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."
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]
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]
The rumor mill has been turning about K-1 Global in the past few days, and instead of the rumors coming from upset fighters and managers like it was in the past, this time it was from some of the more powerful titans of the world of kickboxing. K-1 Global forged a partnership with It's Showtime's Simon Rutz, with Rutz and It's Showtime's team helping to promote, produce and essentially handle the entire event in Madrid. According to Rutz, K-1 Global has neglected to pay for the event or the fighters, which has led to a historic event of Glory Sports International and It's Showtime coming to an agreement, with It's Showtime being purchased by GSI and becoming a part of the Glory family.
It appears that this could just be attributed to fighters associated with Simon Rutz and It's Showtime, although we have yet to hear much yet. Yasuhiro Kido aparently spoke out about his situation on his twitter, and he says that he was paid.
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.
Our bud Steven Wright has been keeping himself busy over the last few years. If you aren't familiar with Steven, his podcast, Steven the Warman Wright's Kickfighting Show has been long-running and is always on top of everything in Kickboxing and Muay Thai. Of course, his day job is working as the striking coach at Team Takedown, with some of his work being seen in UFC Welterweight Champion Johny Hendricks of late. Then, to top it off, Steven has written about ten young adult fantasy novels in his free time.
All of that has been going on while he's been working on a documentary about Kickboxing and Muay Thai. Crazy, right? Here's the latest trailer that he just released today, enjoy.