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Million Manhoef Already is Awesome, He's 10

  • Published in Video

When your father is Melvin Manhoef and you decide to follow in your father's footsteps, you have huge shoes to fill. Manhoef is known by many names, from Marvelous to Mini Mike Tyson, and fights in MMA under the Strikeforce banner currently, but he is best known for Kickboxing. In the kickboxing world, Manhoef is one of the smallest Heavyweights around, but has shown that he packs an incredible punch and is a dangerous matchup for any elite fighter. Manhoef also leaves it all in the ring when he fights.

His son, Million Manhoef has been training for a while now, and it turns out that this nine year old is now taking on amateur fights and showing shades of his papa. Million comes out wearing a white version of his father's gladiator trunks, does a mock dance like his father and even has a crazy counter left hook to look out for. This video shows just how dangerous this kid could be in a few years.

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Building a Narrative: The Story of Daniel Ghita

  • Published in News

When fight fans think about a fighter, especially a rising star, I’m surprised how few think about the term narrative. To me, the narrative of a fighter’s career and of each fight is one of the most alluring parts of the fight game, and partially why Kickboxing has always aced Mixed Martial Arts for me. Sure, the kicks, the clinch game and the constant action helps, but K-1 especially did a great job in the 90’s and early 00’s of building up new stars and telling a story to the world, as opposed to simply pushing out fighters and booking them in competitive fights.

I’m not trashing competitive fights, just saying that simply booking them alone is not always enough in building a star. This line of thought crossed my mind when it became clear this week that K-1 had Daniel Ghita on the hook for the K-1 World Grand Prix, and instead of reeling him in and claiming the biggest star and most talented Heavyweight in Kickboxing today, they opted to let him go due to fears of him jumping to the competition after fighting for them and winning their tournament. I understand that line of reasoning, but the truth is, there is a good chance of Daniel Ghita, potentially the best Heavyweight alive in the world right now, might have to sit out the 2012 tournament season due to politics. This is all happening right when his star has been cemented and the narrative has been in place that Daniel Ghita is the best in the world, just ready to claim his throne.

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Glory World Series Puts $1 Million USD on the Line in New Tournaments

  • Published in Kickboxing

SakiVery rarely does it seem like within the span of a week we get major kickboxing news like this, but when it rains it pours and 2012 seems to be the year where Kickboxing has been given the money and investors it needs to grow and truly be the global force that it is. Earlier in the week, we made an announcement about the Glory World Series in March, an event which will host Semmy Schilt, Mark Miller, Errol Zimmerman, Jerome Le Banner, Robin van Roosmalen and more, and now we can announce that Glory is planning on running three huge tournaments this year.

The tournaments will begin around May and will take place in three different weight classes; 70kg, 85kg and Heavyweight. The addition of 85kg is one to make a lot of fans happy, as K-1 has been known to ignore weight classes in between 70kg and Heavyweight, but there is a ton of talent worldwide between 70kg and 100kg that tend to go unrecognized due to the K-1 format. In 2012 we do not have to worry about this, as Glory will be running these three huge tournaments. On top of that, the prize money involved is $1 million USD all total, with the 70kg and 85kg tournaments receiving $300k each and Heavyweight for $400k.

To put this into perspective, compared to K-1 tournaments it is comprable pay, if not better in the cases of 70kg and 85kg, and a great opportunity for fighters around the world to prove their mettle in a new arena. Bas Boon is quoted in a press release as saying that he is sure that Peter Aerts, Giorgio Petrosyan, Buakaw Por. Pramuk, Jaideep Singh and Ewerton Teixeira will follow suit and sign agreements with TSA to participate in these Glory events.

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Weekend Results: Slowinski, Holzken Win

  • Published in Kickboxing

Paul SlowinskiResults are in from this weekend, and there were three kickboxing events of interest.

Top 10 Middlewweight Nieky Holzken (ranked #6) was in action this weekend, headlining a Golden Glory event in Eindhoven and challenging Thilo Schneider for the WFCA World Title.  The intense Holzken brought the fight to Schneider early, using a wide range of techniques to overwhelm his opponent and score the 2nd round TKO win.  A bit of an ugly moment in the 2nd round here after Holzken dropped Schneider with a punch.  As Schneider was down on one knee in the corner, the referee was slow to step in and Holzken blasted his clearly downed opponent with a brutal punch that rocked the completely exposed Schneider.  Poor reffing there for sure, but also not the most sportsmanlike move from Holzken.  After the fight Faldir Chahbari entered the ring and challenged Holzken.  Those two put on one of the best fights in 2009 with Holzken pulling off a close decision win, and I would have no problem seeing them square off again.

