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Buakaw Por Pramuk Fighting in the United States

  • Published in Kickboxing

BuakawYes, you read that headline right. Buakaw Por. Pramuk, two-time K-1 World MAX Champion and 2010 Shootboxing S-Cup Champion will indeed be fighting in the United States in August of this year. Stand Up Promotions based out of Northern California will be presenting yet another big muay thai card to the area featuring not only Buakaw Por. Pramuk but Saenchai Sinibi Gym, Koaklai Kennorising, Saiyok Pumpanmuang and Rungravee Sasiprapa.

This is a lot of world class muay thai talent for a relatively smaller promotion, but they are going all th way with this event, booking the Anaheim Convention Center. The Arena in the Convention Center can hold upwards of 9,100 people if they are indeed running in the Arena and not a convention hall. All of this goes down on August 13th. MuayThaiAuthority.com did the legwork.

In August Stand Up Promotions will host "World Class Championship Muay Thai" at the Anaheim Convention Center on August 13th in Anaheim, CA. The event will feature Buakaw Por. Pramuk, Saenchai Sinibi Gym, Kaoklai Kennorising, Saiyok Pumpanmuang, and Rungravee Sasiprapa. All five Thai fighters are world class, but most will likely be excited to see former K-1 Max, and WMC champion Buakaw make his United States debut.

No opponents have been confirmed for any of the fighters, but Stand Up Promotions has confirmed with Muay Thai Authority that all five fighters have agreed to fight on the August 13th event.
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Sigh. Here's Buakaw Banchamek Abusing a Puppy

  • Published in Muay Thai

Sigh. Seriously, there's nothing pretty about this. This is stupid, this is obnoxious, it's kind of awful. Buakaw Banchamek is a guy who has been through a lot of crap and has had fans really pulling for him throughout. I've gone to bat for him a few times when he was claiming to being mistreated by his former camp and right now it's hard to feel bad for him. Abusing an animal of any kind is a really, really awful thing to do. Everything from simply hitting one in excess to the more horrible things like dog fighting and using weapons on them is just flat out wrong.

So you can only imagine the horror at this video that has been passed around the past two days. In this video Buakaw is sitting with a dog and playing with its paw. The problem is how he's playing with the dogs paw. He's taking the dog's paw and slapping it across the dog's face, then starts to get more aggressive as he goes on, jamming the paw into its mouth as the dog audibly cries out in pain. If you've ever owned a dog before, you know the sounds a dog makes when its in pain and it's not playing. Those are the sounds that this dog is making. Near the end of the video the dog is literally screaming out in pain.

It's hard to watch if you are a dog lover, or, hell, if you are just a decent human being. As an owner of two dogs there is never, ever a situation that would arise where a dog should be treated this way. Ever. This is not only in poor taste, but this is downright animal abuse. We live in an age of social media where stuff like this should not go unnoticed, if you follow him on social media tell him that this is not okay. It's hypocritical that he's posting photos on Instagram of him cuddling and playing with the same dog and kind of bothersome to see people defending his actions as "just playing" with the dog.

That wasn't just playing, that was being a shithead. The video is below and it is disturbing.

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All Fighters Make Weight For It's Showtime: Sporthallen Zuid Amsterdam

  • Published in Kickboxing

Hesdy/GhitaToday It's Showtime held their weigh-ins for March 6th's big event; Fighting Stars presents: It's Showtime Sporthallen Zuid Amsterdam, taking place in Amsterdam, Netherlands tomorrow, at 8pm Amsterdam time/2pm Eastern US time. The event will be streamed on http://www.showtimefights.com for 10 euros/$15 USD and should absolutely be worth it. Make sure to go to the site early and register for the event and to have a browser that is capable of running Microsoft Silverlight applications.

The weigh-ins took place in the VIP lounge of the Sporthallen Zuid, with all of the fighters making weight for their fights. The biggest stretch was for L'houcine "Aussie" Ougzni, who had to cut a considerable amount of weight and has fought as high as 77kg, having to make the cut to 70kg.

For the main event, Hesdy Gerges weighed in at 103kg and Daniel Ghita weighed in at 112kg.

Thanks to Ben Pontier and It's Showtime for the weigh-in photos, check below for a glimpse of all the main card bouts.

 

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Jean-Claude Van Damme Has Chosen a Promoter and Country for His Fight

  • Published in Kickboxing

JCVDIt was bound to happen sooner or later, and it did. We've been talking about this mythical fight Jean-Claude Van Damme has been preparing for now for just about two years, and it never felt any closer. There were talks of having Golden Boy promote the fight in Vegas, but after contacting the NSAC it was clear that they had never heard from anyone about a JCVD fight, ever, and that it would be a big risk for Oscar De la Hoya and his crew.

