Badr Hari was due to fight French heavyweight Patrice Quarteron in the main event of Thursday night’s GFC 4 event in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
But GFC has now removed Quarteron from the card after stating that he has been marketing the fight in an “unprofessional” manner.
“About Patrice… he has been saying a lot about me. I don’t care, I have been though those kind of clowns many times so he’s nothing special,” says Hari.
“I think he is a social media champion but he didn’t do a lot in the ring. If you see on the YouTube, there’s more videos of him talking than fighting, so I think that can say enough about him.
“I just want to say to the fans it is a shame this fight doesn’t go through because it could be a good fight and it has a good hype, people were really looking forward to see it.
“But what I see is that Mr. Quarteron is not professional, not in the way he is working and not in the way he deals with things. I think he made some mistakes [and that is why] this fight didn’t go through.
“What is important for me is that I signed a contract with GFC to fight whoever they want to bring me. I am ready to fight whoever they want to bring me tomorrow. I am in good shape, I feel strong and I am ready to knock somebody out. I will knock somebody out tomorrow, that is my message to fans around the world.”
Promoter and president Amir Shafipour says that GFC is “a family show” and that Quarterton’s antics – including a video labelling Hari “a bitch” – have been contrary to the event’s spirit.
“I want to bring a good environment, family environment, into the venue. Most of these boxing events you go to, it’s mostly guys [in the audience],” says Shafipour.
“In this event there is no age limit, kids from six and seven years old can come. We have to have a very safe environment.
“What Mr Quarteron done, he’s been very unprofessional in the marketing of kickboxing and turned it into something like a personal problem with someone. You cannot go around using these kind of words.
“It is not good for the sport and good for the society of Dubai to go on the media [like this]. In my experience, I have seen shows damaged in the past like this and I cannot afford to bring it into GFC.”
The switch of opponent is the latest installment in a curious saga surrounding the match. Last week Quarteron released a Youtube video which consisted of a recorded phone call from Hari’s trainer offering to buy Quarteron off the card so he could be replaced with another opponent.
An explanation from Mike Passenier – Hari’s coach – had the offer down as a simple piece of business to relocate the fight to Morocco, allegedly on the grounds it would do bigger numbers, with Hari facing a late replacement in Dubai in Quarteron’s stead.
Some buy the story, some don’t. Either way, Quarteron is now out and somebody else is now in. Sources say the replacement is Eastern European and Mr Shafipour promised it would be “a big surprise”. If they have gone for a name opponent, my guess would be Alexey Ignashov, but we will find out on Thursday.
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