Moroccan kickboxer Badr Hari lost the Glory World Heavyweight Championship after sustaining an ankle injury at the 3rd round of the game.
Rabat – The fight, considered to be the biggest kickboxing fight of 2019, took place in a sold-out soccer stadium in the city of Arnhem, eastern Netherlands.
In a remake of what happened in 2016, Hari outperformed Rico throughout the fight until he sustained an injury. Hari Pulled Rico down in the first and third round.
Verhoeven, known as the king of kickboxing, has held the heavyweight title for six years and defeated 55 challengers prior to this fight, including Badr Hari in December 2016.
On December 10, 2016, Hari and Verhoeven met for the first time on the ring in Oberhausen, northwestern Germany. The Dutch fighter won over the Moroccan champion with a technical knockout, after Hari sustained an arm injury in the second round of the fight and could not complete the match.
Many fans felt that the fight was not decisive and wanted a rematch.
Tonight’s fight was Hari’s first since his 2016 injury, showing the 34-year-old’s determination to prove himself as one of the best kickboxers of all time despite his age.
In a press conference in October, Hari said, “I am looking for legacy. I am looking for eternal glory. I will knock him out.”
In response, the 30-year-old Verhoeven accused Hari of faking the injury in the first fight to avoid being knocked out.
“In the first round, I was testing his range. I found his range in about a minute and a half. He hit me with a few jabs, it was no problem. In the second round, I began to get more aggressive, and then he quit,” said Verhoeven.
It remains to be seen if tonight’s loss will lead to Hari’s retirement or motivate him even more for a rematch.
After tonight’s fight, Badr Hari keeps his kickboxing record to 107 wins, with 93 knockouts, and only 14 losses, throughout his 19-year-long career.
Verhoeven, on the other hand, holds 56 wins, including 16 with knockouts, and 11 losses.
Hari, nicknamed the golden boy, was born and raised in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He started his professional kickboxing career in 2000, at only 16 years old.
While Hari represented the Netherlands in his early career, he decided to switch his athletic allegiance to Morocco in 2005. After a lost fight in front of his Moroccan parents, Hari had to bear booing from the Dutch audience because of his accent.
“I thought to myself, I have never witnessed such ungratefulness,” Hari said after the fight. At that moment, he decided to start representing Morocco.