More news on the kickboxing front, specifically Golden Glory’s attempt to wrestle the K-1 brand away from the sketchy Japanese dopes who ran it into the ground. Here’s a summary of what’s happened up until now. The latest salvo is Golden Glory’s Bas Boon sending out an email where he lays out the jerking around he received trying to buy K-1 over Christmas and the legal action he’s finally going to take to send the company into ultra-shameful Japanese bankruptcy. The whole thing is worth a read, but for those of you with ADD, here’s some tasty morsels Fighters Only added to the letter for clarification:
(Editor’s note – in Boon’s text there is reference to a company called Barbizon. This is – officially – a real-estate investment company from Japan. In late 2011, there was a sudden announcement that Barbizon had taken control of the K-1 trademarks due to unpaid debts on FEG’s part. Sources told Fighters Only at the time that Barbizon was actually a front company for organised crime entities – ie. a Yakuza faction – which FEG had been borrowing money from as its credit rating was too poor to access loans from legitimate lenders.
(At this point Boon includes a note from a recent Fight Opinion interview with a Japanese MMA figure who suggests that the ‘Mr Kim’ on Tanigawa’s side may be Kim Dok-Soo, a Korean-Japanese member of the Yakuza mafia. More specifically, the Yakuza faction which was involved with Pride FC)
So long story short, K-1 is neck deep in Yakuza involvement and Yakuza debt. Bas Boon plans to sue K-1 for stringing them along on a purchase, which is pretty ballsy considering those aforementioned Yakuza ties. But according to Boon, this isn’t his first rodeo:
People should realize that Pride lost the Fuji TV deal when Gendai Magazine (weekly magazine in Japan) started publishing details on the court case (Nikkan Sports newspaper as well) I had (and won) with Miro Mijatovic against Kawamata Bombaye in 2003 and they also did not pay the fighters and left. As we won the case all the juicy details with Yakuza and threats came to service which cost Pride their TV deal with Fuji.
Tanigawa is in hiding after he already got beaten up twice and his car and property received damages by angry Japanese lenders who all want their money back. I am sure they will try to throw some mud or accusations towards me and others like Pride attempted… After bankruptcy is filed and the truth comes out we will see how this plays out, it is a very interesting time!
You know what would be more interesting? Big kickboxing events featuring the top names in the sport. K-1 is reduced to holding high school kickboxing tournaments (easier to stiff teenagers on money, I imagine). Fortunately Golden Glory is putting their money where their mouth is, paying off bad K-1 debt to sign fighters and organizing a big event in Moscow on March 23rd with Semmy Schilt, Sergei Kharitonov, Jerome Le Banner, and Errol Zimmerman.