This Saturday, heavyweights Badr Hari and Hesdy Gerges will meet inside the ring once again, looking to settle unfinished business stemming from their unforgettable first fight nearly eight years ago.
Ahead of their long-awaited rematch at GLORY 51 Rotterdam, here’s what the headline stars had to say:
On his motivation heading into the fight:
I want to win fans again. I want to have more fans. I want to be the people’s champ. I want people to recognize, I want people to believe and see that I’m the best. That’s motivation. Making people happy.
On the perception that he has changed:
People connect change with something not good. I don’t think I’ve changed. I just think I’ve gotten smarter. I’ve been the bad guy for a long time; maybe it’s time to switch the style up…
…or maybe not.
On a potential boxing superfights with Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua:
Deontay is an amazing athlete. Joshua is an amazing athlete. But we’re still fighters and I would fight any of them whenever and wherever.
Why should I jump to boxing though? Let them come to kickboxing. I have the best sport ever. I think kickboxing is the most amazing sport in the world. It’s better than [MMA], it’s better than boxing, it’s better than all those other guys. Why should I go see what they do? Let them come see what we do. Kickboxing is the number one fighting sport in the world.
On who is the best fighter aside from Badr Hari:
It’s just me.
On his conditioning and focus heading into the fight:
I feel great. I’m really in the best shape ever, I think. In my mind at least. I feel like Maximus [from the film Gladiator].
On his gameplan against Badr Hari:
I’m going to give him payback for [what happened in during our fight in] 2010. He said he gave me the belt, but he didn’t give me anything; he gave up. He quit like he did many times in other fights and I will make him quit again. And that’s the only gameplan: make him quit. Drive him to a point that makes him quit and then it’s easy.
On his press conference staredown with Badr Hari:
When we stared down at the press conference, I felt confidence in my self, 100% confidence. But I didn’t see it in his eyes. If you look back at the staredown before our 2010 fight, it was like two animals who were ready to kill each other. But this staredown, I didn’t see any fire in him. Maybe that changed in the last few weeks, but for me it’s always the same, the fire is always there for me every day.
On finally having a rematch with Badr Hari:
I waited a long time for this. I was on the way to winning the fight in 2010. He had a good first round. I came back strong in the second round, and then when I went down, he kicked me in the face while I was on the floor and got disqualified.
Since then, people have acted like he was the winner because he won the first round, but the fight was not near over. That makes me angry because I know what I felt and he knows what he felt before that moment, and so I know he is not really confident. He will have to go through hell this Saturday. Hell. I hope he is ready for the war.