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It's Showtime ArenA 2010 Pressconference report

The Amsterdam ArenA is where it will all take place tomorrow. But before the fighters step into the ring with each other, they all gathered in Hoofddorp for a well attended press conference this afternoon.

 Upon entering the press conference one could tell the mood seemed relaxed. Nieky Holtzken was signing some autographs just seconds after he parked his car, Thom Harinck was sharing funny anecdotes with journalists and Murat Direkçi was fooling around again. But all knew tomorrow the mood would be different. Because then it will be time to enter the ring and find out who is the best.


 The press conference began with a highlight video of past events to get everyone into the right atmosphere with some nice KO footage. Simon Rutz kept it short by stating he was very excited about this years event and felt proud about the line-up. We then continued with the introduction and staredowns of the opening matches. Among them were two small boys, ten years tops, facing each other like professionals.

 Simon Rutz then made his highly anticipated announcement using a short video. In this video the Heavyweight tournament was introduced and more on this subject can be found here: http://www.fansofk1.com/article?aID=3255&Category=1

 The introductions began and the fighters were called out one by one to pose for the cameras and face each other for the stare down. Some fighters were relaxed and joking, while others locked in and tried to get a psychological advantage over their opponents. Orono vor Petchpoon made a memorable entrance. He used the Michael Jackson intro music to demonstrate his dancemoves after which he pretended to be frightened by his opponent Atty Gol, which made for a good laugh. He then walked to his seat flirting with his female escort. Arthur Kyshenko and Murat Direkçi exchanged a few laughs when Kyshenko pointed out to Murat that he needed to shave.


Overall the staredowns were all pretty relaxed, with a few exceptions from Chris Ngimbi who seemed to taunt Anthony Nekrui and Nieky Holtzken used his icy gaze to intimidate Cosmo Alexandre. But the real action began when neither Gökhan Saki nor Melvin Manhoef decided break their encounter. After a few cheers from the crowd it was actually Tyrone Spong, who was supposed to fight Melvin, who broke the pair up and set them in their seats. However the ultimate showdown everybody was waiting for was of course Hesdy Gerges and Badr Hari. Hesdy entered looking relaxed yet focused. Then the whole room went crazy when finally the Bad Boy took the stage and wasted no time in intimidating Hesdy with a staredown which could make a blind man look away. The two started smack talking, however no one could tell what they were saying due to the loud cheers. In the end they were separated by referee Joop Ubeda and Simon Rutz.
For videos of these two staredowns,
check out these links: http://www.fansofk1.com/article?aID=3257&Category=3


 Now it was time for a quick Q&A.

Of course the first question on everybodys mind was...what did Badr say to Hesdy?! Hari hesitated and everyone laughed, but then he admitted it was nothing personal and it was all a game.
When he elaborated on his status as the most popular fighter, he admitted he sees himself as a top3 fighter. Hesdy embraced the underdog position and stated that after tomorrow he will be a top3 fighter as well. Rumors had been going on about the king of Morocco attending the event, but Hari informed he was not able to come, but he had sent representatives. His message to the Moroccan people was that he was proud of them and his family. Earlier on he waved his little flag which was on his table.

They asked Gerges why they could not find any videos of him online working the pads. When he did not gave a full answer, Hari asked for the mic and explained his padtraining was nothing special and nobody would want to see it. He went on by saying Gerges was still learning how to tie his shoelaces while Hari was already fighting. Gerges replied it would be wise for his opponent to cancel the fight tomorrow.


Another reporter wanted to know where Hari will be entering the arena this year so the cameras can spot him on time. He laughed and said it was a surprise. Another reporter hinted at the comparison Hari made between a Fiat and a Ferrari. Hari explained how a Fiat cannot keep up with a Ferrari, but told the reporter he knows this and should not play stupid. Both fighters ended up stating it is going to be a good fight.

Questions were then asked to Manhoef and Saki. Both men predicted a hard fight full of explosive action. When Melvin was asked whether or not he was hungry for the fight, he joked he was getting a bite to eat as soon as the press conference was over.

Rayen Simson is fighting his farewell match against Sahin Yakut, who thinks its an honor to fight such a legend. Simson looked back at his career and was pleased even though the occasional ups and downs. When asked how he wanted to be remembered, he simply stated "the way I am".  

Drago and Leroy Kaestner promised to deliver a hard bout. Drago explained how his recent results have been less successful then before due to a lot of weight shifting. He thinks he fought too much the last two years and thus lacked the energy to show the people his normal aggressive style.

