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LiverKick.com Rankings


Heavyweight (Per 4/15)
1. Rico Verhoeven
2. Daniel Ghita
3. Gokhan Saki
4. Tyrone Spong
5. Peter Aerts
6. Errol Zimmerman up
7. Benjamin Adegbuyiup
8. Ismael Londt up
9. Hesdy Gerges up
10. Ben Edwards up

Light HW (per 4/15)
1. Gokhan Saki up
2. Tyrone Spong down
3. Danyo Ilunga
4. Nathan Corbett down
5. Saulo Cavalari

Middleweight (per 4/15)
1. Wayne Barrett
2. Joe Schilling
3. Artem Levin
4. Steven Wakeling
5. Franci Grajs

Welterweight (per 4/15)
1. Nieky Holzken 
2. Joseph Valtellini 
3. Simon Marcus
4. Marc de Bonte
5. Aussie Ouzgni

 

70kg (Per 4/15)
1. Davit Kiriaup
2. Andy Ristiedown
3. Robin van Roosmalendown
4. Giorgio Petrosyandown
5. Murthel Groenhart
6. Buakaw Banchamek
7. Dzhabar Askerov
8. Ky Hollenbeckup
9. Aikprachaup
10. Enriko Kehlup

65kg (per 1/20)
1. Masaaki Noiri
2. Mosab Amraniup
3. Yuta Kubo down
4. Sagetdao
5. Liam Harrison

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Giorgio PetrosyanIt's Showtime has been on fire of late, and with their big Amsterdam ArenA show not happening, all signs point to their May 14th show in Lyon, France to be taking the place of the ArenA for a giant show. We've been talking with Simon Rutz lately, and while there has been a lot of focus on the return of Badr Hari for May 14th and his possible opponent, there have been other fights rumored, as well as individual fighters.

Simon Rutz and It's Showtime are working with famous fighter Kader Marouf to put together this card, and so far it is somewhat official that we can expect Daniel Ghita as well as Badr Hari competing on the show against unknown opponents as of this moment.

One of the big rumored bouts for the evening is Giorgio Petrosyan taking on Abdallah Mabel for the fourth time. Mabel holds a losing record of 0-3 against Petrosyan, but the Lyon native makes for a perfect showcase for one of It's Showtime's international jewels in Petrosyan. Winner of the Isuzu Thai Fight -67kgs tournament, Fabio Pinca is set to take on It's Showtime's recent showcase fighter Mosab Amrani. Mosab just had a blistering battle at It's Showtime: The Sands and has the kickboxing world keeping a close eye on him. Yohan Lidon with take on Mirat Grigorian as well, with both men looking to make a big impression on the big stage.

There is also a rumor kicking around that French superstar and one of K-1's all time greats, Jerome Le Banner will be fighting on this card. More as it unfolds.

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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!

 

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John Wayne Parr in actionJohn Wayne Parr has officially announced his retirement. The Australian Muay Thai fighter posted the news on his Facebook page last week:

“Never thought I would be writing this one, but 2011 will be my last year fighting. I turn 35 in May so time isn't on my side. Want to give it everything I can this year and finish on a high. Don’t want to have 5 fights too many and start drooling when I speak. One more year before I have to think about what I will do after I retire, hope it's not washing dishes.”

A big factor in this decision was his difficulty cutting weight at this point: “85kg to 72.5kg every 6 weeks hurts way to much and I don't think my body can go through it much more. Even dropping to 75kg hurts, any bigger I am just too small a frame to fight the big guys.”

Parr has made it clear that he will indeed fight through the end of 2011. He is looking at taking roughly 5-6 fights this year, preferably in Australia. The first of these fights is set, as Parr revealed that he will face his longtime rival Mike Zambidis on May 28 (thanks to our old pals at HKL for the info).  As for the rest of the fights - the Gunslinger has multiple opponents who he has met numerous times, and whose fights help define Parr's career.  Rivalries with Yodsaenklai, Zambidis, and Bruce Macfie are full of classic fights, and all would be great opponents for Parr's final year.

