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It's Showtime 61kg Champ Javier Hernandez Deserves Some Recognition

It's Showtime is back in Tenerife on Saturday, and if it weren't for me talking about it here on LiverKick, you probably wouldn't know that Javier Hernandez is defending his It's Showtime 61MAX World Title against Masahiro Yamamoto, in what has all the makings of a great fight on paper.

Before June 18, 2011, when Hernandez upset Karim Bennoui to win the title in Madrid, Spain, he was a virtual unknown. No one, including myself knew who he was and we all expected Bennoui to beat him after an impressive win over Sergio Wielzen. Hernandez, of course, ended up winning in one of the best fights of last year.

Oddly enough (well, not really), Hernandez, while not being an unknown anymore, still isn't very well known and doesn't receive much recognition despite his great performance against Bennoui. He's even had trouble finding fights, which is odd considering that he's the champion of It's Showtime and one would assume that opportunities would starting popping up based on that. Since winning the title, Hernandez has gone 2-1, with the one loss being borderline corrupt.

It's a bit confusing why it's taken him over a year to get another fight for It's Showtime, and all this time that he hasn't been fighting on the world stage, his name value (which is non-existent) has been picking up dust. I understand that he fights at a weight class that isn't 70kg or heavyweight, and that the awareness of what goes on outside of those divisions is not high at all. That's the reality of kickboxing, pretty much.

In a perfect world for me, it wouldn't be like this. I would like this to change, though. Hernandez is one of the best 61kg kickboxers in the world. We're talking about one of the best kickboxers in his weight class here, who went from unknown to one of the best in one fight. He deserves some recognition, and so does his weight class.

In order for that to really happen, a major player needs to bring together all the best fighters in one weight class, all in one place. Kickboxing is a sport where some of the best fighters can come out of nowhere when given the opportunity, and that's what Javier Hernandez did last year.

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It's Showtime Returns To Tenerife This Saturday

This Saturday, July 21, It's Showtime will be back in Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands in Spain for their 59th event.

Spain has been a successful market for It's Showtime, thanks to their utilization of local talent and local promotion with the help of Street Culture. Both previous events in Spain showcased many Spanish fighters both on the main card and undercard, and this Saturday's event is much of the same.

This event, however, is unique in that it will be the first outdoor It's Showtime event. It will also be the first It's Showtime event since It's Showtime was acquired by GLORY. Heading into the event though, it seems like a regular It's Showtime event, even if you looked at the set-up.

The usual Spanish fighters on It's Showtime's main cards are also back, with Zeben Diaz, Moises Ruibal and Loren Javier Jorge on the card. All three hail from Tenerife and serve as a big attraction for the local crowd. There are two newer Spanish fighters on the main card that haven't fought for It's Showtime before though, David Calvo and Maximo Suarez. Both are coming off wins at the K-1 event in Madrid in May. However, the circumstances of which they're fighting on are quite different. Calvo took this fight with Andy Ristie on short notice less than a week ago. Suarez, at just 19 years old is considered one of the rising stars of Tenerife in kickboxing and has been pencilied in to fight Murthel Groenhart for a while now.

It's been over a year since Javier Hernandez won the It's Showtime 61MAX World Title, and It's Showtime has finally brought him back to defend it. Hernandez really hasn't been recognized in the kickboxing world much since winning his title, and hopefully another opportunity on the big stage will raise some awareness about him. He fights Masahiro Yamamoto, who earned a title shot through the It's Showtime Japan organization. Hernandez is primed for a breakout performance here, even though the fight in which he won the title against Karim Bennoui was a breakout performance in its own right.

It's Showtime is once again primed for success in Spain with a great local presence and fight card. Stay tuned to LiverKick.com this week for more It's Showtime content.

70kg: Andy Ristie vs. David Calvo

95kg: Amir Zeyada vs. Moises Ruibal

HW: Sergei Lascenko vs. Loren Javier Jorge

77kg: Maximo Suarez vs. Murthel Groenhart

61kg: Javier Hernandez vs. Masahiro Yamamoto (It's Showtime 61MAX Title)

70kg: Andy Souwer vs. Zeben Diaz

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Abraham Roqueñi Out, David Calvo In Against Andy Ristie At It's Showtime July 21

It's Showtime's event in Tenerife, Spain is a just a week away on July 21. One of the match-ups we were most looking forward to was Abraham Roqueñi vs. Andy Ristie, a battle of two of LiverKick's Top 10 70kg fighters.

Unfortunately, that fight isn't happening anymore as Abraham Roqueñi got injured. Replacing him is another Spanish fighter, David Calvo. Calvo is still a decent fighter and may be able to make it a bit competitive. Ristie and Calvo both have a common opponent in Jonay Risco. Ristie stopped Risco in the third round back in November at It's Showtime's first show in Tenerife, while Calvo won a decision over him on the undercard of the K-1 show in Madrid on May 27.

Both Ristie and Calvo really love throwing step-up knees, so expect a ton of them. Ristie has been on a tear as of late, demolishing Gago Drago in May and stopping Hinata in the first round in January. He also just fought two weeks ago at It's Showtime on June 30, again, crushing his opponent Samir Djabba in the first round.

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It's Showtime Still Going Ahead With July 21 Event In Spain

This isn't really news, or a surprise but I think it deserves attention to make it known that It's Showtime's scheduled event for July 21 in Arona, Tenerife, Spain will still happen. It's actually a pretty good card featuring the likes of Andy Souwer and Andy Ristie just three weeks after winning at It's Showtime's last event on June 30.

The main event is Andy Souwer vs. Zeben Diaz. Another really nice 70kg fight on the card is Andy Ristie vs. Abraham Roqueni. The It's Showtime 61MAX World Champion Javier Hernandez will finally be back in action for It's Showtime, defending his title against Masahiro Yamamoto. Other fights include Amir Zeyada vs. Moises Ruibal II, Sergei Lascenko vs. Loren Javier Jorge and Murthel Groenhart vs. Maximo Suarez.

It's still unclear, and probably undecided if It's Showtime events will continue on. The event on this coming July 21 was already set and primed for success in a successful market, and not to mention that it was three weeks away. It's Showtime also had four other events scheduled aside from the July 21 show this year before being acquired by GLORY. The dates were:

September 17 in Yokohama, Japan

October 1 in Belgium

November 10 in Sao Paolo, Brazil

December 1 in Barcelona, Spain

Of these dates, we know that the show in Japan was booked and there was a very early fight card out. There was a deal signed for the show in Brazil also. We don't know what will happen with these events. They could either continue on as It's Showtime events, be rebranded as GLORY shows, or just not happen, whatever GLORY decides on.

 

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