"Badr first started out as a fighter with good kicks and great knees. When we were starting to train, I just wanted him to box better so the knees and kicks would become even more dangerous. His love for the noble art kept growing and he started to box more and more. Now he is curious of his own fighting abillity as a boxer," stated Mike Passenier, founder of the legendary Mike's Gym in Amsterdam, as he talked about the prospects of former K-1 Heavyweight Champion Badr Hari making the transition to professional boxing. Although his nickname is "The Golden Boy", he has a reputation for being the bad boy of kickboxing, having won 77 matches to only 11 defeats, with nearly all of them coming by way of knockout. Standing at 6'6" and weighing roughly 245 pounds, Hari has the type of explosive, crazy and nasty attitude to make an immediate impact in a heavyweight division that's lacking excitement. Having faced a number of opponents his own height and taller, he naturally has his sights set on the Klitschko brothers.
"Badr is only 2cm [1"] shorter [than the Klitschkos] and his weight is between 112kg and 115kg [246.4lbs. and 253lbs]. And don't forget, he is used to fighting a tall fighter. Hong man Choi is 2m 18cm [7'2"]. Sem Schilt, 2m 11cm [6'11"]. And a lot of fighters between 1m 96cm and 2m 03cm [6'5" and 6'8"]," Passenier added as he talked about how Hari would size up to the reigning heavyweight champions. "If he has a trainer who can trigger him, absolutely! He is determened and he is willing to give his all."
Originally scheduled to fight again in September, the bout was cancelled so now, Hari is evidently making plans to find a world-class boxing trainer to sharpen his skills in order to make a legitimate transition to the sport. "The September fight is off. He is supposed to fight in October for K-1, but it isn't confirmed yet, so you never know, especially with a guy like Badr. If there is a gym who is willing to help him, or a trainer who can prepare him on the top level, he might be on the next plane after the Ramadan. But I think he wants to test the waters first and see who or where suits him the best," Passenier continued. "Like I said, he is testing the waters to see who'll come up or who'll come forward because maybe there is a trainer who we've overlooked who will see a great potantial in him and steps up to the plate."
According to Passenier, the transition could start as early as October.
BE SURE TO CHECK BACK SHORTLY FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH MIKE PASSENIER
Also, check out the video below for highlights of Badr "The Golden Boy" Hari: