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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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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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