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Badr Hari’s Boxing Transition an Uphill Battle, But He Knows That

Badr HariThe news broke earlier today that Badr Hari would be hanging up his Kickboxing gloves to take up a pair of shiny new Boxing gloves and move his training and focus to the United States. To many this was a shock, but there have been signs of this move for a long time now. Originally Badr Hari was considering making a run for the Moroccan Olympic Boxing Team, but his stint in prison and legal troubles were enough to force him away from that idea.

In an interview with Michael Schiavello earlier this year, Badr Hari spoke about how he was a huge Boxing fan and followed the sport very closely, especially the Heavyweights. He couldn’t say the same for the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, where he could not even recognize the bigger stars, or the sport of Kickboxing where he only followed where he needed to for upcoming fights. Then there was an interview in August with FightHype where he spoke out about some Heavyweight Boxing contenders like Chris Arreola and Tomasz Adamek was if he were ready to run right through them right now.

Badr Hari’s heart was set on being a Heavyweight Boxer and there was no one in the world who was going to stop him.

His announcement came from Kickboxing organization It’s Showtime, who also handle his management and will no doubt have a hand in his boxing career and caused a lot of stir throughout the internet. Some sites are proclaiming Badr’s move as a part of the mass exodus from Kickboxing to MMA while others are taking a look at Badr Hari’s kickboxing fights to determine that he will become a failure at another sport.

The truth is, the transition from Kickboxing to Boxing is not an easy one, nor is it one that we’ve seen happen with a great deal of success. There have been a few cross overs from Mixed Martial Arts such as Kimbo Slice and KJ Noons, but the sample size is far too small to come to any real conclusion. Boxing or Kickboxing into MMA is a much more logical move for many fighters as opposed to the other way around. Working in grappling and takedown defense into a striking discipline is a lot easier than transitioning from the more “loose” striking styles in MMA to the tighter striking of Kickboxing or Boxing.

The transition from Kickboxing to Boxing can be said to be similar, as Kickboxing or Muay Thai employee different stances and entirely different approaches to striking than Boxing does. In any sort of kick fighting, the stance needs to compensate for incoming kicks as well as throwing kicks or knee strikes. This means that the front leg is not rested upon as heavily to check a leg kick or to begin the momentum shift into throwing a kick with the back leg. This also means that footwork is vastly different as is foot speed, as it is more difficult to move quickly while staying poised in position to kick or check a kick. A Boxer has more ability to move and use his feet as a tool for movement, not for giving and receiving damage.

In Kickboxing this also means that your hands will be positioned differently when worried about incoming kicks to the mid section or head. Kickboxing can often times be a distance game as the reach of a fighters’ legs is vastly superior to that of their arms (in most cases). Blocking a kick to the midsection will often times involve catching the leg underneath the arm near the armpit or deflecting through movement. Compared to Boxing where there is a lot less range fighting and a lot more close fighting and technical hand work, Kickboxing defense can seem a bit odd and “open.” Kicks come in hard and fast while an opponent has distance and defenses need to take that into account and be switched when the fighters are in close. A Boxer keeps his hands lower than a Kickboxer in most cases, with their hands in tight to their body to help deflect body shots or head shots in a quick, efficient manner.

It is impossible to judge where Badr Hari will be when he steps into the Boxing ring, though. Without a doubt Badr Hari understands these differences and will need to take a lot of hard work, dedication and most importantly time to make sure he is ready for the rigors of professional boxing. A big question mark is Badr Hari’s chin, which has been tested and crushed on a few occasions, but good defense in many cases can make up for this. Badr Hari’s punching technique will need to be tightened up as will his defenses, but to judge these details from his Kickboxing work may be premature and crass at best.

Many should be reminded that Badr Hari has yet to even announce his Boxing debut and it could be quite a ways off. For now sit back and enjoy his last few fights within the realm of Kickboxing and remind yourself that retirements in combat sports don’t often stick, for the right amount of money it is fair to assume Badr Hari could step into a Kickboxing ring again.


Badr Hari Retires From Kickboxing to Begin Boxing Career

Not many events in the kickboxing world can leave you speechless, but the retirement of one of Heavyweight Kickboxing's biggest stars in the past ten years will do just that. The big secret announcement from It's Showtime was originally scheduled for Friday but was then pushed back to today. In the meantime, word got out that Badr Hari would take on Gokhan Saki on January 28th for It's Showtime. To many, this was the big announcement that It's Showtime was trying to keep under wraps, but it would turn out to be much bigger.