Balrak and Ghita were both looking to entertain the crowd tomorrow. Where as Chahid stated he would let his fists talk in the ring. His opponent Khamal was aiming to become fight of the night.

Finally Sato was given the attention he deserved. Being the only Japanese fighter on the card and a less familiar face in the European circuit, it was nice to see him relaxed and greeting the press in Dutch ("Goeiemiddag"). Although his costume choice caused a few giggles, he came straight to the point when asked about his plans tomorrow. Sato said his opponent is a good fighter, but continued by stating "I will beat you". His gameplan? Hard and aggressive! Pajonsuk said Sato is a very smart fighter, but he has a gameplan of his own in his head.


 After the Q&A the press conference was dismissed and the press was able to stop fighters for some quick questions. Unfortunately I was unable to get answers to all of your questions. But here are some I did get.

Burim asked about Hari and his participation as a boxer in the Olympics. Mike Passenier was able to answer this, since Badr was surrounded by at least 20-30 people. Mike explained they are taking it very seriously. It is not just a brief snack. They are competing to win. At first they will work together and when there are still some holes left, maybe contact a good boxing coach from the US or just in Holland. But it will not affect his K1 career according to Mike.

Stark had a question for Murat Direkçi concerning his preference of Its Showtime above K1 MAX. Murat just got back from the weigh-in since he missed it the first time. When I caught up with him, he was enjoying a bowl of rice with pineapple. He explained how he decided to stay with Its Showtime because he had already heard from Simon Rutz they were going to organize tournaments of their own. So he would still be able to measure himself with the best without fighting in K1MAX.

Cdn Mongoose wanted to know if it is important to be a good role model to the kids. Whom better to ask than a fighter with an appropriate nickname, Cosmo Alexandre aka the Good Boy. After crossing a small language barrier due to his Brazilian accent we finally we able to talk. He said everybody watches you, even the kids. So it is important to act responsible. He also liked the fact our questions were from users all over the world, which showed how the sport is growing in popularity. And what is his gameplan for tomorrow? Cosmo intends to work the body of Nieky with kicks and stay away from him since he is dangerous up close. Another great fight to look forward to!

Unfortunately a lot of fighters were either occupied or had left the building. However I did bump into a surprise. None other than Remy Bonjasky decided to drop by and have a look. I asked him why was not on the card today. He stated there were some issues with the Badr fight, but in the end he was not able to fight anyhow, since he had trouble with his right eye again. Perhaps a small surgical procedure would necessary, but he could not tell for sure yet. He was disappointed by this since it is such a great event and he considered himself to be one of the best and he really wanted to fight.
The match he was thrilled to see was Saki vs Manhoef, because they looked ready for a war and were both equally matched to some extent.

 All in all a very successful press conference which only created more hype for tomorrows event. It's Showtime has proven once more they deserve their name and if you don't believe it, check out the event on livestream.

Or.. check out this site for a live play-by-play report which I will start posting from the first bell!

(Photographs with its showtime logo: Ben Pontier / European Fighting Network)


Post new comment
Shadi Ak (102 posts)
Posted: 2010-05-28 at: 11:49
Good article, i did not know you posted one when i put mine up, how do i delete mine??
Rob, Holland reporter (1964 posts)
Posted: 2010-05-29 at: 12:08
No idea, but no matter. The more the better! Just added some pics to it :)
stark (1143 posts)
Posted: 2010-05-29 at: 08:27
Excekent work Rob. You are the man! Thanx for the answer
fab1 (20 posts)
Posted: 2010-05-29 at: 08:36
Thanks Rob, you rock!
burim (401 posts)
Posted: 2010-05-29 at: 09:49
wow, great job Rob. Thanks for making my question and i got the answer i wanted to.

(539 posts)
Posted: 2010-05-29 at: 12:13
This is really good stuff Rob! Thanks for a great article. Can`t wait for tonight!
szanpan (2088 posts)
Posted: 2010-05-29 at: 03:10
greattt article Rob thank you SOOO much that what i was looking forward to read the most! i m so glad that you represented us over there too and it s great you got some great answers to our mates questions really was enjoyable to read and i m so glad i could see at least the asking part of the conference. i cant wait for tonight !!!!maybe i will buy the livestream on It s Showtime tv i m not sure yet...
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Holland reporter


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