In Australia, the big event was Knees of Fury 32, headlined by Paul Slowinski vs. Thor Hoopman.  Slowinski (pictured) was able to get his revenge on Hoopman for a 2009 loss, as the long-time K-1 veteran scored a 1st round KO victory over his younger opponent.  The difference in the fight seemed to be Slowinski's power, which proved too much for the smaller Hoopman.  At one point, Slowinski was able to simply pick Hoopman up and slam him to the mat in a throw that was low on technique, but high on strength.  As the round progressed, Slowinski increased his pressure, landing multiple punch combos that dropped Hoopman before the referee stepped in and stopped the fight.  Great win for Slowinski, who was talking about retiring two years ago, but is now 8-2 in the last year and getting ready for a May showdown with Daniel Ghita in what will be Slowinski's biggest international fight since the 2008 K-1 GP Finals.  Hoopman remains a young talent to watch, but this is a definite setback for him, and he will need to figure out how to deal with bigger, stronger opponents if he hopes to remain at Heavyweight.  Elsewhere on the card Wes Capper stopped Kym Johnson in 1 round, Flip Street defeated Myles Simpson by TKO after round 2, Sarah O'Connell decisioned Tenille May, Charlie Chau KO'd Hiki Hanui in the 1st via leg kicks, and Cameron Murcott stopped Steve Behan, again in the 1st.

Finally, over in Japan was R.I.S.E. 74 with a pair of title fights as the main attraction.  In the main event, Kosuke Komiyama took a 5 round split decision win over Kan Itabashi to become the new R.I.S.E. 60 kg champion, while Koji Yoshimoto and Yusuke Sugawara battled to a Draw in a 63kg title fight.  Yoshimoto remains the champion after the draw decision.  The other notable fight was Dyki vs. Hiroki Maeda, where Dyki scored the decision win.  The event also included a retirement ceremony for K-1 MAX veteran Tatsuji.

Nieky Holzken (red) vs. Thilo Schneider (blue):

Paul Slowinski (blue) vs. Thor Hoopman (red)



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Bas Boon Issues Statement Regarding His Beef with K-1, It's Showtime, FEG, Etc.

  • Published in Kickboxing

Bas BoonToday is an interesting day for Kickboxing news, as I wake up to see that Robin van Roosmalen, a Golden Glory fighter announced for the May 26th card in Sweden, has signed with It's Showtime and K-1 and will participate on the May 27th card for K-1 instead. This seems like the first brick of Glory's wall being ripped out, and yet another volley in the ongoing war between Simon Rutz and Bas Boon. On top of that, Bas Boon issued a statement in regards to, well, everything that has been going on. As always, Bas Boon is not afraid to name names, make wild accusations and include a lot of links to articles.

We have reached out to K-1 Global for comment and will update as soon as we hear back.

NOTE: It should be noted that this is completely Bas Boon, does not reflect LiverKick.com's opinions, beliefs or anything of the sort. It should also be mentioned that there is a section claiming that we "removed" an article. That link works, the article is still there.

Interview with Bas Boon by Tadashi Tanaka the japanese journalist who broke the story in 2006 in the Japanese magazine Shukan Gendai (Weekly Gendai) containing allegations that the Pride Fighting Championships, once the largest mixed martial arts organization in the world, was actually owned by the Yakuza, Japanese organized crime. Pride shows were dropped by Fuji TV, a major national broadcast network in Japan. Pride eventually went under".

On April 5th Tokyo time, Mr. Tanikawa issued a press release regarding the establishment of a new K-1 by K-1 Global Holdings as well as his resignation from K-1 FEG.  I will summarize what he said and point out some grave errors of fact he has made. To recap the facts:

1. Golden Glory has filed a petition in Japan to have FEG declared bankrupt

2. The petition was filed by us on March 14, 2012 in the Tokyo District Court

3. FEG is no longer financially sound, and is unable to pay its creditors, including KOI (Knockout Investments, N.V.), which is owed in excess of $1 Million. Including other parties who are also owed money by FEG the amount may exceed $30 million.

