At only 27 years of age with a professional career spanning more then a decade, on January 28 we will get one last look at Badr Hari the kickboxer. When Badr Hari steps into the ring with Gokhan Saki, in his 89th professional fight, it may very well be his last kickboxing match ever. Eyeing the United States as a new training base and the sport of boxing as a new craft to hone, this coming Saturday Badr Hari will leave us for potentially greener pastures. As a tribute to the fighter known as the Golden Boy or the Devil Prince, I will attempt to guide you through the ups and downs of the legend.
We'll jump right into videos after the jump, it's pretty lengthy
Hari started his professional career off with a knockout loss to Rocky Grandjean in Amsterdam, Netherlands on November 19, 2000.
Badr Hari vs Rocky Grandjean November 19, 2000 - WPKL Gala in Amsterdam
A rocky start for the man who would become kingpin of the heavyweight division. While it is indeed debatable on who the contemporary leader of the division is, my opinion sways in favor of Hari. There is no one whose presence is more significant than his on the international stage or at home for that matter.
Over the span of about two and half years Badr Hari would go 4 and 1 in 5 fights, finishing 2 before losing a decision and rebounding with another finish and a decision win of his own. On June 8, 2003 under the It's Showtime banner, Badr Hari would replace Melvin Manhoeff on a few days notice to fight the already established Alexey Ignashov. Nearly 40lbs lighter and vastly less experienced, Hari would gain much respect from the kickboxing community.
Badr Hari vs Alexey Ignashov I June 8, 2003 - It's Showtime Amsterdam
Off this loss Hari would come back to win 7 fights, including wins over Gokhan Saki and Antoni Hardonk. Stefan Leko would be the man to break Hari's current streak with a well placed spinning back kick in the first round.
Badr Hari vs Stefan Leko 1 June 6, 2005 - It's Showtime Amsterdam 2005
In a much more well known bout Hari would enter K1's WGP in a reserve fight against the same man who stopped him 5 months earlier.
Badr Hari vs Stefan Leko 2 November 19, 2005 - K-1 World Grand Prix 2005
Hari would take two consecutive KO losses from Peter Graham and 6 months later from Ruslan Karaev.
Badr Hari vs Peter Graham March 5, 2006 - K1 WGP 2006 in New Zealand
Badr Hari vs Ruslan Karaev September 30, 2006 - K1 World Grand Prix in Osaka opening
After these losses Badr would come back 3 months later and decision Paul Slowinski in Tokyo. 25 days after beating Slowinski, Hari took a fight against Denmark's Nicholas Pettas at K1's annual Dynamite show. A fun fight in which Hari was clearly ahead, ended early when a kick broke Nicholas Pettas's arm.
Badr Hari vs Nicholas Pettas December 31, 2006 - K1 Dynamite!! 2006
Another 3 months passed after the Pettas fight and for the second time Hari would find himself up against Ruslan Karaev. In a fantastic scrap that saw both fighters put down, Hari would put a definitive ending in his favor this time around.
Badr Hari vs Ruslan Karaev 2 March 4, 2007 - K1 WGP 2007 in Yokohama
His next outing would be in Hawaii in another bout under the K1 banner. It took one minute to knock out Fujimoto and become K1's first ever heavyweight champion.
Badr Hari vs Yusuke Fujimoto April 28, 2007 - K1 WGP in Hawaii 2007
Later in 2007 Badr Hari and Peter Graham would again meet to fight for K1 this time in Hong Kong. Across all boards Hari would win in 3 rounds. After his second fight with Graham, Hari would travel to Seoul, South Korea to take his place in the Final 16.
Badr Hari vs Doug Viney September 29, 2007 - K1 World Grand Prix Final 16 Seoul
During the Quarter Finals of the K1 World Grand Prix 2007 in Yokohama, Japan Hari would lose via decision to Remy Bonjasky. Closing 2007 at a bit of a low point with the loss to Bonjasky, Badr's 2008 would open up with 6 straight finishes and no losses. Ray Sefo, Glaube Feitosa, Domagoj Ostojic, Hong Man Choi, Peter Aerts, adn Errol Zimmerman would all fall to Badr Hari in that order.
Badr Hari vs Glaube Feitosa June 29, 2008 - K1 WGP 2008 in Fukuoka, Japan
Badr Hari vs Errol Zimmerman December 6, 2008 - K1 World Grand Prix Finals Japan
By beating Peter Aerts and then Errol Zimmerman earlier in the evening, on December 6, 2008 Badr Hari found himself in his first ever final match for the year's WGP. Facing off against Remy Bonjasky for the second time in his K1 run.
Badr Hari vs Remy Bonjasky December 6, 2008 - K1 World Grand Prix 2008 Final
With Hari disqualified from the fight, Bonjasky would eventually be named 2008's Grand Prix champion. At the end of the year Dynamite show Badr would face Alistair Overeem in a K1 rules only match.
Badr Hari vs Alistair Overeem December 31, 2008 - K1 Dynamite!! 2008
Ending his year with a loss again, Badr Hari would mimic his successful start of 2008 at the beginning of 2009. 5 fights won by first round knockouts and gaining the It's Showtime heavyweight title in about the span of a year.
Badr Hari vs Frederic Sinistra February 8, 2009 - It's Showtime 2009 Belgium (for It's Showtime Heavyweight title)
3 months would pass and Hari would take on the then 3 time K1 WGP champ Semmy Schilt to defend his recently acquired It's Showtime title.
Badr Hari vs Semmy Schilt 1 May 16, 2009 - It's Showtime 2009 Amsterdam
Another chance to fight for the K1 WGP championship came in 2009. September 29, 2005 in Seoul, South Korea at the Final 16, Zabit Samedov and Badr Hari fought to advance to Finals.
Badr Hari vs Zabit Samedov September 29, 2008 - K1 WGP 2009 Final 16
Making his way to the Finals and running through both Ruslan Karaev and Alistair Overeem, Hari would again face Semmy Schilt but this time for K1 2009 WGP honors.
K1 World Grand Prix 2009 Finals in Yokohama Japan - December 5, 2009
Badr Hari vs Ruslan Karaev
Badr Hari vs Alistair Overeem 2
Badr Hari vs Semmy Schilt 2
Coming back from the Schilt fight, Hari would begin 2010 by knocking out Mourad Bouzidi and beating Alexey Ignashov by his first decision win 3 years.
Badr Hari vs Mourad Bouzidi February 13, 2010 - It's Showtime Prague
Remy Bonjasky and Badr Hari were set to face each other for Hari's It's Showtime heavyweight title. In a pre-fight interview Hari stated that Bonjasky would not take the fight and so he would take on Hesdy Gerges.
Badr Hari vs Hesdy Gerges May 29, 2010 - It's Showtime 2010 Amsterdam
Following this incident Badr Hari faced criticism from the Dutch press, and found himself on the wanted side of the authorities. The air would eventually clear and Hari would seclude himself and step away from the world of kickboxing for a few weeks short of an entire year. Lyon, France would play host to Badr Hari's comeback fight when he fought France's own Gregory Tony. This would also be Hari's most recent fight until he takes on Saki at the end of this week.
Badr Hari vs Gregory Tony May 14, 2011 - It's Showtime France
This Saturday we may all be saying goodbye to the kickboxer Badr Hari. I wish it wasn't so.