showtime and K-1. It's Showtime held up their end of the bargain, but were simply waiting on K-1 to complete the matchmaking as per the agreement. Rutz explains his frustrations:

However, after months of asking questions by email, text messages, personally and by telephone we never got an answer from K-1 regarding the fight card. We had set a deadline for the fight card for January 11, because otherwise there would be too little time for us to organize everything before May 21.

It was January 18 when K-1 finally told me that it isn’t able to put the fight card together, because many fighters who have fought for K-1 still have to get their money, and K-1 can’t negotiate with fighters whom K-1 still owes money to. For a long time it’s not a secret anymore that K-1 is in bad financial problems and that it’s still the question whether they will survive this crisis. FEG (K-1) tries to do everything in its power to get out of this crisis but the negotiations with potential investors are stagnating for a year already.

Rutz goes on to talk about how his company, Black Label, that manages many of K-1's biggest stars, from Melvin Manhoef, Badr Hari, Giorgio Petrosyan, Gago Drago and Hesdy Gerges, has been patient and helped K-1 financially, they need to draw the line somewhere.

We from IT’S SHOWTIME have tried to help K-1 in every area the last couple of years and we have been very merciful regarding the payments of our fighters. The debts keep increasing in a very fast pace, though. According to FEG, everything will be alright but everything takes more time than they had expected and FEG asks us for more time regarding the payments of our fighters and the final fight card for the Amsterdam ArenA.

I find it admirable how Rutz does business and it is understandable that their patience has run out. Quite honestly, this is a case where East meets West and the West can't wait for the East to do business their way. Rutz is very realistic that if K-1 sorts out their financial problems and is open to working with It's Showtime on the joint card, that sometime in September or October would be for the best, while K-1 officials have told him to keep an open mind to the May deadline. It's Showtime manages many of its fighters and understands matchmaking must take place months in advance to ensure that the fighters are prepared for their fights as well as compensated.

There are six events booked so far, with It's Showtime looking to assemble at least ten cards this year, which is an astonishing amount of high-level kickboxing and leaves a smile on our faces. [source]

Read more...

Amsterdam Mayor on Hesdy Gerges, "You See!"

  • Published in Kickboxing

Van der LaanWhen navigating Dutch websites to see if there was any update on the Hesdy Gerges situation I saw something that I really didn't want to see as a kickboxing fan. I saw an interview with Mayor Van der Laan of Amsterdam, pulling the whole "you see, I was right" act in regards to It's Showtime's Hesdy Gerges being arrested for possible cocaine trafficking.

Mayor Van der Laan had been talking the past year or so about cracking down on martial arts events in the city due to the unwanted criminal elements that would show up there. He was upset that while he and his administration are trying to clean up the city, these events would have prominent members of organized crime treated as VIPs and paraded around in front of people. Seeing as though Amsterdam is the center of the kickboxing scene in Holland, this is bothersome to many.

For It's Showtime it means not being able to run in their home city, in the Amsterdam ArenA as they have almost yearly now, drawing around 20,000 fans per event, if not more. Well, Van der Laan spoke on his Thursday AT5 show, "Conversation with the Mayor" about the Gerges situation. When prompted on the issue, "You see!"

This validated the point Van der Laan had been making about criminal activity in kickboxing events. "It was not a nice thought to have, but I thought to myself, I have him now."

It wasn't like Van der Laan needed a lot of proof, as last year Badr Hari went to prison for assaulting a doorman, and Ashwin Balrak was arrested for possessing and possibly trafficking 80kilos of cocaine. So this year, Hesdy Gerges, a fighter being pushed as one of the new stars being suspected of being involved in an international drug trafficking incident is another nail in the coffin.

To understand why It's Showtime is in a hard situation, think about this. There is an Act in the Netherlands, known as BIBOB. BIBOB is intended to keep criminals out of Government contracts and keeping things "clean." It is up to local municipality's in the end to approve or disapprove a company under the BIBOB Act. In this case, Van der Laan has made it clear that he will not approve of anyone involved with organized crime. What the process for BIBOB is, in a nutshell, is to get licensed in your municipality to serve the public, you need to fill out paperwork and submit the form to the government, they then vet your company for possible criminal ties and decide if you can do business or not.

