LiverKick

Switch to desktop Register Login

LiverKick - LiverKick

The Wonderful World of Kickboxing

  • Published in News

650

As those of us who’ve been around for a while might say, when it comes to the sport of kickboxing, no news is typically bad news. We’ve been hearing a lot of rumors about Glory in the past few months--from murky accounts of an organization on dire straits to assurances by some of our professional kickboxing journalist pals that they have the exclusive scoop on BIG NEWS which has simply been embargoed by Glory for the time being. The fact remains that we haven’t heard anything substantive from Glory since July. There was talk of more SpikeTV content and of an event to be held at the end of October--we’re still waiting for any of these things to materialize. This behavior is worrisome for those of us who followed the scene as recently as 2012, when K-1 made promise after promise of a big comeback that ultimately never took place. It would be sad to see Glory succumb to the same fate as its ambitious predecessors, with K-1 and It’s Showtime telling the tale of how unforgiving the fight business can be.

Kickboxing in particular is a very strange industry, one that appears very active at a glance but which tells a far more sobering story beneath the surface. If we judged the scene solely on the number of events held annually, we might think that things look pretty good, with organizations like LEGEND, Global FC, Top King, A-1, and SuperKombat making news on sites like this one with fight cards featuring big name talent. While the accessibility of this content is highly variable, from robust TV broadcasts to mislabeled camera phone footage posted on YouTube, there are nevertheless fights happening all over the world and subsequently news and results which we can report to you.

But the difference between offering you a survey of sundry action from around the globe and a developing narrative that you can follow and become engrossed in is the difference between Kickboxing as a mere curiosity and as a sport in its own right. There are plenty of Kickboxing and Muay Thai videos that show up on MMA sites, but as much as their readers might appreciate them, they will never get the same first person experience of being there when iconic and spectacular moments unfold--memories of being glued to your TV when Andy Hug landed that spinning back kick or when Joe Schilling knocked Simon Marcus out cold. These moments were real, and they made us believe in this sport and dream about the possibilities. Call it a pet peeve, but I find it a little heartbreaking when brilliant retrospectives of great kickboxing moments wind up on MMA sites under “look at what this might teach us about MMA technique!” headings.

No one in particular is to blame for how things have turned out for kickboxing. Ultimately the success of any venture depends on the convergence of talent, a solid product, proper promotion, and a receptive market at an opportune moment in time. Kickboxing had various combinations of these things at different points in time, but the times and circumstances changed. The downfall of K-1 had as much to do with its management as it did with evolving trends in the Japanese entertainment market. Many factors came into play, but unfortunately, things ended for K-1 in an ugly way, leaving fighters with substantial outstanding earnings which they may never be able to fully collect. However, let us not kid ourselves about what it takes to build a real professional sport league. We’ve seen plenty of flamboyant millionaire playboys from around the world blow their money to party with celebrities and to book their favorite kickboxers for an evening of entertainment. Some of these mysterious rich dudes will even slap a label on their “organization” and take lots of photos with kickboxing bigwigs to make things look legit, but we all know that trying to produce a sustainable sports entertainment venue for the masses takes a lot more vision and tenacity than that. No matter how flashy their shows get, the playboys are not going to save Kickboxing, and neither will the small promotions like Top King (although we’ll give it a chance, just like we always do--that’s the story of Kickboxing, right?) that seem to come and go every year.

We really hope that Glory will actually make it. It seems like the formula’s been there--Glory had enough money, the right talent, the right TV deal, and an ostensible understanding of the business startup process (God knows there are enough smart-sounding former hedge fund/venture capital people on board--how many of them does it take to screw in a light bulb?). Where do things stand now? We really don’t know. We do know that there have been no shows in three months, and if it is indeed true that Glory is coming to Oklahoma on November 7, then that will make four months since its last show. We really hope that the lights will stay on at Glory because as kickboxing fans, we’ve looked forward for a long time to not living in the dark of the sports world. 

 

Read more...

TopKing World Series Live Results

  • Published in Europe

Well its 8:30Am for me and I had to set my alarm to wake up and watch this tournament from France so why not give everyone the results. I'm sure everyone is curious to see Buakaw back in action against a strong opponent in Steve Moxon. Plus other great fighters like Reece McAllister, Niclas Larsen, Marat Grigorian, and Abraham Roqueni.

Anyway that's enough talking this early in the morning here are the results.

