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Simon Rutz Possibly Finished With Promoting in the Netherlands

Big news coming from the Netherlands as Simon Rutz has been making the media rounds to promote the huge It's Showtime 55 event taking place in Leeuwarden. Leeuwarden was an interesting choice, as it was obviously not It's Showtime's home base when compared to Amsterdam. Apparently Rutz is upset with the recent events within his home country that revolve around the BIBOB law. BIBOB, for those unaware, is a law where local officials are able to require local businesspeople to acquire  a license through them after going through a background check to ensure that there are no criminal elements within the organization. For It's Showtime we've seen this law rear its ugly head in Amsterdam, canceling the December event on short notice due to BIBOB restrictions.

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Gokhan Saki Prepares for War Against Badr Hari

It is hard to believe that Badr Hari vs. Gokhan Saki is just a few days away now, but it is coming and coming on fast like a freight train. 2012 is kicking off with a legitimate Heavyweight bout that fans want to see after being denied a K-1 World Grand Prix. Gokhan Saki and Badr Hari are two of the top Heavyweights in the world and will lock horns for the second time for It's Showtime. We've seen the ballyhoo behind Hari, but now here is video of Saki getting prepared for the fight.

A big part of the narrative leading into this fight is the retirement of Badr Hari and possible departure of Gokhan Saki. Hari will move into professional Boxing for the time being and Saki is going absolutely nowhere, as he has signed a new agreement with TSA and Golden Glory to fight for their upcoming cards or for potential K-1 cards. So the real departure will be Hari, and by the looks of this video, Saki is in some of the best shape that we've ever seen him in, and he is ready to go to war. [source]

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Gokhan Saki vs. Badr Hari: The First Fight - October 10, 2004

Gokhan Saki and Badr Hari will meet this Saturday, January 28 at It's Showtime in a battle of two of kickboxing's finest in the heavyweight division. It's arguably the biggest fight that kickboxing has had since the 2009 K-1 World Grand Prix. When Hari and Saki meet on Saturday, it won't be the first time they've stared across the ring at each other.

The two met in the ring on October 10th of 2004 in Rotterdam at a 2 Hot 2 Handle event. Hari wasn't the monstrous, intimidating figure that he is now. Rather, he was a tall, lanky 19-year-old trying to break into the bigger stages of kickboxing, working his way up into K-1. It wasn't until 2005 in his second fight against Stefan Leko where he made his "real" K-1 debut by emphatically knocking out Stefan Leko with what is now known as the "Leko Buster."

Gokhan Saki at the time of this fight was physically the same as he is today, being a small, pudgy heavyweight. He wasn't the devastating combination fighter and one of the fastest heavyweights in the world like he is now. Saki's career didn't get quite off to the same start as Badr Hari's, as he had already been stopped four times prior to their first meeting and had faced much lesser competition than that of Hari. Hari was the one who seemed to have the bright future, already having faced the likes of Alexey Ignashov and having defeated Antoni Hardonk, Aziz Khattou and Errol Parris.

The fight only lasted two rounds. Both Hari and Saki showed glimpses of what they would become in the future. Hari, despite not a full on monster yet, had tremendous power in his strikes. Saki, who wasn't quite the speed demon, combination machine of today, had the punch-kick combinations that would develop into some of the best at heavyweight. The fight was somewhat sloppy, with both Hari and Saki tumbling to the canvas.

One of Saki's tumbles to the canvas was ruled a knockdown for Hari. Saki threw a kick but was hit with a punch at the same time, resulting in him falling to the ground. Badr seemed to have a bit of an edge after the "knockdown," and had a real edge on the scorecards with a 10-8 second round.

Read more and watch the video of the first fight between Badr Hari and Gokhan Saki after the break...

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Hesdy Gerges vs. Daniel Ghita - In Retrospect

This Saturday, January 28th in Leeuwarden, Holland Daniel Ghita and Hesdy Gerges will face off for the It's Showtime World Heavyweight Title. This isn't the first time they've met, however.

Daniel Ghita and Hesdy Gerges first fought on March 6th, 2011 at the Sporthallen Zuid in Amsterdam. Gerges came into the bout the It's Showtime World Heavyweight Champion, thanks to being on the receiving end of a Badr Hari soccer kick in May of 2010. Both Ghita and Gerges were right below the top, and both wanted to establish themselves as elite fighters in the heavyweight division. They both shared a common history coming into the fight, as they'd both competed in the K-1 World GP in 2010, and both lost to elite fighters in Semmy Schilt and Gokhan Saki. The fight would move one fighter into the "elite" category, and one in the same position of right below the elite...Well, that's how it was supposed to be.

The first round started quickly, with kicks to the legs and body being traded left and right. Both fighters, known as kickers, tried to show the evolution of their games by mixing in punches to the body and head. The pace was furious and neither would back up, standing in front of one another trading shots with a speed that isn't normally seen in the heavyweight division. The round as a whole was contested very evenly, and you'd be hard pressed to pick a clear winner. Neither fighter would let the other get ahead. One would throw a combination, the other would answer right back.

Round 2 started off much like the second round, guns ablazing. Gerges started to land cleanly with some big punches. Then, in a situation reminiscent of Ricardo Mayorga against Vernon Forrest, Daniel Ghita stood right in front of Gerges, dropped his hands and motioned him to punch him in the face. Gerges obliged with four huge punches while Ghita stood there and ate them. Shots continued to be traded back and forth, until the determing factor of the fight took place. Gerges went for a knee and it landed straight in the junk of Daniel Ghita. Ghita went down, but surprisingly the referee administered a count, pretty much sealing the round as a 10-8 for Gerges. Ghita was noticeably hindered by the low blow and both fighters started to feel the effects of the pace. Two rounds down and Gerges was up because of the count given to Ghita.

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