4. Despite repeated promises to pay, Mr. Tanikawa of FEG stated in writing on Feb. 9, 2012 that it has released its employees and has no funds to pay KOI.

5. Golden Glory and its fighters have suffered damages resulting from FEG’s failure to pay

6. Golden Glory has filed this petition to seek the Court’s protection to find and secure any assets of FEG which should be used to repay its creditors

7. A company called EMCOM Holdings issued an announcement dated Jan.31, 2012 that it had acquired a Hong Kong registered company called K-1 Global Holdings and had funded this company to take over the loans made by a Japanese company called Barbizon connected to Kazuyoshi Ishii. Barbizon had security for its loans to FEG, this security was over the trademarks of K-1 (owned by Ishii) and the historical K-1 fight footage (owned by FEG): http://www.hd.emcom.jp/en/pdf/20120131_002.pdf

8. As a creditor of FEG, Golden Glory is concerned that some transactions will drain FEG of its remaining assets and goodwill and leave the creditors with nothing. We hope that this bankruptcy proceeding will also lead to an opportunity to shed light on the parties and what is really going on with the K-1 brand. We just want to get our athletes paid what they are owed by K-1.

We suspect the original intention for K-1/FEG was to not pay us, so all the fighters would quit and not be under the management of Golden Glory or It's showtime anymore.

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Daniel Ghita Gives Us Insight Into K-1's Future and a Fragmented Kickboxing World

  • Published in K-1

The past few days there has been a rush of K-1 news, as the mysterious Mr. Kim has revealed himself as the head of a Chinese-based company called EMCOM, and it appears that he has finally gone through and purchased something and that whatever it is will be called K-1. The details were still foggy at best, as LiverKick had heard from a number of sources that there have been "K-1 Global Holdings Limited" fighter contracts circulating amongst fighters, but it was no clear exactly who was at the helm in regards to those contracts.

We did an interview with It's Showtime Heavyweight Champion Daniel Ghita today, and that helped to really clarify the situation and give an idea of how the Heavyweight Kickboxing landscape is going to look, and I predict that it will be messy. 

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Details on Golden Glory's Role in FIKA and Sem Schilt is Unhappy With Golden Glory

  • Published in K-1

So there is still no news about FIKA yet since the original press release and press conference that they held. There was pomp and lots of circumstances involved, lots of celebrities and amongst the sea of new Chinese investors, actors and Master Ishii, Sem Schilt and Bas Boon stood out in an event without any Europeans. LiverKick.com has been talking to a lot of people close to FIKA and Golden Glory, and by the sounds of it, we should know more "before Christmas." Sure, it is not an exact date by any stretch of the imagination, but I'd rather hear a vague outline of what is being worked on than a date that cannot be met.

We were talking with our friend in Europe Karel ten Haaf who runs the Kortsluiting blog who was able to confirm that mid-December is when we should have more details on FIKA and Golden Glory's involvement. Due to all of this, the next Glory World Series event might not happen until February 28th and the involvement of Semmy Schilt? That might not be entirely clear, either.

Karel spoke with Dave Jonkers, Sem Schilt's coach about Schilt's involvement, and it really does not seem all that clear what is going on with Schilt. Schilt has two films that he has worked on this year, Novalaya Zemyla and Black Out, with the first being a much bigger role. But when it comes to fighting, due to Golden Glory's involvement in K-1, Schilt apparently will not fight for either Golden Glory or K-1 until he sees the money that he is owed. This is a new development, especially with as little as a month ago Schilt was in China for the FIKA announcement. This is not the first time we've heard of someone under the management of Golden Glory being upset with them this year, but like the rest, hopefully it is resolved soon and everything can get back in motion.

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Mark "Fightshark" Miller Joins Team Golden Glory

  • Published in Kickboxing

Mark MillerAfter a lot of hard work and years of anticipation, Mark "Fightshark" Miller made his successful return to he ring a few weeks ago. It was a historic comeback if there ever was one, with Miller landing a big hook to Nikolaj Falin in three seconds, the ref finally calling the fight at around 8 seconds, with Miller scoring the fastest KO of his career after sitting out of action for years. It is safe to say that the team at Golden Glory took notice of Mark Miller after that fight, and there were a lot of hopes pinned on the back of Miller.