Results

70kgs Tounament

Marat Grigorian Vs Abraham Roqueni - Marat Grigorian Wins by Decision

Vladimir Konsky Vs Niclas Larsen - Niclas Larsen Wins by KO Rd 1 (Overhand Right)

Marcin Parcheta Vs Azize Hlali - Marcin Parceta Wins by KO Rd 3 (DDT, he literally slammed his face into the ground)

Reece McAllister Vs Crice Boussoukou - McAllister Wins by KO Rd 1 (Knee to the chin from clinch)

Superfights

Thongchai Sitsongpeenong VS Djime Coulibaly - Thongchai Sitsongpeenong Wins by Decision

Buakaw Banchamek Vs Steve Moxon - Buakaw Wins KO Rd 3 (Right elbow finished it, but Moxon was dropped at least 4 or 5 other times with knees to the body, that fight was an annihilation) 

Sansatan Sor Suradech Vs Dylan Salvador - DRAW

Pakorn PKMuaythaiGym Vs Jimmy Vienot - Pakorn Wins by KO Rd 1 (Perfect left hook)

 

Read more...

LiverKick Best of 2013: Comeback of the Year

  • Published in News

Photo (C) Pink Elephant Photography

The year 2013 was a tremendous year for the sport of Kickboxing as we saw GLORY take aim at America as one of its home bases and really made some strides that I honestly thought we’d never see for the sport here. GLORY not only ran shows, but they ran a bunch of shows and those shows were attended by a good number of paying customers. Then, to top it off, GLORY moved from CBS Sports Network and internet PPVs to Spike TV, picking up steam and viewers with every show. That was a big deal.

GLORY wasn’t the only organization to make moves, either, as we saw another season of the SuperKombat World Grand Prix, the birth of LEGEND in Russia and K-1 starting to get the gears in motion by running both a Heavyweight World Grand Prix and a World MAX tournament within the same year. But which company did what doesn’t really matter, what matters are the fights and the fighters.

Throughout the coming week we’ll be looking at the best of 2013 throughout multiple categories, with Monday featuring Fighter of the Year, Tuesday featuring Fight of the Year and Wednesday being Knockout of the Year. Today’s category is a little bit more fluid and up for discussion than the others, as today is Comeback of the Year. There have been a few fighters who either came back from a long layoff or returned to the big leagues and made a solid impression, making it an interesting topic.

LiverKick 2013 Comeback of the Year: Buakaw Banchamek

Few names in Kickboxing and Muay Thai hold the weight that Buakaw Banchamek’s does. Buakaw is a legend in every sense of the word, as in Thailand he might not be known as the best Thai Boxer, but he’s one of the most famous. This comes with its own set of consequences, though, as Buakaw has had a bumpy last few years that has seen him step back from a higher level of competition and instead get into the rhythm of taking either easier or exhibition bouts depending on the circumstances.

Buakaw fought his last fight for Thai Fight in December of 2012 and then that was it from Banchamek for months. In fact, he didn’t fight again until August of 2013 for MAX Muay Thai after yet another lawsuit, this time with Thai Fight, was settled. His year began at MAX Muay Thai 3 against Dong Wenfei in a bout that barely saw Buakaw warm up, leaving us all to fear that Buakaw would be back in “Thai Fight mode” just taking easier fights and having fun. Then, after years of rumors of him joining GLORY a huge announcement came out that Buakaw had signed with K-1 and would be entering the World MAX tournament.

His complete decimation of David Calvo in the Final 16 was proof enough that Buakaw was back and ready to show the Kickboxing world what they were missing out on. The rest of his year saw him defeat both Yoshihiro Sato and Enriko Kehl in MAX Muay Thai and in both fights looking like the Buakaw of old. Then on December 28th he battled a very game Zhou Zhi Peng before turning up the heat in the fourth round and dominating him.

Read more...

Buakaw Banchamek Vs Abdoul Touré Video

  • Published in Asia

Here is the video from Buakaw's fight (if you can call it that) against Abdoul Touré from August 15th in Chiang Rai, Thailand for a WBC Muay Thai Diamond Championship. This is the second time these two have fought, the first time it wasn't a fairly matched fight and Buakaw won by KO with a body kick. Surprise surprise this fight was not much different and consisted of Buakaw repeatedly knocking down his french opponent with head kicks and elbows until the referee eventually stopped it. There is no doubt Buakaw looks like a beast as usual, but I was asking myself if this was even a fight, or was it fake. I really would like to see Buakaw against some opponents his level, as much as I enjoy a good Buakaw domination this was just too unfair for me, not to mention he didn't even look like he was trying. 

