With just over three weeks to go until they fight in the main event of GLORY 51 ROTTERDAM, Badr Hari (106-13, 92 KO’s) and Hesdy Gerges (50-19, 23 KO’s)came face-to-face today at the official pre-fight press conference.
Cor Hemmers, GLORY Managing Director of Sports, was on hand to introduce the two fighters to the assembled media. He also laid out what this fight means in the kickboxing landscape.
“Back in 2010, they fought in Amsterdam for the It’s Showtime heavyweight title. It ended controversially in the second round when Badr knocked Hesdy down and then kicked him in the face while he was still on the canvas,” he said.
“Badr was disqualified and his heavyweight title went to Hesdy. Ever since then they have had unfinished business and on March 3 they are going to settle that business.”
Asked what was on the line for the winner of the fight, Hemmers revealed that a win would not immediately insert either into the title picture. This fight, he said, had a prize of a more personal nature.
“This is a rematch which needed to happen. It’s a matter of honor. The way the fight ended in 2010 was satisfactory for neither of them. This fight doesn’t really relate to the title shot conversation, it is a standalone fight which has its own reasons for happening.”
Both fighters concurred.
“Things happen in a fight. I got disqualified against him, these things happen. He took the title [from me] but I think the win was robbed (a robbery),” said Hari.
“He took the title in a way that I think even he didn’t want to take it. You want to fight for these kind of things [not win them by DQ]. So I think for him its unfinished business and I am here to give him what he wants.”
Gerges took a similar view.
“[The first fight] was eight years ago. When I look back, it was like a fight that didn’t end yet. We are here to end it and show the people and the youth that we can do it in the right way. We will bring a good show,” he said.
“The GLORY title is not so important to me right now. What’s on my mind is that I want to do some rematches. I had some personal problems in recent years but those are finished now and now I can focus 100% on the sport again.
“I have a long term vision on the sport again. I want to set some things straight and that starts on March 3 in Rotterdam.”
GLORY 51 ROTTERDAM takes place at the Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands on Saturday, March 3.
Badr Hari and Hesdy Gerges are in the headline slot and the stacked card also includes a key welterweight title contender showdown between Cedric Doumbe and Alim Nabiyev, the latter coming off a big win over Nieky Holzken in the same venue this past December.