For more details directly from Parr, check out these new interviews with Muay Thai Is Life, and HeadKickLegend.

While Parr’s best days are perhaps behind him, he is far from irrelevant in the Middleweight division. Recent wins over the likes of Zambidis and Yodsaenklai Fairtex have shown that he can still compete with the best, and we currently have him ranked at #20 in the LiverKick.com Middleweight rankings. Like Masato before him, Parr is choosing to step away before injuries force him away and while he can remain healthy in retirement.

A long-time veteran of the sport, Parr started his professional career 18 years ago at just 17 years of age, famously winning an Australian title in his first year. Early in his career, Parr moved to Thailand where he gained valuable experience and quickly established himself as a young fighter to watch. Over the next few years, he competed primarily in Thailand (including winning the 2001 King’s Cup) and his native Australia.

For many fans, it was the 2004 K-1 MAX Grand Prix that brought Parr to international stardom. At the GP, Parr gave Buakaw Por. Pramuk all he could handle, dragging Buakaw to an extension round before the eventual 2004 champ could score enough damage to earn a close split decision win.

Parr’s next big international exposure came in 2007 when he appeared on The Contender Asia. Already a 15 year veteran of the sport, Parr was immediately seen as a focal point of the show. He made his way to the show’s finals before losing to Yodsaenklai.

2009 saw Parr face off with Buakaw once again at the Champion of Champions 2 event in Jamaica. Again, the two went to a razor close decision, and again Buakaw got the nod, although many felt that Parr should have taken the win.

Last year, Parr avenged his 2 previous loses to Yodsaenklai, finally defeating his long-time foe. He called this win “the greatest thing I have done in the sport” and said he now has nothing else he needs to accomplish.

While his career is exceptional, Parr’s popularity is equally due to his extremely open attitude towards fans. For years, Parr has been one of the most accessible fighters, always willing to talk openly with fans about his experiences. You can often find him on various message boards, sharing details about his fights, posting candid stories and pictures, and just taking part in the conversation. He is, and always has been, a tremendous ambassador for the sport.

In recent years, Parr has been focused on training fighters at his Boonchu Gym in Queensland, and will continue in this role into retirement. It’s great news that he will still be involved in the sport, as he not only represents Muay Thai well, but also has much to offer young fighters. His star pupil at the moment is Heavyweight Thor Hoopman, who is on the verge of breaking into the top 25 and made his K-1 debut last year at the Oceania GP.

While I certainly understand and respect his decision, there’s no denying that the kickboxing scene will lose something when Parr hangs up his gloves. On behalf of everyone at LiverKick.com, I wish Parr all the best in his final year, and in all his future plans.

We’ll have more details on Parr as the year continues, and will be sure to keep you up to date on the final year of this legend.

 

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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]

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United GloryWith Gokhan Saki and John Alessio injured entering into the January 30th United Glory card, held by the Golden Glory team, they've decided to postpone the show until March. They put up a notice on their website on the 21st and will announce a make-up date on the 25th.

UG has taken this decision in the light of the news that Gokhan Saki has not recovered sufficiently from his broken hand (an injury sustained during the K1 final held in Japan). As a result of the injury, Saki would have been unable to fight in the Glory World Series on 30 January 2011.
In view of his unique kickboxing skills and enormous public popularity, UG believes that the event cannot continue without him. UG aims to prevent the major disappointment among fans that would result if he was not given a fair chance to prove himself in the Glory World Series. The recommendation to postpone the event in order to ensure that the favourite Gokhan Saki can still take part was also made for the sake of the TV companies who broadcast the Glory World Series to countless fans. The move is also of major importance for the sponsors of the Glory World Series.

Read the entire release on the United Glory website. Keep your eyes glued to LiverKick.com for more information when we have it.

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SimonRutzAmidst 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.

