Whenever I want to talk about the "Real" in kickboxing, I have a go to guy and that person is Thom Harinck. Yes, I know, not your average person, but someone who I trust and who trusts me with many of the secrets and stories of this long held tradition. It would only be natural then, that on the occasion of meeting Hesdy Gerges that I would consult Thom, after all, he trained with Hesdy for many years and probably has, or at least I thought, a very good interpretation of his persona both in and out of the ring. So, on the verge of interviewing Hesdy, Thom had this to say :
SW: Is he a hard worker?
TH: Yes, he is very committed. It doesn't matter how long it takes for him to learn something, he does it until he performs correctly. He also is very positive for other fighters because when he comes into the gym, he gives everything, so they look up to him which I think is good. Basically, no matter what is going on he tries, he is not afraid to be hit, he continues to punch and put forth his effort.
So this is the background and the effort he puts forth. With a career record of 59 wins, Hesdy has met and challenged many of the biggest names in kickboxing today including, Semmy Schilt, Badr Hari, Daniel Ghita, Ruslan Karaev and others. Even in the fights that he has not won, this 30 year old fighter has performed in spectacular fashion.
Ahead of Glory 18 Hesdy, now a member of Vos Gym, had not much to say about his upcoming fight with Benny Adegbuyi. Not known for trash talk in general, Hesdy stated that he had a great deal of respect for his opponent but, that the truth would be shown in the ring. Most recently off a disqualification victory over Jamal Ben Saddik, Hesdy appeared not worried about this fight, this is the work he's done his entire life, and what he plans to do for several years to come.
Saturday, November 7, 2014, the former It's Showtime Champion is set to face off with the Romanian, Benny Adegbuyi. This is a battlefield with which both men are familiar, although Hesdy has more experience, he also acknowledged the the skills of his opponent. " Benny is big", he stated,"in many respects very similar to me, he has good style, he's strong, but I can beat him". Both men have fought in SuperKombat, both men have faced difficult opponents, Hesdy, however, has had the opportunity to prove himself again and again in an arena not for the faint of heart. With more than fifty professional fights under his belt, Hesdy has had time, time to make mistakes, learn from them and time to take himself to a different level and continue to evolve with the sport. With no disrespect to his opponent, Hesdy acknowledges that he has more experience, more than fifteen years he's dedicated to the sport. He, like some of his peers came to the sport as a result of behavior that may have otherwise led to life in a different and more confined arena. What set him apart from some of the peers he left behind, however, was a growing love for the sport and the ability to discipline himself to finally achieve what he has today.
In a game where anyone can be king for a day, Hesdy is calculated in his strategies inside the ring. His plan for this fight, well, that's not known, but what Hesdy is known for is striking, defense and strength, both mentally and physically, to impose his will over his opponent.
Beyond life in the gym, Hesdy spoke of the desire to look toward a life with his family, his children, and whatever comes beyond the ring. He speaks as a realist with the knowledge that his opportunities as a fighter will not last forever so perhaps his skill to inspire those coming after him will be something that he will work toward in his future by owning a gym. For now, however, Hesdy recognizes his place among the top ranked fighters in the world and has a plan to seize that opportunity. Speaking less of becoming the number one fighter, Hesdy's focus seems to be being the best Hesdy he can be. Can anyone be better than that?
Spending twenty minutes with a fighter of this caliber is hardly enough time to capture the essence of his presence, past and future. All the same, Hesdy Gerges's name has been indelibly imprinted on the history of the sport and in the minds of those who will come after him. At Glory 18, the victor may be Hesdy, it may be Benny but there will also be Glory 19, 20 and many more after, so he's not intimidated. He is Hesdy and in the end he states, "Yes they will raise my hand." Need more be said.