You are guilty until proven innocent in most cases. You have the legal right to defend yourself and your company, but in the case of It's Showtime, that is three fighters, two of which are under direct management of the company, involved in serious, very public crimes. That helps explain what Simon Rutz was talking about recently in spending money to clear the company's name. [source]

Read more...

Badr Hari an Official Suspect - Looking to Turn Himself In

  • Published in K-1

BadrIf you've been following the saga of Badr's most recent assault claims against him, you know that this time it is pretty nasty and that he might actually be in some degree of trouble. We have witnesses claiming he did it and past victims speaking out against Hari. The latest twist is that Badr went from a person of interest to a lead suspect over this weekend. The key witness against Badr's person is a club owner claiming to be missing teeth from the last run-in he had with Badr Hari last year.

Badr is still on vacation and is looking for a "peaceful" surrender when he is back in town to the police, as he has fears of SWAT teams breaking down his doors and coming after him and would like to avoid that. [source]

Read more...

It's Showtime Announces New May Show

  • Published in Kickboxing

It's ShowtimeMore news from the ever-busy It's Showtime - this time it's a new show added to their 2011 schedule.  On May 21, the company returns to The Sand in Amsterdam for It's Showtime 48, and there is already a solid partial line-up announced.

In a Heavyweight fight, It's Showtime HW champion and top 10 ranked Hesdy Gerges will face Chris Knowles.  Knowles is a well regarded English Muay Thai stylist.  He was originally set to face Rico Verhoeven for IS late last year, but was forced off the card due to travel difficulties.  He's a good pick up for It's Showtime, and will make a strong addition to their Heavyweight ranks, although he definitely has a tough task ahead of him here.  Gerges will be coming in off his career high win over Daniel Ghita, and will look to continue his rise through the ranks.

The fight that most has my attention is a 70kg bout between Mohamed Khamal and Robin van Roosmalen.  Khamal made the jump up to 70kg last year, and promptly made an impact, winning the K-1 West Europe GP, knocking Artur Kyshenko out of the MAX GP, and putting on one of the best fights of 2010 in his defeat of Mosab Amrani.  He has quickly established himself as both a dynamic fighter, and a real force in the Middleweight division.  van Roosmalen is in almost the exact same position as Khamal was not long ago.  The young fighter is currently on a five fight win streak, including defeats of William Diender and an impressive win over Chahid Oulad el Hadj.  Like Khamal, he is a rising fighter, and is poised to be one of the break out fighters of 2011.  This will be a rematch, as the two men met in the semi-finals of last year's 2010 K-1 MAX West Europe GP - Khamal took that fight via 2nd round KO en route to claiming the tournament crown.  With two exciting, young, hungry fighters, this has all the ingredients to not only steal the show, but be a highlight fight of 2011.

One other fight to note is Anderson "Braddock" Silva vs. Jamal Ben Saddik.  Saddik is the fighter who scored a surprise KO win over Rico Verhoeven at It's Showtime 46 last month.  If he can score back to back win over Verhoeven and Silva, he will have immediately established himself as a serious challenger, and a name to watch.  Silva is a tough challenge though, as he holds some big wins over the likes of Hesdy Gerges and Freddy Kemayo, who he KO'd with a spectacular head kick to close out 2010.

The full line-up announced so far:

HESDY GERGES vs. CHRIS KNOWLES

ROBIN VAN ROOSMALEN vs. MOHAMED KHAMAL

ANDERSON SILVA vs. JAMAL BEN SADDIK

MOHAMED MEDHAR vs. HAFID EL BOUSTATI

AMIR ZEYADA vs. SAHAK PARPARYAN

JASON WILNIS vs. LAURENT ATRIFFI

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed

Copyright 2010 - 2014 LiverKick.com. All Rights Reserved.

Top Desktop version