Read on for part 1 of this 2 part exclusive LiverKick.com interview, as we get 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: It’s a shame you may not run in the Amsterdam Arena this year. When did you begin to think this show might not happen?

Simon Rutz: We have already known for many years that K-1 has big problems, but a few months ago they said to me that they have a new investor.  That was the reason why I agreed to cooperate on the Amsterdam Arena event in May this year.  Around Christmas I felt that there was something wrong with their situation because they didn’t answer my requests anymore.

LK: What were the plans for the show? Did you have fighters already lined up?

SR: When It’s Showtime and K-1 cooperate I always give my suggestions, and most of the time they use them.  My suggestions for this year were: Badr Hari vs. Gokhan Saki; Peter Aerts vs. Tyrone Spong; and Hesdy Gerges vs. Alistair Overeem, Errol Zimmerman, or someone else.

LK: We’ve heard a lot about K-1 not paying fighters, and I know Giorgio Petrosyan had problems with that last year. Are there It’s Showtime or Black Label fighters who are waiting to be paid by K-1?

SR: Yes, the following fighters have not been paid for a fight: Melvin Manhoef, Tyrone Spong, Daniel Ghita, Hesdy Gerges, Gago Drago, Pajonsuk, Dzevad Poturak, Chahid, and Giorgio Petrosyan still needs his win bonus from the last K-1 MAX tournament.  It is a lot of money! I never let our fighters fight before they are paid for their last fight.  I hear that some other fighters haven’t gotten their money for 4 fights.  It is a sad situation for all the fighters.

LK:  Given all these problems, what, in your opinion, does K-1 need to do to survive?

SR: They need a lot of money, and they must ask my advice (and do something with that advice) because they do a lot of stupid things.

LK: If they don’t get that money, and they don’t survive, what will it mean for kickboxing and for It’s Showtime?

SR: If they don’t survive it is very bad for the sport and for many fighters.  For It’s Showtime, it would mean that we are the number 1 kickboxing organization in the world and everybody will look to us.  We are getting busy like never before.  We have already seen a movement from K-1 to It’s Showtime.  Almost every day I talk with people around the world who want to organize an It’s Showtime event in their country.

LK: Would you ever consider buying out K-1?

SR: Why should I do that?  I have my own brand and company who is healthy and is going very well.  Also, what am I buying then?  Only a lot of problems!  The [K-1] name is very strong, but I already have a good name.  I will keep my money in my pocket!

LK: You said you are talking with people around the world, and this looks like a huge year for you with new events in England, Germany, and Spain. Any details on those shows?

SR: Our schedule for the year is now: March 6 – Amsterdam, Holland; March 26 – Brussels, Belgium; May 14 – Lyon, France (not signed yet); May – Manheim, Germany (not signed yet); June 11 – Warsaw, Poland; July 23 – Sochi, Russia; August 27 – Sarajevo, Bosnia; September 18 – Amsterdam, Holland; September 24 – Manchester, England (not signed yet); October 8 – Geneva, Switzerland; End of December in Amsterdam for the It’s Showtime Christmas Edition again.  We are also talking about It’s Showtime events in Spain, Ukraine, and Australia.  As you see, we are really busy.  We have at least 10 big events this year, maybe 12.

LK: You know I have to ask – any further info on possibly running in the United States?

SR: I am getting more and more interest for It’s Showtime events in the US.  Last week, one of the TV stations from the US bought our It’s Showtime events, so that is starting.  I also am speaking with several people to see what the possibilities are in the US.  But when we start, we will start slowly with events for 2,000 people.

LK:  With all this expansion, where do you want It’s Showtime to be in 2 years?

SR: Pff......... 6 months ago I said that in 5 years It’s Showtime would organize between 15 and 20 events a year, but we are going so fast, maybe next year we will already be doing 15 events a year!

Check back tomorrow for the conclusion of this interview as we discuss Remy Bonjasky’s retirement, Cosmo Alexandre, the Hesdy Gerges/Semmy Schilt controversy, and of course, Badr Hari.

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