It takes more than just passion to create a successful Kickboxing promotion, sadly. If all it took was passion, I'd be running a Kickboxing organization that is without rival and would leave people in awe. No, it takes more than just passion, it takes a lot of things, with one of the most important pieces of the puzzle being money. When Glory Sports International was announced, it was clear they were embarking on the daunting journey of creating a whole new brand in a sport that has been dominated by one brand for almost twenty years now. The organization is bolstered by members of the Golden Glory team as well as the Total Sports Asia team, with one other big piece of the puzzle coming into the picture in the form of superstar investor Pierre Andurand. Pierre not only brings with him success as an investor, funding and business sense, but he also brings with him pure passion for the sport.
LiverKick.com caught up with Mr. Andurand to discuss his move into the Kickboxing world as well as what fans should be on the lookout for from Glory.
LiverKick: So you are best known for running BlueGold, an oil-oriented hedge fund, and helping to run a Kickboxing empire is a vast departure from that. What prompted you to invest in the sport of Kickboxing?
Pierre Andurand: Yes indeed it is a very different project. But being good at investing/trading is mainly about recognising good opportunities and understanding risk and reward. I think the sport of kickboxing has a lot of potential, actually, more than the other combat sports (MMA, boxing, wrestling, etc.). It is fast, technical, and very exciting. So far no organisation managed to exploit its true potential. I closed BlueGold in April this year for other reasons, and right now I am 100% focused on getting the right vision, the right team, and the right partners in GLORY. I do believe by the end of the year GLORY will not need my involvement on a full-time basis anymore, and I’ll just take a step back and let the team run the organisation, even though I will still oversee it and make sure we go in the right direction. I will remain involved in major decisions to some extent, but I will not be running the company. I am I think the right person to understand the potential, and to put the right pieces together, but I would not be the right person to run it on a day by day basis. We are putting a world-class team together.
LK: We understand that you are a big fan of Kickboxing, tell us a bit about how you got into Kickboxing; like which event was the first one that really made you a fan, which fighters caught your eye at first.
PA: I started practising martial arts about 10 years ago when I was living in Asia. I did some Muay Thai, then Shaolin Wushu, and then Muay Thai again and kick boxing. I started watching it on TV actively in 2005. The first big event I watched was the K1 WGP final in 2005. I was then hooked. It was such a great event. I love the tournament format. I was very impressed by Semmy Schilt, the way he destroyed his opponents with such ease. I was scared for them. They really looked like they didn’t have a chance. People say he has an unfair advantage being so tall, but they don’t realise that he is incredibly fast and precise for his height too, and very technical. He clearly is the man to beat, still today. I also loved Remy Bonjasky’s style, in and outside of the ring.