Badr Hari is one of the best kickboxers in the world. He’s the former K-1 heavyweight champion and former It’s Showtime heavyweight champion. He was also the runner-up in the 2009 K-1 World Grand Prix. He’s won 77 professional kickboxing bouts in 89 fights, with 63 of those victories coming by way of (T)KO.
He’s also one of the most controversial figures in kickboxing. In 2008 he was disqualified in the K-1 World Grand Finals when he stomped a fallen Remy Bonjasky. To make matters worse, he got into a scuffle with Bonjasky’s corner during the recovery period. In 2010, Hari was once again disqualified for striking a down opponent as this time his victim was Hesdy Gerges. He’s also been arrested a number of times since 2006.
The Voice vs. Badr Hari is a great look at the career and life of Hari, told by the man himself.
Badr is a cocky man with no regrets in life and he makes that clear in this interview. He talks about calling out K-1 legends on a bus after just starting out in the sport and how he doesn’t regret knocking out any of his opponents, even though it meant sending some of them to the hospital.
My favorite moment from the interview is Badr talking about Alistair Overeem prior to their 2009 bout. In the press conference he stated that Overeem wouldn’t last three minutes with him. He have to be a cocky but confident man to say something like that, but Badr said it, and Badr meant it.
There’s also an understated humbleness to Badr though and that really comes across in this interview. For a guy that is so cocky, one would think that he wouldn’t like too many people or that he would talk bad about other fighters, if only to keep up his persona. Not Badr. He’s very respectful towards others and, while very confident in his skills, he’s also a realist. His humbleness really gives you the feeling that he’s being very truthful in all his answers and that he’s not just saying what he thinks people want to hear or saying things that help him maintain his cocky reputation.
Badr comes across very likable in this interview. If you’ve only heard about him from his bad boy antics in and out of the ring, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by just how open and calm Badr is. People like to describe him as “the most intense K-1 fighter,” and I’m sure that rings true for his opponents, but it doesn’t come across in this one-on-one setting. He seems like a guy who, you can go out and have a beer (or a bowl of fried shrimp) with and if someone decides to mistake his kindness for weakness, they’ll end up with a broken jaw.
I came into this interview with low expectations, mainly because I’m not a big follower of the sport of kickboxing and really didn’t know much about Badr. So this interview far exceeded my expectations, thanks in large part to the man asking the questions, Michael Schiavello. I’m a big fan of Schiavello’s commentary but I’d have to say that he’s an even better interviewer. He did a nice job giving background to all of the questions he ask, which really helps out kickboxing novices like myself. Schiavello is also a fan of the sport and of Badr and he’s not afraid to present that, which made Badr seem even more comfortable in the setting.
My only complaint about Schiavello is what he did at the very end of the interview, but I can’t say I blame him for doing what he did and you’ll have to watch to find out exactly what I’m talking about.
Fans of combat sports and previous Voice vs. interviews will enjoy this one as well. Even if you don’t know much about K-1 or Badr, you’ll be surprised at how he comes across and how open he is.
“The Voice vs. Badr Hari” airs this Friday, June 24, on HDNet at 10PM EST.
PHOTO CREDIT – HDNET