"What you see is what you get; nothing more or less. I always deliver. I don't hide behind excuses, and I never run away or back down from any problem or anybody. I think people like that...It is important to him that I have a trainer who is there for me, who can motivate me, and bring me to the top level; a trainer who brings out the best in me. And that is important to me too. I want to be number one. I don't come for second place; not in fighting and not by a trainer," stated kickboxing sensation Badr Hari, who talked about his decision to retire from kickboxing after his last and transition to boxing under the tutelage of Naazim Richardson. Check out what else he had to say!
PC: Hey Badr, how was Morocco my man?
BH: Morocco is always good to me. I really come at ease when I am there. For me, it is the same as the Fortress of Solitude for Superman. When I am tired of everything, I go to Morocco to destress and unwind.
PC: Your Muslim culture is very important to you and you went to finish up Ramadan and do some conditioning. Could you speak a little bit about your Muslim heritage?
BH: I think religion is a personal thing. I really don't want to talk about that. Almost every war started because of religion. I think that everybody should choose his own religion and keep that to himself. If it works for you, fine, but don't bother anybody with it. That saves a lot of useless discussions.
PC: I agree 100%. There were some rumors going on while you were gone saying that you were going to be helping Brock Lesnar out while he prepares for Alistair Overeem. Was that merely a rumor? Would you entertain that thought?
BH: That is just a rumor. I am too busy with the end of my kickboxing career and the start of my boxing career, but if he wants, he can swing by to spar a couple of rounds (laughing).
PC: I didn't realize how big of a fan base you had until I put up our first interview. In your mind, what is it about Badr Hari that captures fight fans?
BH: I think my genuinity. What you see is what you get; nothing more or less. I always deliver. I don't hide behind excuses, and I never run away or back down from any problem or anybody. I think people like that.
PC: "It's Showtime" recently announced that your January 28th fight against Gokhan Saki will be your last as a kickboxer. You are truly taking this move to boxing serious and as a career change, right?
BH: Like I said before, that is where my focus is.
PC: What do you feel Gokhan's strengths and weaknesses are as a kickboxer?
BH: He is fast and he is a real kickboxer, but he is no Badr Hari and never will be.
PC: When you come over to boxing, you are looking to work with Naazim Richardson. It was important to Mike Passenier that you trained under another Muslim as well as a guy like Naazim, who works with another guy with a street background. How important was that to you?
BH: That's not what he said. He said that it is an extra because he knows all the rituals etc. for being a Muslim. It is important to him that I have a trainer who is there for me, who can motivate me, and bring me to the top level; a trainer who brings out the best in me. And that is important to me too. I want to be number one. I don't come for second place; not in fighting and not by a trainer.
PC: Hey man, I was paraphrasing. Take it easy on me. Don't make me run when I see you (laughing). Several fans have asked me to ask you this, so here goes. I have heard stories of you beating up a club full of bouncers and epic street fights that you have had. What is the craziest Badr Hari story that comes to mind for you?
BH: I live in the now and not in the past. There will always be stories. Some are true and some are false.
PC: You have one of the greatest entrance songs I have ever heard. Who made that song for you?
BH: Appa He is a longtime friend of mine and he made three songs about me, and on one I even rap myself.
PC: Badr Hari the rapper. I gotta hear that. Given your aggressive style, I have to ask, did you get a chance to see Floyd Mayweather's fight with Victor Ortiz and if so, what were your thoughts?
BH: Everybody is bitching about it, but a fight is a fight and as the referee always says in each fight, protect yourself at all times! All is fair in love and war.
PC: Boxing needs you, man. I'm sure we'll talk plenty leading up to your fight against Gokhan Saki. I can't wait to hear about you and Naazim's meeting. Naazim's son Bear really likes your style. Is there anything else you want to say in closing?
BH: I have met Naazim and can't wait to work with him and meet his son Bear. Naazim said that Bear also has a very good boxing vision, so I can't wait to discuss boxing with him too.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]