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Simon Rutz Talks K-1 and It's Showtime; World Grand Prix and It's Showtime Tournament

The world of social media has changed the way everyone communicates, and it has most definitely had an effect on the combat sports world. The kickboxing world especially has benefited from it, as fighters and promoters in the sport exist all over the world, with different homes, languages, beliefs and everything in between. Simon Rutz is very public with information to his Facebook friends about future events featuring both his promotion, It's Showtime, and the fighters under his management.

Today on his Facebook, Rutz confirmed a lot of the rumors swirling around about K-1 holding a World Grand Prix this year. His Facebook update states that he spoke on the phone with K-1 and can confirm that there are plans for a Final 16 as well as a Heavyweight World Grand Prix finals within this year. As he is very open, a few asked him about fighter payment and he replied that it was discussed and understood that It's Showtime fighters will not fight for K-1 until there is an assurance to be paid the money that they are owed.

The other big news is the big rumored It's Showtime Heavyweight tournament that Rutz and Co. have been whispering about was confirmed in this thread. Rutz confirmed that they were indeed looking to plan a Heavyweight tournament for the Fall or Winter of this year, but that if K-1 will indeed put on a World Grand Prix, It's Showtime will be holding their own Heavyweight Tournament in January 28 of 2012. Rutz also confirmed that Badr Hari's next fight should be announced shortly, which could possibly also coincide with the rumors I've been hearing that K-1's next big show could be announced any day now (initially the rumor was "mid-August" or "mid-September" and then "this week." It's Friday now...).

Regardless of timelines or how much of 2011 was a lost cause of a year, it looks like Heavyweight Kickboxing will be back on the up-and-up.

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Badr Hari Looking To Enter The Boxing World

This isn't the first time that the name Badr Hari has come up in the realm of possibly entering the boxing world. Initially there was a rumor that Badr Hari wanted to try out for the Olympics in boxing, then in his interview with Michael Schiavello, Badr Hari talked at length about his love for boxing and possibly turning to that sport. Now the latest wood on the fire is an interview with Mike Passenier, his longtime trainer who talks about Badr Hari and boxing;

"Badr is only 2cm [1"] shorter [than the Klitschkos] and his weight is between 112kg and 115kg [246.4lbs. and 253lbs]. And don't forget, he is used to fighting a tall fighter. Hong man Choi is 2m 18cm [7'2"]. Sem Schilt, 2m 11cm [6'11"]. And a lot of fighters between 1m 96cm and 2m 03cm [6'5" and 6'8"]," Passenier added as he talked about how Hari would size up to the reigning heavyweight champions. "If he has a trainer who can trigger him, absolutely! He is determened[sic] and he is willing to give his all."

Originally scheduled to fight again in September, the bout was cancelled so now, Hari is evidently making plans to find a world-class boxing trainer to sharpen his skills in order to make a legitimate transition to the sport. "The September fight is off. He is supposed to fight in October for K-1, but it isn't confirmed yet, so you never know, especially with a guy like Badr. If there is a gym who is willing to help him, or a trainer who can prepare him on the top level, he might be on the next plane after the Ramadan. But I think he wants to test the waters first and see who or where suits him the best," Passenier continued. "Like I said, he is testing the waters to see who'll come up or who'll come forward because maybe there is a trainer who we've overlooked who will see a great potantial[sic] in him and steps up to the plate." [source]
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Tyrone Spong Hype Video

We've documented that Tyrone Spong has been spending his time working with UFC fighter Rashad Evans, but it looks like Tyrone is working with Rashad's management, Authentic Sports Management and that they have big plans for him in 2012. What these plans are exactly is unclear, but the hype video says that Tyrone Spong is "coming" in 2012. One can only assume to the United States to fight, but then you have to ask the question of if this could possibly be in Mixed Martial Arts.

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Danyo Ilunga Back in Action in October

IlungaIt's Showtime's 95kg MAX Champion will return to action in this October in Germany, taking place in a one-night, four-man tournament. He is coming off of a rather baffling title defense where the usually crisp and technical Ilunga looked frustrated and sloppy. Here's hoping that he goes back to his roots and fights in the style that he is better known for. Brent Ducharme at HKL has the story;

When he returns to action in October, Ilunga will be faced with some of the better competition he'd find in Germany. The Fight Night Mannheim 95 kg. tournament will also feature James Phillips, an American-German fighter who was, until recently, the only man to have beaten Romanian prospect Andrei Stoica. The field will be rounded out by strong Turkish veteran Bahadir Sari and the relatively unknown Michail Tutijerev.

The October event will also feature a four-man 75 kg. tournament. Competitors for that tournament are former amateur Muay Thai standout Alex Schmitt, the rangy Patrick Djanang, Daniel Kohler, and Tefvik Sucu (semifinalist in the Klash tournament won by Faldir Chahbari last November). [source]
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