There were talks about China, Thailand, Japan, getting K-1 to promote the fight. There were dates, it was pushed back due to JCVD's schedule, trouble finding a suitable promoter. The list goes on and on and on and sadly, on. But it seems like JCVD has finally found suitable business partners and an arena to host such an event as a kickboxing fight against Somluck Kamsing.

Apparently the legendary Fairtex gym will be hosting JCVD's fight in November or December of this year in Thailand. Banjong Bussarakamwong of Fairtex will be promoting the fight and is currently looking for a suitable 30,000 seat arena, possibly the Impact Arena or the Hua Mak Indoor Stadium. There are talks about the fight being broadcast live across the world as well and Kamsing was given a 200,000 baht down payment (about $6,500).

We'll have to see how this shapes up, but for now this is the most concrete news we've heard on this fight, ever. [source]

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Shin on Shin Series: Episodes 1 - 4

  • Published in Kickboxing

Our bud Steven Wright has always made it clear how much he loves the sport of kickboxing. He makes his money by helping out some of the best MMA fighters in the world to hone their standup, but his passion has always been kickboxing. For about as long as I've known Steven he has been talking about his documentary. Steven is a lot like me in the regards of he always has a lot going on, but he always stuck to his guns; he was going to release his epic kickboxing documentary at some point. 

So we waited and waited and I at times wondered if he had forgotten about it. He hasn't, not at all. Here is the first four episodes of Shin on Shin Series, with the focus on Europe. 

Shin on Shin Series: EP1 The Fall, Hated Dominance, Unappreciated Brilliance

Shin on Shin Series: EP2 Alexey Ignashov The First Next Big Thing, Badr Hari The People's Champ

Shin on Shin Series: EP3 The Wages of the Wars, In Honor of those we lost...

Shin on Shin Series: EP4 They Call it a War

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K-1 World MAX 2011 70kg Japan Tournament FINAL on September 25

  • Published in Kickboxing

World MAXK-1's recent purchase was bound to lead to more announcements and speculation, and outside of the rumor of the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 in October, there has actually been another show scheduled for September, which is looking to be the K-1 World MAX Japan tournament finals for the 70kg weight class. This is the tournament that would usually happen around February, but due to K-1's problemed year, this tournament will be happening in September instead. We've already seen a few fights in this "tournament" and are set to see the rest of the tournament unfold on the 25th of September.

It will happen in Osaka, Japan on September 25 with a host of participants planned for the show; Albert Kraus, Yuya Yamamot, Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima, Yasuhiro Kido, Yuta Kubo, Kizaemon Saiga, Yuji Nashiro, KENTA, Takafumi Morita, YOSHI and Takeshi Yokoyama. As you can tell, a mix of -63kg fighters and 70kg fighters, so it won't strictly be the 70kg tournament, much like there were MAX/70kg fights at the -63kg tournament.

It should also be noted that if K-1 wanted to hold a World MAX tournament around that time it would be impossible for them, as It's Showtime is promoting their Fast and Furious 70kg MAX tournament on September 24th. It will be two incredible days for kickboxing for sure. [source]

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UPDATE: HDnet and It's Showtime Ink Deal; K-1 Soon to Return

  • Published in Kickboxing

It's ShowtimeWith K-1's stunning silence throughout the year 2011 there is no doubt that Dutch promotion It's Showtime has picked up the slack that K-1 left and then some. It's Showtime has grown from a smaller organization that promoted a few scattered events, which from 1999 until 2004 involved one big event a year, which eventually turned into one big event at the Amsterdam ArenA until 2005 when the promotion decided to branch out and run more events. In 2005 they held a series with Gentlemen's Promotion that revolved around a massive 75kg tournament. The next year saw them co-promote with K-1 for the first time in what turned into a longstanding and beneficial relationship for both sides until recently, when K-1 fell upon massive financial woes and It's Showtime decided to move forward in the wake of K-1's absence.

This year is primed to be It's Showtime's biggest year yet, with last year holding 7 events and this year having 6 events already on their calendar and another three to four events in the works, but it doesn't stop there. LiverKick.com has been speaking with It's Showtime officials for a while now, and have understood that It's Showtime was not just happy with European expansion and was indeed looking to expand into the United States. This led to talks with a few television stations and promotional partners, some deals falling apart and then some rumors over the past week of big things brewing for It's Showtime.

