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Report: Aerts-Spong, Petrosyan-Souwer, Saki vs. Ghita/Gerges, Return of Ernesto Hoost for June 30 It's Showtime

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Dutch author Karel ten Haaf is reporting once again on kickboxing news, this time pertaining to It's Showtime and K-1. He has connections inside the kickboxing world, having written a book about K-1, most notably Anil Dubar, the trainer of Daniel Ghita. Karel broke the news of match-ups for the K-1 Final 16 this year before it was cancelled.

It's confirmed that It's Showtime will be holding an event on June 30, somewhere in the Netherlands. They've said that full details about the event will be announced during their January 28 show in Leeuwarden. The event is being described as "huge" and that can only lead us to speculate that it'll be at the Amsterdam ArenA. The card that Karel ten Haaf is reporting definitely makes me think that it'll be at the Amsterdam ArenA.

Among the reported match-ups are:

Peter Aerts vs. Tyrone Spong

Andy Souwer vs. Giorgio Petrosyan 3

Winner of Daniel Ghita-Hesdy Gerges 2 vs. Gokhan Saki

Ernesto Hoost vs. TBA

Obviously, the match-ups are huge, especially with Peter Aerts and Ernesto Hoost returning. ten Haaf said that this would be Aerts' farewell fight, and what better place to do it than at home in Holland? I don't think anyone expected Ernesto Hoost to ever fight again so his return also would come as a huge surprise. It was uncertain if Gokhan Saki and Tyrone Spong would be doing kickboxing after their fights on January 28, but if these reported fights are true, then there is definitely hope of them sticking around. [source]

This is just a report, and nothing is confirmed or official.

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It's Showtime Announces Partial 2012 Schedule

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It's Showtime's 2012 year is starting to come together. The promotion announced today a partial schedule of 2012. Among events scheduled include four new destinations: Japan, Australia, Switzerland and Brazil. It is expected that there will be at least 10 shows in 2012. Here's the partial schedule:

January 28 in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
June 2 in Brussels, Belgium
June 30 in The Netherlands
End of July in Tokyo, Japan
August 11 in Sidney, Australia
October 13 in Zurich, Switzerland
November 10 in São Paulo, Brazil

There is a noticable gap between January and June on this partial list but according to It's Showtime, they're negotiating to hold an event in March/April. Among other events is one that is rumored for Spain in May, although it wasn't listed by It's Showtime. It would not surprise me to see even another event in that gap, as It's Showtime is expanding rapidly.

With the June 30 event being described as "very spectacular and historical," I would speculate that it might be at the Amsterdam ArenA, a place It's Showtime hasn't been to since May of 2010. Location and fight card for this event will be announced during It's Showtime's January 28th event.

With It's Showtime moving to new markets, we can most likely expect to see new fighters on the cards from the localities. It should be particularly interesting to see what fighters It's Showtime can get from new areas.  I'd love to see Swiss-based fighter Yoann Kongolo get a shot when It's Showtime heads to Zurich, for instance. You can read the full press release from It's Showtime's website here.

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Chris Ngimbi: "I Will Retire After My Title Defense Against Andy Souwer in June."

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Chris Ngimbi was scheduled to defend his title on December 17 against Giorgio Petrosyan in Amsterdam. The fight was cancelled though, It's Showtime stating that there was not enough time to get a permit from the city of Amsterdam for the event. Now Ngimbi is left to find another fight, with the January 28th card being full.

Chris took to his Facebook to tell the world that he has a fight scheduled in Japan on January 23. There is no opponent set yet. No details were given, but I could see this possibly being an It's Showtime Japan event. The plan for It's Showtime Japan was to hold countdown shows this year, which they did, and then officially begin It's Showtime Japan in 2012. Again, I'm just taking a wild guess.

What Ngimbi also said was that he'll be defending his It's Showtime title against Andy Souwer in June. The fight would be Ngimbi's second title defense, and against a top opponent this time. What he also added after the Andy Souwer fight was that it would be his last fight and last title defense. Upon further investigation, I asked him if this meant retirement and he responded: "Indeed. Looking forward to the new challenges in my life." Ngimbi recently had his first child last year and with the uncertain, low-paying nature of kickboxing, appears ready to move on. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.

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It's Showtime Set For Success As Tenerife Event Nears

As It's Showtime's return to action on November 12th in Tenerife, Spain nears, it's time we all took a closer look at the event. This will be It's Showtime's second venture into Spain, with success being achieved at their first event in Madrid back in June. The atmosphere was one of the best in It's Showtime's history and the card drew an estimated 8000 which is pretty good for a first time in the country.  It's Showtime used familiar strategies that they've used for past events to ensure that the event was successful. Among these strategies are co-promoting with local promotions and placing local talent on the card.

For this card on November 12th, It's Showtime will be utilizing many fighters from the Canary Islands, of which Tenerife is a part of. The Canaries have a pretty strong kickfighting following and the turnouts for events there are generally good. Two of the top draws for the card will be Loren Javier Jorge and Moises Ruibal, both fighters who have risen up from the kickfighting scene in the Canaries and achieved success on a grander stage. You may remember them from when they put in great efforts on It's Showtime's Madrid card. Fans show up for in droves for their fights and both and most of the crowd will be there supporting them. Loren recently beat Rodney Glunder in Tenerife on October 8th in Tenerife, giving him some nice hometown momentum leading into his title fight against Danyo Ilunga. Moises Ruibal also just split two fights against top Dutch 85kg fighter Fred Sikking, losing a close first fight that demanded a rematch in which he won. These two fights with Sikking also took place in Tenerife recently, the first being in August and the second being in September, also adding some steam to the event lead-up.Loren and other local fighers draw strong crowds.

Other fighters on the main card that should be taken note of are Carlos Reyes, Zeben Diaz and Jonay Risco. Reyes beat It's Showtime's 61MAX World Champion, Javier Hernandez in April and will actually replace Hernandez to fight Sergio Wielzen. Although It's Showtime's champion is out of the fight, it's probably even better for the card that Reyes is in, being that he's another local talent that can help to fill seats. Zeben Diaz put in a good performance at It's Showtime's Madrid event and was featured in local newspapers. Diaz is again another local talent and it's telling of his status that he's being featured in newspapers. Jonay Risco is also fighting William Diender on the card, and you probably get it by now that he's another local fighter that will help to draw attention to the event. Add an undercard that's filled with more local fighters, including Loren's brother and I think the event will have a solid attendance.

It's Showtime has made it a habit to co-promote with local promotions and it really helps them with their local advertising and event awareness. For this Tenerife event, they've teamed with the Canary Kickboxing Federation, Fightclub Group and Street Culture. The Canary Kickboxing Federation is responsible for most shows in the Canaries and should ensure that this event has a solid backing. Fightclub Group is a familiar partner for It's Showtime and they've co-promoted numerous events, mostly in Belgium and Holland.

The event is supported by the government of the Canary Islands, the Santa Cruz City Council and the Autonomous Sports Organization of La Laguna. The event is also officially backed by local newspaper Diario de Avisos and local radio station Teide Radio-Onda Cero who will be providing coverage. There have already been stories in the newspaper about the events and individual fighters. Tickets are even being sold at stores like Jack & Jones.

With all the local backing, fighters and coverage, I'd say the event is set up for success. The event takes places in the Pabellon Insular Santiago Martin, which holds 5100 people. I have no doubts that the arena will be full. It's Showtime is taking a smart approach to international expansion and with the way this event has been put together, I think it's safe to say we can expect more in the future.

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