Read more...

Buakaw Victorious Over Yoshihiro Sato at MAX Muay Thai IV

  • Published in Asia

MAX

MAX Muay Thai IV: Sendai went down over the span of last night in Japan in a night that promised some big action with Buakaw facing his stiffest challenge in years by the way of Yoshihiro Sato. They have met three times previous, with Buakaw holding two victories and Sato holding one. That one victory that Sato held was a third round knockout over Banchamek, which made this rematch all the more enticing for fans. Sato showed flashes of brilliance in the first round, but after Banchamek got warmed up he took control over the fight, with Sato not having an answer for Buakaw's sweeps and throws throughout. For many fans, this was an important fight for Banchamek, as his last loss was to Andy Souwer in 2009, but since then the level of competition has been called into question for his fights in Thai Fight and MAX Muay Thai. With Sato being a benchmark it is clear that Banchamek is still in top form against a solid opponent.

Jingreedtong walked away as the victor in the one-night tournament, as well as Aikpracha and HIROYA picking up big wins as well.

MAX Muay Thai IV: Sendai

Buakaw Banchamek (R3 - Decision) Yoshihiro Sato

Final: Jingreedtong (R3 - Decision) Dylan Salvador

Aikpracha Meenayothin (R3 - Decision) Tomoaki Makino

HIROYA (R3 - Decision) Sapanpetch Sit-Itisukato

Semi-Final: Jingreedtong (R3 - Decision) Alessandro Campagna

Semi-Final: Dylan Salvador (R3 - Decision) Yuya Yamato

Read more...

MAX Muay Thai Results: Buakaw Beats Kehl, Sagetdao Wins Tournament

  • Published in Asia

Sagetdao

MAX Muay Thai held their last event of the year, MAX Muay Thai The Final Chapter in Thailand today, which saw a huge main event featuring Buakaw Banchamek vs. Enriko Kehl, which always struck me as odd knowing that both Buakaw and Kehl will be fighting for K-1 on December 28th in separate fights, but hey, the more fights featuring these two the better, I say. There was also a 4-man tournament featuring Sagetdao, Andrei Kubelin, Victor Ngabe and Dylan Salvador.

Buakaw and Kehl fought a very tough fight, with Kehl looking good at first, but Buakaw really running away with the fight as it went on, opening up a nasty cut on Kehl's forehead which almost stopped the fight, but the doctors decided that he could continue. Kehl still landed some solid blows throughout, but Buakaw seemed to be on form and had an answer for everything Kehl threw at him.

 

  • Buakaw Banchamek (R3 - Decision) Enriko Kehl
  • Tournament Final: Sagetdao (R3 - Decision) Victor Ngabe
  • MAX Ultimate: Ekapracha (R1 - TKO) Tomoyuki Nishikawa
  • Tournament: Victor Ngabe (R3 - Decision) Dylan Salvador
  • Tournament: Sagetdao (R3 - Decision) Andrei Kubelin
  • Khem Sitsongpeenong (R3 - Decision) Vahid Roshani

 

Read more...

Video: Watch Buakaw Banchamek Dismantle Zhang Chunyu

  • Published in Video

If I were to describe Buakaw Banchamek's 2014 it would probably be in one word; active. Buakaw fought for the fifth time this year yesterday in Belarus at the Top King World Series event in the first part of a huge 70kg tournament. He fought Chinese fighter Zhang Chunyu in the first round of this tournament and pretty much dominated him, as you'd probably expect. Check out the video below for all of your Buakaw squashing dudes needs.

Read more...

Weekend Results: Thai Fight and MAX Muay Thai

  • Published in Asia

MAX Muay Thai

Man, I picked a pretty packed weekend to go on vacation, didn't I? Then again, most of the weekends are packed and I've been working 60 hour weeks for the past few months, so maybe any weekend would do in that case, right? I kind of agree, just because I needed to not do any work for an extended period of time or else I was fearing that I'd be seeing my walls made out of gold bricks because the Federal Reserve is a conspiracy and driving axes through doors while my girlfriend looks not-so-pleased.

So this weekend there were two bigger events, Thai Fight and MAX Muay Thai, both of the Muay Thai persuasion and both featuring some solid names and solid fights. Thai Fight was the standard Thai Fight fare of bigger name Thais against some okay competition which sees the Thais walk away with some cool looking wins and everyone goes home happy.

