Results are in from the big It's Showtime 57 & 58 double card from Belgium, and, as promised, there were a lot of highlights.
Tyrone Spong scored the biggest win of his career, defeating K-1 legend Peter Aerts by 3rd round stoppage. Daniel Ghita continued his incredibly dominant run, stopping Dzevad Poturak with body kicks to win his 6th straight fight by KO (it's also his 5th KO already in 2012). Andy Souwer showed his technical brilliance, defeating Chris Ngimbi by majority decision to become the new It's Showtime 70kg world champion in a superb 5 round showing. Robin van Roosmalen spent a round and a half looking like one of the best 70kg fighters in the world, only to suddenly find himself on the receiving end of a perfect Hafid El Boustati knee that opened a fight ending cut and gave El Boustati the upset win. And Mourad Bouzidi rearranged Rustemi Kreshnik's face, smashing his nose in ways not seen since Brandon Vera. It was an excellent night of fights all around.
And yet, at the end of the day, all of that seems like it might not even really matter, because the real story of today's event took place outside the ring.
Glory World Series formally announced today that they have acquired It's Showtime. The announcement came first via Glory's official website, and was later confirmed on the show.
Full results, plus the official Glory announcement, and what it all means, in the full entry.
GLORY SPORTS INTERNATIONAL (GSI), the owner and rights holder of the GLORY World Series championship kickboxing promotion and other related businesses, has agreed to terms with Dutch-based competitor, ‘It's Showtime,' led by the renowned European fight manager and kickboxing promoter Simon Rutz.
The landmark deal will effectively place all of the world's top kickboxers, or stand-up fighters, under the same promotional umbrella. GSI will absorb other assets from and take over management of ‘It's Showtime.'
GLORY will soon announce a new series of events and a modernized tournament format for the rest of the year and for 2013.
For those who have not kept up on the complex world of kickboxing in 2012, let me emphasize that this truly is huge, game-changing news. It looked like the kickboxing world was going to be very split for the foreseeable future, with half of the world's top talent competing exclusively for Glory, half exclusively for It's Showtime and K-1 (who were working together). This brings it all together, which, as a fan, is obviously a great thing.
But we're still left with a lot of questions. And with the news so fresh, there's not many answers yet. Here are the big questions:
- What does this mean for K-1? The newly formed K-1 was working closely with It's Showtime for talent (It's Showtime is also a management company) and there was a clear mandate that you could work for K-1 or Glory, but not both. If this merger pulls It's Showtime fighters from K-1, and I suspect it does, then the new K-1 is effectively dead.
- What does this mean for the future of Glory? Clearly, they have the potential for big things now. So what will those big things be?
- Why did It's Showtime sell? This is the big one for me. It's Showtime head Simon Rutz has always been very proud of his brand, and he deserves to be. What caused him to join in with Bas Boon and Glory and lose the It's Showtime brand? And will Rutz still be involved? I certainly hope so, as he is a wonderful asset to the kickboxing community.
- And finally, was this the last ever It's Showtime show? They have more planned, but will those now be rebranded as Glory shows? If this was the last, then they went out on a high note, but would you expect anything less from It's Showtime, who has long showed themselves to be the best kickboxing company in Europe?
Expect a lot more on this news in the coming weeks, and more analysis from us about what it all means.
It's Showtime full results
Duoli Chen def. Vahap Ozdemir via decision
Robbie Hageman def. Mandela Antoine via decision
Marat Grigorian def. Aziz Kallah via decision
Rico Verhoeven def. Hesdy Gerges via decision
Mourad Bouzidi def. Rustemi Kreshnik via KO, Round 2
Andy Souwer def. Chris Ngimbi via decision to become the new It's Showtime (Glory?) 70kg World Champion.
Andy Ristie def. Samir Djabba via KO, Round 1
Sonny Dagraed def. Fatih Ozkan via decision
Danyo Ilunga def. Filip Verlinden via decision to retain his It's Showtime 95kg World Title
Hafid el Boustati def. Robin van Roosmalen via cut stoppage, Round 2
Daniel Ghita def. Dzevad Poturak via KO, Round 2
Tyrone Spong def. Peter Aerts via KO, Round 3