More from the press conference.
Badr, when you heared the news, what was your first reaction?
- Well, Simon and I where negotiating already for sometime about a comeback in the Amsterdam Arena, after four years.
After my last experience in the Arena I didn't feel like coming back to the Netherlands, not for fighting at least, we where talking a lot about who I should fight, I had more options, against whom I could fight. I said to myself, and to Simon, IF I come back to the Arena I want to fight against the very best, not for less, I don't want to show in the Arena for Mr. Nobody. I want to have the best, the strongest and I won't come back for less.
Then Simon came with the idea to fight against Sem, in my opinion he is the strongest...at this moment one of the strongest of the world, maybe the best there ever was....as a sportsman...in the Netherlands....he did well on every aspect...for me that was a big challenge, to fight the very best, now that I'll return. So I was very enthousiastic and I felt like it. And I'm motivated for a fight that's not untill a few months...so I was very happy with the news.
Didn't you prefer to correct your mistake in Japan? And with that I mean against Remy Bonjaski?
- Well maybe that would be a great fight for a lot of people, but in my eyes not a very spectacular fight. I could set some things straight, but again, I want to fight against the very best, and the very strongest, should return to the Amsterdam Arena....and I think this fight is it.
It's a big step, but I won't settle for less. You know what they say, If you want to be the very best, you should fight against the very best, and I'm planning on doing just that.
I would like to ask Semmy the same question, when you've been asked to fight Badr, one of the youngest k-1 fighters....
- I was surprised that it is going to happen here in the Amsterdam Arena, I expected it to be in Japan, but that's not the case, it will be the Arena.
I think it's a good opportunity for me to show here in The Netherlands that I'm not finished yet, that I'm the best, and I want to be the best. To show that I think with Badr Hari I have a young talent who wants this very bad...that I'm going to show him again...
Semmy when Simon said you had to make compromises...do you think its so important to fight in the Netherlands again? To show what you got against comming man Badr?
- Yes indeed, I think at this moment it's a good choice to fight this match in the Netherlands, and that I had to make compromises, yes that's true but I'll make up for that in other fights.
Do you see this as an investment?
- I see this match as an investment in the future.
Badr, do you see this as an investment in the future?
-Ahh...I just like to fight you know...
-You know what the deal is...we'll make money anyway, and that it's a little bit less this time...it's what Sem says...we'll take some more next time...I'm doing this to come home again and to show the people who is the best, so for me it's an investment in myself. And with my 24 years...I don't need to worry about the next few years.
The way you talk, do I sense that there is a lot of respect between you two?
-Well...I'm not going to trashtalk him here but respect...respect, the man is a great sportsman.
That's what I mean.
- Yes ofcourse I have to admit that, it would be strange if I wouldn't admit that. I'm not blind, maybe I'm a little stubborn from time to time, but I'm certainly not blind. The man is just a great sportsman, he preformed well...what he accomplished, what he did...I have respect for that....but that doesn't mean...that I'll enter the ring like that....
Don't think fear is the same as respect...
- No, no, no, no, no...ofcourse we'll kick his ass there in the Arena
(press laughs again)
Sem, do you have anything to say ?
- Well, I think...Badr isn't crazy and he knows what he got himself into if he fights against me. I assume he knows what he's got himself into and that he'll train hard, he knows I'm ready.
Any questions? (simon)
A question for Badr...how do you look at the upcoming fight? Emotionally...and I mean, the last time... well people booed at you ...you've got something to make up, how do you think about that?
- I think that...well...look I'm just going motivated to the Arena, I really feel like it...It will be mixed feelings....I expect nothing...I expect no whistle concert...but I don't expect a hero entrance, the only thing I expect is that I'm there for 100% and do what I'm good at and that's making a fight at the highest level. That's what I'm planning to do and what the audience is planning to do...actually I don't give a ratsass, if they boo at me or not ...if I´m booed at, I'll get payed anyway you know.
In December you fought four times,you'll fight in January, in March...May again...isn't it a little but too much?
- I'm a robot dude....no ofcourse it's tough, it's not easy, specially the month of December was very tough for me...I mean mentally, not really fisically, such a tournament does a lot to you...I'm 24, for me it's all new, it was the second tournament in my life, the first time I was kicked out pretty quick, the second went well...you really don't know how serious such a tournament is untill you really experience it. It cost me a lot and at the end of the year I had to pay the prize. But it doesn't matter, it's a lesson...but four fights in a month that really is a fight too much.
-I took some time off and for February ...I feel like it, March too and May too and the next ten years too. I'm just in shape, and I really feel like it
Badr, do you have a special trainings scedule because now your up against Sem Schilt?
- Yes ofcourse, I'm not there yet, the preparations don't start tomorrow you know, I got a few matches in between....I think I need to make some adjustments for Sem, but I'm not brainstorming about that yet, I have a few ideas, when the time is there I'll work it out, but I'm not focused on that yet.
What kind of victory will it be? Points or K.O.?
- No, no I only want K.O.'s, points, I don't...you know, I don't think people pay to see that, I think it's a responsebillity that you give the people what they payed for. People make time, some call in sick, some will skipp school, just to see me fight and then I give them a weak fight...If I win I want to win the way you should win and that's when the opponent is facing the cealing.
There is a little bit more, but I haven't got any time to finish it now since i have to work tomorrow.
The video will be online soon!
I have this on video, but we have some trouble with uploading since the file is 560 mb. We're working on that, if you know some site were this goes fast please help us!
Ps. We had a small talk with Badr, we told him we were attending It's Showtime Antwerpen and asked him if he could arrange something for us. "Ofcourse!" he replyed "What do you need? Do you want tickets?I can arrange anything for you, just name it". We told him we would like to have acces to his dressing room, if possible...
It was not a problem at all, telephone numbers were exchanged and he would make sure that we would have acces! So for everyone who thinks bad about badr, I can tell you he is one of the nicest guys in the scene(believe me, I've met most of them!) and not arrogant at all!