MAX Muay Thai gave a bit more by the way of competitive fights to fans, including a one night, four man tournament. There were some legitimately interesting bouts on the card such as Aikpracha against Warren Stevelmans as well as Sitthichai against Juri Jehl and already fans went home with a bit of a better feeling than they did from the Thai Fight card, or, well, at least we all did.

Read more...

K-1's Ned Kuruc Talks Amateur Open and K-1 World MAX Finals

  • Published in Interviews

Since the formation of K-1 Global there have been some ups and downs for the K-1 name, but we’ve definitely all come to a consensus that under K-1’s current management they want the best for the brand and for the sport. K-1 is set to continue pushing forward over the next few month with a few events that will look to solidify the brand’s place in the current market for kickboxing. The first is in September in the UK, being touted as an open amateur scouting event. We’ve spoken with Ned Kuruc of K-1 a few times before and he’s spoken about how important they feel that an amateur system is for the future of the sport and this Amateur Open is just further proof of that. The second event is, of course, the K-1 World MAX Finals, where Buakaw Banchamek will compete against Enriko Kehl and other great fights.

We caught up with Ned Kuruc to discuss both of these events as well as the future of K-1. The first thing is that K-1 will be holding an Amateur Open on the 13th and 14th of September in the UK, which has attracted a lot of attention thus far. “As of right now we’ve had 500 inquiries and 50 countries have shown interest. We don’t really have hard numbers on this yet because the deadline is September 2nd. Tons of interest shown already, though.”

How does it play into the future of K-1, though? K-1 has always been the home of the top level of fighters, so it is an interesting turn to shift some of their focus to the future. “There is a bit of a generation gap -- or a generation loss -- and I believe that through the amateur system that it’s the best way to get the K-1 brand associated with kids that are coming up and for all martial arts. K-1 isn’t just about kickboxing, it’s about martial arts and it’s a platform for those involved to test their skills and see who is the best in the world. With that being said, the amatuer system is, what I feel, is the best way to get the brand associated with those up-and-coming fighters and kids who don’t remember K-1 like you or I do.

“Not only is this a good way for us to raise brand awareness across generations right now, but there are a lot of fighters out there who want to test their skills. K-1 is a high, high level, it’s the pinnacle of standup sports. There are amatuer groups out there that already have K-1 rules and make champions in these weight classes. K-1 is okay with that, because it is a sport unto itself. Our brand is its own sport,” he explains. “In the past no one has wanted to venture into amatuer sports. Just like when K-1 was founded, we want this to be an open tournament where we really are able to find the best fighters from across the world to compete under the K-1 banner.”

It’s a point that will ring true for fans of K-1, where the K-1 concept originally started under the premise of pulling all of the best fighters from across the world together under one banner and to have them compete against each other. As with anything else, though, it was a business and building stars became the main focus. So the scene began to only host the top few names year-in and year-out, which was exciting, but may have led to excluding other talents who were coming up through the ranks of amateur and professional leagues but couldn’t break into K-1 because fans in Japan wanted to see the names that they knew and loved.

“We want to give opportunities to the best fighters out there. The old K-1 was a bit of an old boys club where if you didn’t have the right management or the right trainers you’d never get that opportunity to compete in K-1. I’m not saying that it was a bad system,” he adds. “They were the best managers and trainers in the world and they produced some of the best fighters. But now we have Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and all of that with the internet and a fighter can post a video of themselves and send it to us and some doors might open up for him. This Amateur Open is for my team and myself to be able to physically see some of these fighters and get them involved with K-1. It’s a direct feeder system. We’re also willing to work with professional fighters who haven’t had a chance before, if you look at our cards we’ve given a lot of young, up-and-coming talent a chance on a bigger stage. Some have done really well and others haven’t, this is how you can really find the best fighters in the world.”

K-1 understands that their brand, name and rules are important in the world of kickboxing and have been adopted throughout the world. They aren’t looking to strip that away from anyone, because they feel that the sport of K-1 has taken on a life of its own, which they are willing to use to their advantage in promoting the brand of K-1. They look at K-1’s rules and see so many amateur events and championships around the globe that even see a possibility for K-1 to be considered an Olympic sport at some point, although not in the near future. This, looking towards building up a strong amateur feeder system, is a good first step. K-1 wants you to know that they aren’t just a brand, but they are a sport.

K-1 is now focused on Thailand, though, where K-1 will present the very first K-1 event on Thai soil in October. The show is the K-1 World MAX Finals where Buakaw Banchamek and Enriko Kehl will fight for the K-1 World MAX Championship, a title that the winner will wear proudly and defend as K-1 moves away from the yearly tournament format. 