Simon Rutz is no fool, as can be seen with the gradual growth of It's Showtime over the past 12 years. It's Showtime was not simply looking for a television deal for the United States, they were looking for promotional partners. Like we've seen with all of It's Showtime's recent events, they partner up with another company for all of their shows; BFN Group, Fight Group, Fighting Stars, Oktagon and even individuals like Yiannis Evgenikos and Kader Marouf. They wanted nothing different when it came to the United States and would not even think about promoting shows here without strong support from another promotion or entity, the same goes with television. They simply did not want to be on television, they wanted a working partnership that would expand the company.

We've dug pretty deep and found out that It's Showtime and HDnet finalized a deal earlier this week that will change the kickboxing world as we know it. It's Showtime has been added to HDnet's fight library, starting as soon as the May 14th Lyon, France show. That event will be aired on the following Friday at 11pm Eastern time. It is not airing live because of the short notice for the deal working itself out. We do know that Michael Schiavello is in Lyon, France right now most likely to commentate live on the event. To say that HDnet is going to give It's Showtime the "K-1 treatment" is an understatement.

Multiple sources have claimed that HDnet actually went and bought It's Showtime, or at least bought into the company. It was announced today that HDnet will begin airing It's Showtime immediately, through an agency called Fighting Spirit. LiverKick.com has also learned that HDnet is very interested in possibly purchasing K-1 to add to their stable of original programming. HDnet has aired K-1 in the past, but this would be different. K-1 has been having financial problems and many have been critical of their management, HDnet would look to have the legendary promotion turn a corner and help fully realize its potential in the United States.

UPDATE: Andrew Simon clarified that HDnet has only purchased the rights to It's Showtime in the U.S., not outright purchasing the promotion. They will work with the promotion to promote the shows, but won't hold an actual stake in it. As for K-1, HDnet will look to possibly further air their programming when live programming is available.

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Hesdy Gerges vs. Daniel Ghita Shows a Bright Future For Kickboxing

  • Published in Kickboxing

Hesdy Gerges vs. Daniel Ghita (C) Ben PontierUsually by this time in the year, we'd have a K-1 show to kick off the Heavyweight season, or at least be preparing for one. This year is different, as instead It's Showtime stepped up to the plate and has taken that top position by promoting a big card over the weekend that proved to be the first big kickboxing card of the year on an international level, and it was great. The show's headliner was two young European heavyweights squaring off against each other.

The fight wasn't about titles or a tournament, instead it was two young heavyweights jocking for position and showing the world what they are capable of. Neither men have the hype behind them that a fighter like Badr Hari does, nor did they have the opportunities that he was given. They had to fight for their positions.

Daniel Ghita is the elder of the two, clocking in at 29. Ghita meddled in his home of Romania for a full ten years, until 2009 when It's Showtime gave him a shot on their biggest show of the year, the Amsterdam ArenA show against the Czech Republic's Thomas Hron. Ghita came in with a fire lit from under him and stopped the fight in the second round with his deadly leg kicks that he is known for. Then in August he entered K-1's Final Qualifying tournament in Tokyo and blew through it with all first round knockouts.

Hesdy Gerges (pronounced 'Hell-heth' if you didn't know, how bad ass is that?) is 27 and worked his way up the ultra-competitive circuit in Amsterdam, as well as through personal issues. Thom Harinck has discussed Gerges troubled past and how if people thought Badr Hari was a bad boy, if they knew about Gerges it would blow them away. Gerges was invited to K-1 in 2009 to take on the giant, Semmy Schilt in what should have been a feature bout for Schilt in the March opening of the K-1 season show. Gerges fought hard and was able to hold on for all three rounds before the bout was decided for Schilt. Gerges fought his way back up and caught the eye of It's Showtime, who the next year felt like they had gold putting him up against Badr Hari. It has all been upward from there, as he proved just how tough he is and made an impact on K-1 as well in 2010.

Neither man had an easy path to this weekend's show. Gerges was given Semmy Schilt again in the Final 16 last year, knocking him out of contention, while Ghita was able to make the Final 8 before falling to Gokhan Saki. I feel like there has been a swell of support for Ghita over the last year, and rightfully so. Ghita's powerful kicks and hard head can take him far, he has shown a weakness with his hands but is clearly working on improving them. Gerges is a fighter that I feel a lot of people underrate. While Badr Hari was beating him last year, the heart and toughness he had shown, as well as the clean shots he was landing amid Badr's angry flurries were impressive. For a while now I've felt that Gerges has some serious potential and a strong future as a Heavyweight. His kicks are not as crushing as Ghita's, but his hands are much, much better at this point. So going into this fight, it was clear that both men are a big deal.