Badr Hari has spoken about his desire to enter the world of Boxing for a long time now, much more seriously over the past year. This includes talk of possible Olympic Boxing that seemed to die off and talking with Michael Schiavello in a Voice Versus episode about possibly leaving kickboxing for boxing. Add in the steady decline of K-1 over the past few years and Badr Hari's legal troubles and kickboxing became less and less his passion.

Tonight It's Showtime sent around a press release announcing Badr Hari's retirement from kickboxing on January 28th against his hand-selected opponent of Gokhan Saki. The irony is, of course, that Gokhan Saki might do exactly the same thing next year and pass on Kickboxing to enter into the Boxing or MMA world. It's Showtime also casts some serious doubt onto the possibility of the K-1 World Grand Prix;

If K-1 will host a World Grand Prix this year, Badr will also participate to that. The Grand Prix Final is scheduled for December 10 in China. If this World Grand Prix will take place, depends if K-1 will be able to pay its debts to IT’S SHOWTIME and others. If not, the fight on January 28 will be Badr’s only remaining fight as a kickboxer.

This is huge, if not crushing news to kickboxing fans around the world and good news for Boxing.


Report: Xhavit Bajrami and Rustemi Kreshnik to Participate in K-1 WGP Final 16

Shortly after the initial announcement of the K-1 Final 16 and its confirmed participants, we've got some more news. Albanian news website is reporting that Xhavit Bajrami and Rustemi Kreshnik will both participate in the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 on October 29 in Nanjing, China.

The news basically solidifies what many have been thinking; that the K-1 World Grand Prix just isn't as stacked as previous years. Bajrami and Kreshnik aren't elite fighters by any means. Bajrami did beat Jaideep in July, while Kreshnik picked up a win over Moises Baute on Saturday in his first fight of 2011.

Here's some quotes from Xhavit Bajrami on his participation:

"This is the result of my work and successes that I had in the past five years, having owned titles in stronger versions of kickboxing in the world".


"I go to China to show that I am still strong and I am one of the best in the world. It was a great pleasure to invite me to go to China and to participate in a tour that opens multiple ways, but more importantly is what I tell you the place among the Righteous, "said Bajrami for whom this is his first appearance outside of Europe, after 2008, in Macao in Asia tour.

You may remember Bajrami from way back in the nineties when he beat Mirko Cro Cop in the K-1 Braves '99 tournament, later going on to win the whole thing. With the absence of Semmy Schilt, Bajrami will likely be the tallest fighter in the tournament at nearly 6'9. Rustemi Kreshnik is probably not as well known, being a regular on It's Showtime events for the past few years. If I were to be completely honest, I don't think either of these fighters will make the Final 8.

You can read the full article here, translated.


Report: Andy Souwer Suffers Compressed Nerve in Leg

Andy SouwerAndy Souwer put forth a valiant display this weekend at the It's Showtime Fast and Furious 70kg MAX tournament, making it to the semi-finals against Artur Kyshenko before losing the fight. Souwer and Kyshenko were easily the two favorites going into the tournament this weekend, with Robin Van Roosmalen as a possible spoiler in the mix who did exactly that by defeating Kyshenko in the Finals.

There were reports of Andy Souwer's condition post-fight claiming that he had possibly fracturing his shin bone, which to many of us made Souwer look tougher than nails as he was competing on a severe injury and still didn't look bad. There was even video of Souwer being strapped into a stretcher and being taken from the arena (8:00 in) to confirm the story.

We are now told this afternoon that the extent of Souwer's injuries are not as bad as originally believed. Instead of a fracturing shin he suffered a compacted or trapped nerve in his shin. Basically, if you've ever had a pinched nerve before think of it like that, only this happens from an outside force pushing on a nerve so hard that it becomes compacted. Your nerves serve as the communication device between your nervous system and your brain. They recognize things like hot, cold and pain, so if they become compacted they are only reporting one thing to your brain; pain. Intense, overwhelming pain.

So if Andy Souwer looked wobbly in the third round, the fact that he was even able to stand was amazing, never mind fight by throwing kicks and knees. Hats off to Andy Souwer who should be back up and running within three weeks.


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