“A lot of things had to fall in place for this to happen,” Ned explains. “First was Buakaw fighting for the championship. It’s a lot more evenly-matched fight than people think that it is, but when the officials from Thailand were talking with us, we understood how important it was to have a star like Buakaw on the card. It would mean a lot to Thai fans to see Buakaw win a K-1 title in Thailand, if he can get by Enriko, that is. We had to be creative in making this show happen. Everyone who works in this sport only tries to work with other people who work within the sport, which isn’t always the right way to do things.

“From what I’ve seen in my time with K-1, they generally aren’t the best business people. When I try to work with people I try to work with people who aren’t just in fighting and promoting. We try to work with entertainment companies and legitimate businesses. The group, people that I’m working with on this show aren’t in the fight game. They are from the business world in Thailand, so I had a different approach and it’s worked. This should be a very, very exciting show.”

The topic of the direction of the sport of kickboxing came up after last week I wrote about a growing movement among fans to err on the side of negativity for the outlook of the sport. “In my opinion, at this certain point, it’s gotten the most exposure that it has. We’re in the age of the internet, which helps. As far as K-1, it’s no secret that we are in a rebuilding phase. That’s my job, to rebuild it. Some people might think that it’s been a slow process or that it’s taken too long, but we’re in a very definite transition phase in kickboxing and the sport of K-1. You have K-1, who is still in the game, but yeah, we are a bit slower. Time will tell how my strategy unfolds. 

“Then you have other organizations, you have GLORY who have been putting a lot of money into their shows. They have a lot of talent, great production, but it’s not much of a business plan. Am I a fan of their product? Absolutely. Would I do things the way that they are doing it? Absolutely not, it just doesn’t seem like it’s a viable business plan that can go on for years. I just wouldn’t do it that way. You have other promotions like Enfusion that are doing a good job, you have SuperKombat, Rise, KRUSH. There are a lot of organizations out there, the problem that I have is that I have a massive brand and that I have to do it properly,” Ned explains. “My ideology is to not keep throwing millions of dollars into a show to generate small revenue. I think that there are a few organizations that are playing monkey-see, monkey-do with the UFC and I don’t think that is the proper way to do things.

“Kickboxing doesn’t sell PPVs. We know that, I feel like we’ve always known that. People have tried, but it just won’t work. That means that you can’t copy the UFC model because they are all about PPV. That’s where their revenue comes from. My idea is that it has to be done in steps, it has to be built, you need a foundation. If you look at the brands that have existed for years and not just a few before going away. That’s how K-1 has existed for so long. I feel that kickboxing is in a good state, generally, I would just hate to see some of the organizations make mistakes and go away. The way I see it, the more the merrier, the more that the sport is built up. It only helps all of us in the long run.”

The K-1 World MAX Finals takes place on October 11th in Pattaya, Thailand and the K-1 Amateur Open takes place on September 13th and 14th in the UK. For more information visit http://www.k-1.tv/

 

Read more...

LiverKick Throwback: Buakaw vs. Masato K-1 World MAX Finals 2004

  • Published in K-1

The world of kickboxing has a rich history to fall back upon so we here at LiverKick figure, why not? Why not give a glimpse into some of the fights from the past that have made up this wonderful sport and tie it all in to the present. The kids on the Instagram and Twitter like to call Thursdays "Throwback Thursdays," I'm just going to say that this is a LiverKick Throwback.

Let's travel back in time now, all the way back to 2004. Yes, 2004, almost exactly ten years ago to the day, on July 7th, 2004. The K-1 World MAX Finals were the hottest ticket in town since Masato's win in the first ever tournament back in 2002 and Buakaw Banchamek (formerly Por. Pramuk) vs. Masato was the fight that everyone was clawing to see. They were the best of the best; Masato representing the Japanese bushido spirit and Buakaw the best that Thailand had to offer (regardless of your opinion, he was the best in kickboxing at the time). 

This fight was everything that K-1 was meant to embody; Japan vs. Thailand, the foreigner vs. the hometown hero and it delivered in spades. We can look back upon this fight and marvel at the display, the heart and fortitude shown and how K-1 saw Buakaw as a threat to their Japanese-centric MAX brand. This fight was the poor kid from Thailand against the groomed mega-star of Japan and it is beautiful. 

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed

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

Top Desktop version