Mosab "The Jaguar" Amrani is one of the breakout stars in the European kickboxing world after a few great bouts for It's Showtime, including a Fight of the Year Contender against Mootje Khamal at It's Showtime: The Sand in December. He has another fight for It's Showtime coming up on May 14th at It's Showtime Lyon against Houcine Bennoui. So where has he been training for this bout? At Superpro Samui in Thailand, one of the better-known, quality Thai Boxing camps, best known for Pajonsuk Superpro Samui. Many feel that Amrani is one of the fighters to watch over the coming years, so watch Amrani training and follow his path to becoming one of the best.
The showdown between Badr Hari and Gokhan Saki is just two days away now, with things reaching a critical mass for both fighters. At this point both men are done training and are simply wading through the final preparations before the big fight. In an interesting interview with Fighters Only, Gokhan Saki interrupted his training earlier in the week to discuss the upcoming bout with Badr Hari as well as a bunch of other issues. One of the big topics was K-1, and he says that he knows "many things" about K-1, but that he can't talk about them right now. This goes along with a lot of the rumblings we've been hearing behind the scenes.
When asked about MMA and if he is interested, his answer is simply, "Yes, of course, I'm a fighter, you know?" Saki mentioned maybe MMA, maybe Boxing, that he has been training in both, but that his "thing is K-1" and that is his main focus for right now. [source]
Superpro Samui gym is a peculiar case of a gym in Thailand with heavy ties to the Netherlands, including Black Label Fighters and It's Showtime, two of the premier brands in Dutch Kickboxing. They are really taking to their youtube channel of late, posting videos from the team training at the gym. This is the second episode that they have posted and features Dutch Kickboxer and former It's Showtime Heavyweight Champion Hesdy Gerges.
Who said that this month was over yet? It is just beginning. First, on the 19th we have the Ultimate Glory tournament second round, featuring Gokhan Saki vs. Wendell Roche, then on the 26th It's Showtime puts on not only their second show of the year, but their second show of the month. You can't joke about something like that.
This show doesn't feature as big of names as last week's show did, but the March 26th show is solid by any definition, featuring a lot of up and coming fighters that we'll all be talking about in a few years time in the same breath as the greats if everything pans out. As always, this show will be available on http://www.showtimefights.com for 10 Euro.
When I heard about this "profile" show, I made sure to speak to one of the producers, and was sad to find out it would not be found anywhere anytime soon with english subtitles. Thankfully, someone out there (YouTube user Undubately) decided to do the dirty work and go through subtitling the interview. This is just part one of three, but the other parts will soon follow! This is really top notch stuff, so watch it already. [source]
It's Showtime released a trailer today for It's Showtime 57&58, which goes down on June 30th being main evented by Peter Aerts squaring off against Tyrone Spong. What is interesting to note is that this fight is no longer being sold as Peter Aerts's retirement bout, but instead his last fight in the "Benelux."
Fight #9 is a late entry, but a strong contender...
Mosab Amrani v. Mohamed Khamal (It's Showtime at the Sand, December 18)
It's Showtime had an excellent year in 2010, but it wasn't until the final fight on the final show that they put on a true fight for the ages. Mosab Amrani v. Mohamed Khamal is a testament to the power of quality matchmaking. These are two young fighters, both eager to move up the ranks, and both coming in determined to win. They're also extremely evenly matched, which results in a tremendous back and forth bout. This one reminds me of Chahid v. Zambidis in a lot of ways, as both men throw at a very fast pace, but also use considerably more skill and technique then you see in many of these all action fights. Khamal is in blue, Amrani in red.
If you ask me, Khamal should have picked up the decision win after regulation, but I have no complaints the way things went down. Fun, fun fight here, and it's not terrible hyperbole when the announced says it may be the best fight It's Showtime has ever produced. Great way for the company to close out the year and springboard into what could be a blockbuster 2011.
Badr Hari is a name that strikes strong emotions with kickboxing fans across the world, some love him while others find his behavior in and outside of the ring a disgrace to the sport. Regardless, Badr Hari has made a huge impact on the world of kickboxing in the past five years or so. We've seen Badr Hari climb up to the very peak of the mountain only to melt down twice now.
Yesterday we took a look at Badr Hari's breakout bout of 2009 where he met then three-time K-1 World Grand Prix Champion, Semmy Schilt, in the It's Showtime ring for the It's Showtime World Heavyweight Championship. This was a big bout for Badr Hari, as he was able to bull rush Semmy Schilt, knock him off balance and quickly knock him out. The usual approach to taking out Semmy Schilt is a slow, methodical pace, wait for him to make a mistake and swarm him. Badr Hari didn't bother waiting, he just swarmed, smelled blood and took the title home. Badr Hari then went into the Final 16 in Korea with a world of momentum behind him, leaving poor Zabit Samedov to square off with a hungry and well-prepared Badr Hari.
Zabit Samedov is no slouch, he is a world class kickboxer who often finds himself in bad situations due to his size. In the world of K-1 there are Heavyweights and there are Super Heavyweights. Samedov is a small Heavyweight fighting against monsters of men like Hari. None of that mattered when he stepped into the ring against Badr Hari. This was stop two on Badr Hari's road to redemption.
We will continue to look at what led Badr Hari to his May 14th clash with Gregory Tony for It's Showtime, why he hasn't fought for a year and the fights that happened along the way.
We're always trying new things out here at LiverKick.com, and so here is our latest feature: the video Month in Review. Each month, I'll post a short 3-5 minute review of the month's top stories, the best fights from the month, and a look ahead at the most anticipated fights of next month.
Below is our first installment for March 2011.
Check the full entry for videos of the 4 must watch fights from March.
Of course, since this is a new feature, any (constructive) feedback is most appreciated. Too long? Too short? Something you want added? Something you want removed? Let me know so I can improve for next month.