Over the weekend Patrice Quateron released a recording from a phone call with Mike Passenier that made it sound like Badr Hari's team was attempting to pull out of the fight with Quateron. Now here is a statement from Mike Passenier with his side of the story. It sounds logical, for sure.
Translation via K1Power at Kakutougi.
In reaction to the video of the recorded phone conversation I would like to share my side of the story before it blows up. The reason for the conversation is that a huge event is being organised in Morocco. It should be clear that Badr Hari is extremely popular and an event in his own country is a dream of his and the expectations will be very high. It will be the biggest fight sport event in Africa since Ali versus Foreman in Zaïre with an expected crowd between 45.000-50.000.
For this event we have been looking for a fitting opponent. To get the people in Morocco pumped for the fight we found out that a French speaking opponent would be ideal because the language is casually spoken in Morocco, rather than English which still gives most people there trouble. Additionally, Patrice is a guy who does not shy away from trashtalk and knows how to use the internet to make a fight personal. This is the reason we thought it would be smarter to do him a business proposition to relocate the fight, because if he wouldd be knocked out for example or lost to another opponent it would be more difficult to build up the fight in Morocco. If Badr decided not to fight it would have huge consequences for an organisation like GFC. In the conversation we made a very generous offer in which we would double his purse and even give him an advance to cover his preparation cost to the currently scheduled fight. That's it. In the meantime we have been discussing this with GFC and they have showed nothing but understanding and would like to solve this in a satisfactory way for all parties.
It's too bad the conversation has been edited to make Badr sound scared, but it says more about them then it does about us. Despite this we are not angry or bitter and will continue to organise the biggest fightsport event in Africa.