The big news coming out of this past weekend was that elusive bad boy of the kickboxing world, Badr Hari, had finally put his name on the dotted line with GLORY kickboxing. For the 33-year-old fighter who has lost years off of the prime of his career by searching for money fights while spending time in and out of the courtrooms and prison cells, this was the most logical decision and the best way to cement his legacy. Kickboxing isn’t exactly a sport that a fighter can jump around from promoter to promoter and make a steady living like boxing in Europe.
Of course, there are options out there, albeit GLORY or Kunlun were the most logical. There are other European promotions and Enfusion has been making a serious push over the last year to penetrate the marketplace a bit more than their regional European audience that they’ve reached since their inception in 2012. One of the names that Enfusion co-promoters have been trying to lock up has been Badr Hari, with Fightsense, an Enfusion promoter, making a serious play for Hari when Badr and Rico were battling in the media, only for GLORY to still have those negotiation rights with Rico and the fight ultimately happening in a GLORY ring.
Enfusion have been making moves to bring in a wider audience, with signings like big name Thais like Superbon, who fought this past weekend at Enfusion 59 and lost for the first time in eons. Enfusion’s structure is still a bit more “classic” European kickboxing with the employ of local promoters to help with costs, venues and other things, so it makes sense that confusion could happen without a more modern structure that we see in many other kickboxing organizations like GLORY, Kunlun, SuperKombat, etc., where there is one company and while they might employ local promoters as contractors, generally speaking the original promotion is the promoter of the event, not the other way around.
All of this is important because Badr Hari reportedly also signed an agreement with Enfusion to fight in May against Luis Tavares. According to Saïd Hamzaoui, the owner of Ringfight Promotions, another Enfusion partner, there was an agreement in place with Badr Hari to not fight before May, which Badr Hari has now breached by signing a multi-fight deal with GLORY that starts in March. According to Badr Hari’s legal team Hamzaoui was late with the initial, agreed-upon payment and only a draft agreement was in place, which was breached when the money didn’t make it to them by the deadline. Hamzaoui claims that it was only half an hour of a delay and that it was in writing, but without seeing these documents it’s difficult to tell which side has merit.
What it seems like is that Badr Hari played both sides against each other and took the better agreement. It also doesn’t sound like the deal with Ringfight Promotions was for more than one fight in May. So it seems that Badr Hari’s legal problems are far from over and that this bright talent’s career remains mired in controversy no matter where he goes or what he does.