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The Reality of a Fractured Kickboxing Scene

K-1Today’s announcement from It’s Showtime about K-1 contracting some of their top fighters confirms months upon months of rumors and discussion about what would happen with K-1. There has been a behind-the-scenes war of sorts between two factions; Golden Glory and It’s Showtime. Without a doubt both factions are where the power lies within the Kickboxing world right now, with top names working on both sides and there being some crossover when at all possible.

A good example of crossover would be Robin van Roosmalen, the It’s Showtime Fast and Furious 70kg MAX 2011 Champion. In a world without K-1, the Fast and Furious tournament was without a shadow of the doubt the biggest tournament for 70kg fighters. Van Roosmalen worked his way through the most prestigious tournament possible while representing Golden Glory. On top of that, Errol Zimmerman and Gokhan Saki appeared on It’s Showtime’s latest card, with the rumor being that both men worked out their own deals in the fall to participate on the card.

Both factions have the very best talent in the top weight divisions in the world, making cards featuring both fight camps imperative to see the best competition and best fights in the world. When talks surfaced of both sides looking to become closer to the troubled K-1 over the past six months or so, it was clear that whomever won the race to latch onto K-1 would leave the other one in a predicament. It turns out that Golden Glory lost their bid for K-1, but with the help of investor and partner Total Sports Asia, have been assembling three huge tournaments at Heavyweight, 85kg and 70kg, with a total of $1 million as a prize.

This announcement of K-1 working with It’s Showtime to help acquire talent for K-1 events comes and it appears that the rumors of It’s Showtime working with Mr. Kim to help rebuild K-1 seem to be true. That comes along with Golden Glory talking about their extreme displeasure with Mr. Kim, who bought K-1 out from under their noses, which leads the reality to Golden Glory probably not looking to work with Mr. Kim any time soon.

The reality of these announcements is that unless both sides can work together, a fractured Kickboxing scene is looking to come to fruition within short order. For the Glory World Series tournaments, it could mean that Daniel Ghita, Hesdy Gerges, Tyrone Spong, Melvin Manhoef, Sahak Paparyan, Andy Souwer and many more might be off-limits. For K-1, it could means that in the World Grand Prix and World MAX Tournament we could be looking at tournaments that do not include Semmy Schilt, Errol Zimmerman, Gokhan Saki, Sergei Kharitonov, Mark Miller, Robin van Roosmalen, Nieky Holzken and others.

The other reality is, for fighters who have fallen out with It’s Showtime, it could mean a hard time working with K-1. The big name that I am thinking about here is Giorgio Petrosyan, who recently broke away from It’s Showtime over monetary disputes. We do know that K-1 has been in talks with fighters outside of It’s Showtime’s management, and for now we can only speculate and hope that K-1 is able to bring in the other big names in the Kickboxing world and is willing to come to an agreement with Golden Glory, and vice versa, for the Glory World Series.

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K-1 and It's Showtime Close Multi-Year Agreement

It's ShowtimeIt's Showtime just sent out a press release announcing a multi-year agreement between them and the new owners of K-1, effective immediately. What this means is that K-1 is looking to scoop up talent for upcoming shows, and has looked to fighters under It's Showtime's management as there are numerous ones. Many It's Showtime fighters have signed, with more to come, with the new K-1 Global Holdings paying fighters 50% of the money owed to them by FEG. It is not clear what, exactly, FEG's involvement will be, if anything.

Full press release follows.

IT'S SHOWTIME closes deal with new K-1 organization.

With immediate effect, IT'S SHOWTIME closed a multi-year deal with the new owner of the K-1 label, Mr. Mike Kim. The company of Mr. Kim is called K-1 Global and is established in Hong Kong.

Even though this new company didn’t have any obligations towards our company and our fighters, K-1 Global has paid all of our fighters this week. This means that every fighter received a signing bonus which consists of 50% of the money that was still owed to them by the old company FEG.

K-1 will organize 4 big events already this year, including the final 16 and final 8 in the 70kg and heavyweight division. The bonuses the fighters can win will be astronomically high, but we leave it up to the company of K-1 Global to announce these amounts. We will also leave it up to them to announce the event schedule, but three weeks from now everything will be announced.

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Andy Souwer Withdraws From May 19 Fight, Cites K-1 Contract

It's been quiet on the K-1 frontier for the past month. EMCOM acquiring K-1 happened at the end of January and since then, we haven't heard much about the situation. Today though, word got out from the promoter of Urban Boxing United, Guillaume Singer that Andy Souwer had withdrawn from his fight with the promotion on May 19, citing that he had to honor a K-1 contract around the same time as his scheduled fight on May 19.

This comes as unexpected, and it was even unexpected to Souwer's team. According to Souwer's agent who dealt with Urban Boxing United, it was totally unexpected that Souwer would have something from K-1 pop up especially because K-1 had not reached out to Souwer in 2011.

With Souwer citing that he has to honor a K-1 contract around the time period that his May 19 fight was supposed to be, it makes one wonder if there's something being planned by K-1 at the time. Otherwise, why would Souwer have to pull out of his fight? As we've known for the past year, nothing is ever set in stone with K-1 and it's never safe to assume anything happening with them. This situation is interesting though and it might indicate some rumblings behind the scenes.

As for Johann Fauveau, who Souwer was scheduled to face, he'll face England's Jordan Watson. It's still a great fight and Watson is a very formidable opponent. [source]

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Kyotaro Ready for Second Boxing Bout

Kyotaro

It has to be tough to be a Japanese heavyweight kickboxer and not have the ability to fight for the hometown K-1. For the smaller fighters, KRUSH, RISE and a few other promotions run big tournaments that keep them busy year round, but for poor Kyotaro, his options seemed to be limited. So limited, in fact, that he decided to try his hand at professional boxing, where he would have more opportunity than on the non-existant K-1 circuit. After making his debut in December, it appears that Kyotaro will once again step into the boxing ring.

According to Nightmare of Battle, Kyotaro is set to do battle with Jae-Chain Kim, a Korean Heavyweight who is currently ranked ninth by the OPBF. The two will meet on March 6th at the legendary Korakuen Hall. [source]

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