Over the past few years that has been a rather obnoxious talking point on the internet that Heavyweight kickboxing is "dead" and there is no new talent. That dominance of Peter Aerts and Semmy Schilt is "clear" proof of this, somehow. It isn't that they are just that good, but their age should somehow bring down the rest of the field. The rise of Badr Hari, Ruslan Karaev, Gokhan Saki, Tyrone Spong, Kyotaro and now Ghita and Gerges tells an entirely different story. It shows an upcoming changing of the guard, a new generation coming from a few transition years in the mid-00's. A fight between Hesdy Gerges and Daniel Ghita was more than a Heavyweight clash, it was a clash between two of the fighters that we've felt will carry on the elite Heavyweight tradition in the coming years and be part of a new golden age. The fact that the fight we saw was such an even, exciting fight is simply proof of all of these things, that regardless of who walked away the victor, both these men are going to make the next ten years or so extremely exciting to watch unfold.

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Por Pramuk Gym, the Tralfamadorians and Buakaw Por Pramuk's Indentured Servitude to You

  • Published in Muay Thai

Self worth is something that is hard to describe, especially in an oppressive environment with no end in sight to the abuse. Even worse is when the world is allowed to look in through a picture window and witness the horror that is a life in chains, only to look on with astonishment, without being able to directly interact. It was the same predicament that Billy Pilgrim found himself on Tralfamadore as a human exhibit in a zoo. Billy Pilgrim had the dignity of being unstuck in time and understanding the non-linear nature of the fourth dimension which is time, much like a Time Lord would.

Be it a symptom of post-traumatic stress or a true awakening, Slaughterhouse-Five protagonist Billy Pilgrim's Tralfamadore exhibition exposes how we, as a collective society, view the exceptional figures in the world. We view them as larger-than-life dolls, playthings that live out our fantasies like shadow play on the wall before bed time as a child. The tralfamadorians were hands off in their approach to enslaving Billy Pilgrim and locking him up with Montana Wildhack, where they copulated for their intergalactic onlookers and spawned a child. In a way, the existence of the tralfamadorians did not matter to the narrative Pilgrim spun.

Whether it was escapism, a protest against free will or a way to mentally write off infidelity, Buakaw Por Pramuk is not behind the glass window, us peering into his dysfunctional life with a beautiful porn actress birthing children like Billy Pilgrim was. Buakaw, like Pilgrim, was changed by the battle scars from war and society, with his inability to escape suffocating him into accepting a fate less fitting for someone of his stature. If you watch Kickboxing for Muay Thai, Buakaw Por Pramuk is a hero, a truly exceptional person whose fame and abilities are something to marvel at. Be it you kicking the pads at a gym with a poster of him on the wall or channeling his attitude and style into your mundane daily tasks, if you know Buakaw you know his influence.

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How the Arrest of Hesdy Gerges Effects the Kickboxing World

  • Published in Kickboxing

HesdyThe recent arrest of K-1 and It's Showtime star Hesdy Gerges throws a monkey wrench into the whole kickboxing world right now. The first impact felt by the arrest is for the March 6th It's Showtime event, where the scheduled main event was Daniel Ghita vs. Hesdy Gerges. It was a fight that fans around the globe were looking forward to, as it was a meeting of two of the kickboxing world's up-and-coming stars.

The second is that it is a third black mark on It's Showtime within the span of a year. Within a year we saw their biggest star, Badr Hari, jailed for assault on a police officer. Of course with Badr Hari this was not his first time he was in trouble with the law, and with the company that he keeps it was not a surprise to many when it happened. Then later on in the year, Ashwin Balrak, who has fought for It's Showtime, was involved in a cocaine bust. Now comes the arrest of Gerges.

To compound matters, Mayor Van der Laan of Amsterdam has publicly accused kickboxing organizations of bringing with them a criminal element to their shows and has local officials cracking down on these events. To run an event in Amsterdam, according to Simon Rutz in a recent interview, means jumping through lots of hoops to prove they are "clean."

This arrest alone could not come at a worse time for the kickboxing world. Things could get worse if Hesdy is found guilty for being involved in the incident, but for now, it is unclear what, if any, was his involvement. He was questioned last year about the arrest of his half brother, but was not a person of interest. The conjecture and "facts" I've seen floating around the internet are false at best; Hesdy was not found with cocaine at the time of the arrest that we know of, he was not in Belgium when his half brother was arrested last May.

For now we have to wait and see as the situation unfolds.

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