“The rumors are true!”
That was Glory heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven’s response to BloodyElbow.com’s Mark Bergmann, who questioned him right after Glory 31 in Amsterdam regarding the rumored mega fight against Badr Hari.
Verhoeven called out the bad boy of kickboxing a couple of weeks ago. A bout between the two top heavyweights has been heavily discussed since, and according to the Glory heavyweight champion, it is now “75 to 80 percent” a done deal. The only thing preventing the fight from happening right now is the usual pre-fight shenanigans that always delays high-caliber match-ups.
“In a fight like this, so many things need to be discussed. We can not say yes or no in one month or two months. There’s so many things to come in balance on, but let’s see what it brings,” Verhoeven told ran.de. “We’re both willing to fight, we both want to fight each other. But in the end, that’s not the most important thing.”
Should Verhoeven vs. Hari happen, another high-profile heavyweight would be left out in the cold, though — Glory 20 tournament winner Ismael Londt. Londt earned his shot at Verhoeven by winning the heavyweight tourney in April, but had to wait for his opportunity and faced Hesdy Gerges instead last Saturday at Glory 31. He managed to edge the returning Gerges in a close-fought battle, but might have to wait even longer for Verhoeven, if Hari gets the next shot at the champ.
“If the fight Badr vs. Rico comes to a conclusion, then that’s the first fight we’ll do. And then after probably Ismael,” said Verhoeven, who “definitely wasn’t impressed” by Londt’s performance against Gerges.
Verhoeven claimed the Glory heavyweight belt in 2014 when he beat Daniel Ghita by unanimous decision. He has defended it four times since. Hari on the other hand is kickboxing’s Enfant Terrible and has yet to make his Glory debut. Troubles outside of the ring have prevented the former K-1 star yet again from fighting over the last months. Hari hasn’t fought since August of last year, when he stopped Londt with a crushing right straight at Akhmat Fight Show in Russia.
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