There aren’t many fighters out there that could elicit actual excitement from hardcore kickboxing fans with a return left. Alexey Ignashov at one point had this sort of respect, but the many false starts have led most fans to abandon hope for the Red Scorpion. Instead, imagine a fighter that hasn’t fought since 2009 returning to the ring, because, apparently, that is exactly what is happening with Ruslan Karaev.
Karaev is one of the few men to hold a win over Badr Hari during the heyday of K-1. For newer fans it might be confusing to get excited over a fighter with a professional record of 13-9 who hasn’t fought in nine years, yet, this Instagram post from Nick Hemmers has kickboxing fans talking like it’s the good old days.
Ruslan Karaev was scheduled to fight in 2010 when he injured his knee, which kept him out of action for a staggering three years. During those three years his name came up as a possible link to an art heist, but nothing ever really came of it. His return was hampered by a falling out with his gym, Golden Glory. The irony, of course, is that he’s here, training with Nick Hemmers, the son of Cor Hemmers from the legendary Golden Glory. Karaev was hyped up as returning to the ring in KOK in 2013 only for absolutely nothing to materialize, then he fell from the public eye until this Instagram photo popped up.
Will this be another false start and false hope for fans? Who really knows, but it’s nice to know that Karaev is still out there and still training.