The other evening on Dutch TV the GLORY Heavyweight Champion Rico Verhoeven laid out a challenge at perennial bad boy Badr Hari for a fight. The two of them have been taking potshots at each other through social media for a while now. Without a doubt Rico Verhoeven is the top heavyweight in the world right now and the man to beat, while Badr Hari was at one time the man to beat but his legal problems and interesting choices in friends have led him to simply be a headline-snatching name in the news on occasion.
Video (in Dutch)
Badr Hari was quick to reply on Twitter with a "challenge accepted."
To which Verhoeven replied via Instagram.
The question right now is simple, though; what does this actually mean. Fans are already excited at the prospect of these two goliaths clashing in the ring, but there are a lot of hurdles involved in making a fight. Kickboxing has not worked like boxing, historically. In boxing the way it works is that a fighter has a manager and a promoter, that promoter will set up the fights. Kickboxing has always worked in more of a pro wrestling model where there is a promotion and the fighters are contracted by the promotion and at their whim. Verhoeven is currently the GLORY Heavyweight Champion, but reports claim that Verhoeven is without a contract at the moment and in negotiations with the promotion for the future.
As for Badr? He's been holding out for a retirement fight, claiming to have one more fight left in him and that he's looking for potentially huge money. Badr has been fighting for whatever strange, upstart promoter wants to toss money into a pit and get to go on social media to bro out with Hari. Hell, he even fought for a warlord in his last fight. The big question is if the fight were to happen under Kadyrov in Akhmat if it would actually be a fair fight. I can't stress this enough, Kadyrov is an accused Russian war criminal with an incredibly checkered past. He's apparently stepping down this month, but he's an incredibly powerful figure in Russia. He's still running fight shows, though.
If I'm Rico Verhoeven I'm not going to Chechnya to fight Badr Hari. If I'm Badr Hari I'm probably never going to be able to fight in the Netherlands because of his legal history. Who promotes this fight? Who puts up the money for it? There are still far too many questions before anyone can begin to get excited about this.