American Kickboxing has been all-but-ruled dead by many, without any new, big stars being made in years. The United States is talked about in a joking tone when the topic of kickboxers comes up, as there are some Muay Thai fighters who compete on a high level, but the only Kickboxer to see success has been Mighty Mo, who actually comes from American Samoa which is off the coast of Australia. So there were hopes on the shoulders of Miller beyond making his heroic return, but for American Kickboxing as a whole.

When Golden Glory contacted him last week about possibly joining the team, it was like a dream come true. Golden Glory is one of the elite teams in the kickboxing world, who have never had an American kickboxer in their midst. The only American to ever be a part of the team was Heath Herring, who was never able to achieve the level of success that any of them wanted, and Herring proves to be one of only two fighters that in twelve years that has left the team, ever. Mark signed himself to Golden Glory just days ago and we've been waiting for an official announcement, which Martijn de Jong made this morning, officially welcoming Miller to one of the most elite teams in the world.

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Ultimate Glory on March 23 -- Huge Kickboxing Event

We've been waiting and waiting it seems for an announcement in regards to K-1. We've known for a while now that Golden Glory has been working to try to get involved with the K-1 brand and that there was a show on March 23rd in Moscow, but the announcement was a long time coming and clearly there were complications involved. Golden Glory issued a press release this morning announcing the March 23rd Moscow event, and explains that the K-1 negotiations are still underway, but that they've decided to move forward with putting out an event featuring top Kickboxers in the meantime.

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Fallout from Glory Purchasing It's Showtime, K-1 Left in the Cold and in Trouble

  • Published in Kickboxing

I feel like there is so much going on in the Kickboxing world right now that it is difficult to really pinpoint exactly where to start. I feel like watching the above video by FightstarTV is a good start if any, as Bas Boon discusses some of the implications of the purchase of It's Showtime. Firstly, there is talk about the future of Simon Rutz within the organization and how he will continue to play a big role, which to many will be a relief. Then, there is talk about possibly keeping the It's Showtime name alive much like the Strikeforce name is still alive even though the UFC owns it.

To shift gears, I've had a lot of people asking my "why" over the past 24 hours and seen a lot of questions online on forums and Twitter. After speaking with a few people close to the situation as well as a few people who were working at the show yesterday, it appears that Simon Rutz and It's Showtime's partnership with K-1 blew up in their faces and put them in a financial predicament. Apparently, Rutz and It's Showtime had paid for the K-1 Rising in Madrid show in its entirety and due to using the K-1 name, did not get their usual sponsors and co-promoters to help them cover costs. The expectations were that K-1 would pay for these costs, as promised. After a few days had passed and the money had not materialized, Rutz and Glory began talks which have persisted over the past month and finally culminated on Saturday when the deal was signed.

To put it bluntly, K-1 Global has their first true scandal on their hands and it took them less than six months of operations to get there. While there have been press releases over the past week or so from K-1 Global and statements from Doug Kaplan about finding great talent at the Muscle Beach Open Tryouts, the truth staring back at them in the mirror is in one fell swoop their partnership with It's Showtime, which provided them with 90% of their talent, is gone. Of the World MAX Final 16 they just held, a staggering ten of the fighters were under It's Showtime contracts, five of the Final 8. From the Super Fights it appears that only Mirko Cro Cop is left. We had originally believed Badr Hari to be under direct contract to them, and he was, but according to sources close to him and his management, the contract was breached when the money was not paid within the allotted time period, so they are considering the contract null and void. We've heard other fighters had K-1 contracts and are simply not sure yet how they will play out in the end, most are not confident in fighting for K-1 again and trying to get out of said contracts.

Obviously, this is a disaster for K-1. All it took was one weekend and a good chunk of the talent they were going to rely upon have seemingly fallen from their grasp and stories are being spread about K-1 Global not paying their bills on time, taking after their predecessors at FEG.

What we do know for certain is we are entering a new age in Kickboxing and the big brand that has meant everything might not have that same value as we all originally believed, in the coming months Glory can do a lot to prove that new brands can be easily forged in combat sports and that it is the talent and management that makes something special.

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