Badr Hari vs Semmy Schilt in the 2009 K-1 Grand Prix finals. Photo by Daniel Herbertson.
Kickboxing fans rejoice - the news doesn't get much better than this. K-1 is back, and so is Badr Hari. Hari has officially been announced as competing on a K-1 show on May 27 in Madrid. Let me repeat that to let it really sink in:
Badr Hari is back in K-1.
A two time K-1 Grand Prix finalist, Hari retired from kickboxing earlier this year to pursue a boxing career. That boxing career is not finished, as he will still be training with highly regarded trainer Naazim Richardson (Hari and Richardson are currently working together) with the goal of being a boxing world champion within three years. But with the announcement of a K-1 Grand Prix in 2012, Hari decided to make one more run for the crown jewel of the kickboxing world that has long eluded him.
Here is what Hari had to say about his return:
[K-1] have gone far in persuading me to show the world who is currently the best kickboxer on the planet. I think this is a beautiful challenge. At the same time, I will continue my planned route, with full enthusiasm, to become the world champion in boxing. I would love to retire internationally as the K-1 World Grand Prix champion. That's a title that's not yet on my record. K-1 has convinced me to say yes to their proposal of fighting one last time on the international stage.
Read the full press release in the complete entry.
Hari's May 27 opponent is not yet announced, though if he wins, he will move on to the K-1 Final 16 in October, and then the Grand Prix in New York City in December. That May 27 card will feature 4 Heavyweight fights and the participants are all announced, though not yet paired up. The most interesting participant aside from Hari? Mirko Cro Cop, who will participate in his 2nd kickboxing fight in 2012 and his first official K-1 fight. Hari vs. Cro Cop anyone?
We'll have much more news on the latest in K-1 shortly, so be sure to check back.
Badr Hari Wants to Become the K-1 World Grand Prix Champion!
The new organization K-1 Global Limited President, Mr. Mike Kim, announced today they have signed one of the biggest fighters in the world, Badr Hari, to fight for a chance to become the 2012 K-1 World Grand Prix Champion in New York in December.
Badr Hari is currently training in the USA with the world-famous maker of champions, Naazim Richardson. Hari's goal is to become a World Boxing Champion within three years.
Hari stated he's excited about training with Richardson: "I have just finished the first six weeks of intensive training, including a high altitude training camp in California. I am in great shape and we have made a plan for the next three years, leading to the ultimate goal... becoming the world heavyweight champion in boxing. The past weeks we've been working mostly on my technique as a boxer."
Richardson added he believes in Hari's incredible potential: "Every century, a number of unique talents are born. Those talents have the capacity to make it to the absolute top of the world. Badr is one of those unique talents. He has the perfect fighting mentality, an amazing reach, an incredible punch, and technically it's looking great. On top of that, his physique works to his advantage. He is the ultimate fighting machine. I support Badr's wish to take one more shot at the K-1 World Grand Prix Title. It's also his way of showing respect to the sport of kickboxing.
"This move will not interfere with our training program and says everything about his unique status in the world. No matter where in the world, everyone wants to see Badr fight. He will probably be the first martial artist in the world who will be the greatest in multiple disciplines."
Badr Hari commented: "They (K-1) have gone far in persuading me to show the world who is currently the best kickboxer on the planet. I think this is a beautiful challenge. At the same time, I will continue my planned route, with full enthusiasm, to become the world champion in boxing. I would love to retire internationally as the K-1 World Grand Prix champion. That's a title that's not yet on my record. K-1 has convinced me to say yes to their proposal of fighting one last time on the international stage."
Mr. Mike Kim, president of K-1 Global Limited, is proud to have Badr Hari fight for K-1 remarking: "This was one of our biggest wishes. He is the biggest and most sensational fighter in the world. The attention and exposure will be huge and everybody wants to see him fight one more time at the international stage."
Hari's first fight will take place on May 27 in Madrid, Spain. If he wins, he will also participate in the final qualifications in October in Asia and the K-1 World Grand Prix Final in New York in December. Hari is convinced he will strap the belt around his waist in December, saying, "It's a beautiful thought to show all my fans in the world one more time who the best K-1 fighter is."
About K-1 Global Holdings Limited: Since 31st January 2012, K-1 Global Holdings Limited has been working to rebuild the K-1 brand, by bringing together a wide array of world-class fighters, top global venues, sponsors and broadcasters, and assembling a global organization and management team. For more information go to www.k-1.tv.