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Looking at It's Showtime's Legacy in the Kickboxing World

It's ShowtimeToday the big announcement from Glory Sports International was the purchase of top competitor It’s Showtime, merging the talent from It’s Showtime in with the talent from Glory. For the first time since K-1 under FEG stopped running shows, the Kickboxing world is united again. It’s Showtime had a working agreement with K-1 Global which was at least active for the K-1 Rising in Madrid show, which was actually ran entirely by It’s Showtime staff, but it appears that the relationship was not as strong as everyone suspected.

That was, apparently, when the talks with Glory began. It’s Showtime’s history dates back to 1998 when the company was founded by Simon Rutz, with their first official show taking place in 1999. Over the years, It’s Showtime grew in popularity and even forged a partnership with K-1 for their European shows, putting on a few co-branded events at the Amsterdam ArenA in some of their biggest shows.

There might be a lot of revisionist history in the future, but It’s Showtime leaves behind a truly interesting legacy, including some truly memorable Kickboxing shows and Simon Rutz building an empire of European talent which was only rivaled by Bas Boon’s Golden Glory. It’s Showtime did things that K-1 did not dare to do, and when it did them, it did them extremely well. This includes the addition of numerous weight classes as well as additional ringside judges. It might sound trivial, but K-1 only dabbled in weight classes outside of Super Heavyweight/Heavyweight and Middleweight, never truly made a commitment to it, and fighters like Tyrone Spong might never of gotten to this level if it weren’t for It’s Showtime having multiple weight classes to highlight a wide array of talent.

On the judging front, it was a very simple concept, yet one that you very rarely see implemented outside of in It’s Showtime. In MMA fans will be upset, it seems almost weekly now, over poor judging in fights that go the distance. Rutz and Co. saw this and added more judges to ensure that even if a judge or two completely misjudged the fight, the proper fighter would not be robbed of a victory. On top of that, their matchmaking was always making the best of what they had available to them, which meant that not every card was stacked top-to-bottom, but they always featured recognizable names and always gave younger fighters a stage to prove themselves in.

It was these ideas and more that made It’s Showtime a runaway success and helped propel them to the top of the kickboxing world. It is not clear what will happen to the It’s Showtime brand, but it seems like an incredibly valuable asset and still holds a lot of clout in the kickboxing world. As of this moment there are still two It’s Showtime events on the schedule, one in July in Spain and one in September in Japan. These shows could easily be re-branded into Glory cards, but they could also simply be It’s Showtime events.

The winners tend to write the history books, and I say that we do the best that we can to remember what It’s Showtime meant for Kickboxing and remember It’s Showtime’s legacy for what it was. It’s Showtime proved that you didn’t need the K-1 name to be successful in the kickboxing game and even showed how to work with local promoters to put on events while putting on the best cards possible for fans and the fighters.

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Watch Tyrone Spong and Peter Aerts Staredown

It's Showtime is tomorrow, coming at us with one of the biggest fights of the year so far in Peter Aerts taking on Tyrone Spong live from Brussels. For Americans, the second half of the card will air on HDnet (soon to be AXS) at 3pm Eastern, for anyone who wants to watch the full card or is in an area where it won't be aired on television, head to ShowtimeFights.com and order the PPV now (clicking that link supports LiverKick!).

This video is courtesy of our friends at Staredown.NL, who will without a doubt be posting some more awesome content over the weekend.

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How To Watch It's Showtime Tomorrow

It's Showtime's big event tomorrow headlined by Peter Aerts vs. Tyrone Spong can be viewed in numerous ways tomorrow and we're here to tell you how to watch.

There are two parts to the card and depending on how you watch, you may or may not be able to see the whole card. It's Showtime's stream will show all 12 fights, starting at 12 PM ET/9AM CT in North America. The stream is available everywhere except Belgium and you can buy it here or click on one of the banners we have on the site. To buy the whole event, with all 12 fights, it costs €15. If you only want to order the second part, it costs €10.

In Europe, the first part starts at 18:00 CEST and the second part at 21:00 CEST.

If you're in Canada, you can also see all 12 fights on The Fight Network, starting live at the same time.

In the USA, the event is airing on HDNet live, but they are only showing the second part, feauturing Peter Aerts vs. Tyrone Spong live. The first part of the card will probably be aired at a later date. The second part of the card will be aired live at 3PM ET/12 PM PT in North America.

Here is the full fight card, including the two parts, separated.

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Full Fight Card For It's Showtime 57/58 Tomorrow, Headlined By Peter Aerts vs. Tyrone Spong

It's Showtime is back tomorrow with a huge event, featuring Editions 57 and 58. The card is split into two parts, the first part being Edition 57 and the second part being Edition 58. Both parts have some great match-ups, including two title fights in total and some of the best fighters in kickboxing.

The first part of the card features six fights and is headlined by Andy Souwer vs. Chris Ngimbi for Ngimbi's It's Showtime 70MAX World Title. As is the norm for title fights this one will be five rounds. Expect fireworks. 

Also on the first part is a rematch between Hesdy Gerges and Rico Verhoeven, two our LiverKick's current top 10 heavyweights. Gerges is coming off the loss to Daniel Ghita in January, while Rico Verhoeven is coming off a somewhat controversial loss to Sergei Lascenko. Also at heavyweight, with Jerome Le Banner out of the fight, Rustemi Kreshnik now faces Mourad Bouzidi. Marat Grigorian was originally supposed to face Berneung Topkingboxing, but now faces Aziz Kallah in a battle of two rising prospects at 73kg.

The second part of the card is the main attraction, featuring Peter Aerts in his return fight against Tyrone Spong. It's being hailed as his last fight in the Benelux and is a very special occasion, as Aerts is finally back to resume his legendary career.

Right under that fight is Daniel Ghita, who fights Dzevad Poturak for the third time. Originally supposed to face Harut Grigorian, Robin van Roosmalen faces Hafid el Boustati, as Grigorian was unable to get medical clearance for the fight. Still, it's an awesome fight regardless. There's also an It's Showtime 95MAX World Title fight, with the champion Danyo Ilunga fighting Filip Verlinden.

Full fight card below:

Part 1

77kg: Vahap Ozdemir vs. Duoli Chen

70kg: Mandela Antoine vs. Robbie Hageman

73kg: Aziz Kallah vs. Marat Grigorian

HW: Rico Verhoeven vs. Hesdy Gerges

HW: Rustemi Kreshnik vs. Mourad Bouzidi

70kg: Andy Souwer vs. Chris Ngimbi (It's Showtime 70MAX World Title)

Part 2

70kg: Samir Djabba vs. Andy Ristie

73kg: Fatih Ozkan vs. Sonny Dagraed

95kg: Filip Verlinden vs. Danyo Ilunga (It's Showtime 95MAX World Title)

70kg: Robin van Roosmalen vs. Hafid el Boustati

HW: Dzevad Poturak vs. Daniel Ghita

HW: Peter Aerts vs. Tyrone Spong 

It's Showtime 57/58 takes place on June 30 in Brussels, Belgium. To see Peter Aerts vs. Tyrone Spong live, you can buy It's Showtime's stream of the event, which features 12 fights with some of kickboxing's best. For full information on the event, including buying it and viewing the full fight card, click here.

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