We’ve been covering the power struggle for kickboxing’s soul between Golden Glory and K-1 for several months now, and while there is no end in sight we now have some concrete plans from K-1 in the form of a 2012 schedule. According to them, they will hold 7 events this year including shows in Europe, Asia, Los Angeles and New York.
While the guys at MiddleEasy are breathlessly excited about K-1 in LA and NYC, I’ve seen too many ambitious plans for world domination from the dunces running K-1 that have gone absolutely nowhere. I think I’ll wait for them to prove they can actually oh I dunno PAY THEIR FIGHTERS before I allow any hype to tickle my fightfan sensibilities.
Liver Kick’s Dave Walsh lays out why we should consider supporting K-1 again:
If FEG is involved, offering fighters 50% of the money that they are owed for a contract to fight is essentially blackmail. If K-1 Global is what I believe it to be and has no relation to FEG, it is an act of good faith and should be applauded.
This “new” K-1 should be given a chance as long as they steer clear of the problems that plagued K-1 in the past. As long as they are looking to keep Japanese mafia, Kazuyoshi Ishii and FEG away from what they are doing now, fans should remain optimistic for the future, or at least give them a chance. This iteration of K-1 is looking to focus on China, Europe and the United States as opposed to simply focusing on a Japanese-centric audience.
Meanwhile, Fighters Only is already questioning the ‘new’ K-1’s ability to make good on it’s financial promises:
The new owners of K-1, headed by Korean businessman Mr Kim, apparently do not have the kind of financial resources at their disposal that they were initially thought to.
Fighters are being offered contracts which contain a term to the effect that purses do not have to paid immediately after the bout, but can have to be paid by the end of the month in which that fight took place, or at the end of a several-week period after the fight.
As this reflects the practices of the old K-1, which lead to fighters effectively competing for free after purses got deferred repeatedly and then didn’t get paid at all, there is widespread cynicism about the financial resources of the new K-1 owners and their ability to meet the obligations they have made such a big issue of taking on.
So will they or won’t they succeed? We’ll find out starting on May 27th, when they return with a tournament event in Madrid, Spain.