Ruining a Legacy: Should Badr Hari Retire?

Last Saturday in Russia, Badr Hari lost in embarrassingly sloppy fashion. It was a far-cry from 2009 and his earlier performances in the K-1 Grand Prix. After seemingly giving up after the 10 count and allowing the much smaller Samedov to take the win, it has prompted many fans to ask the question- Are Badr’s best days behind him? Is it time to retire?

Before we look at whether or not the Bad Boy should end his career before things truly take a turn for the worse, let’s examine how he fell so far from his highly lauded position as K-1 Champion, and the top fighter in heavyweight Kickboxing.

The issues with Hari’s performances came after his disqualification loss against Hesdy Gerges in 2010, when he illegally kicked Gerges in the face during a break. After a long absence from the sport, Hari made his return to kickboxing against Anderson Braddock Silva, where he put on an ugly performance that many devout kickboxing fans believed he lost.

Then came the arrests. In the middle of last year Hari’s career was threatened when he brutally beat a man in the VIP section of a Dutch nightclub. Charges were pressed, and many people thought the Golden Boy would get a career destroying prison sentence.

As is procedure in the Netherlands for crimes that carry a statutory minimum four-year prison stay or more, Hari was detained in prison whilst awaiting trial. On November 9th, 2012, a court in Amsterdam decided to allow Hari to return home until his trial on the condition that he not visit any establishments, hotels, or restaurants, or contact witnesses, with the exception of his girlfriend Estelle Gullit.

The day after his release he was spotted violating this condition by eating out at a deli with his Estelle. He also made contact with two witnesses of the incident. As a result, three days after being released Hari was arrested again by police in Amsterdam and was sentenced to be detained once more, this time for three months, with his eventual release coming in January 2013.

After a few months in jail, we saw photos of Hari looking significantly smaller than his normal hulking heavyweight self. After his release in January he was almost immediately signed to be part of the K-1 Final 8 World Grand Prix in Zagreb, Croatia. People feared Hari was going to be underweight, out of practice, and slow against a dangerous Zabit Samedov, who Hari had TKO’d back in 2010.

Samedov proved to be Hari’s undoing in more ways than one. While the Moroccan fighter defeated Samedov in Croatia, the fight itself was sloppy, wild, and reminiscent of a ballroom brawl. Hari then had to pull out of the tournament due to a foot injury.

In his third and most recent fight against Samedov, Hari looked even worse than he did in Croatia. He seemed out of touch with his own performance and was unable to get into the rhythm of the fight against a significantly shorter, lighter, and less technically skilled opponent. After being knocked down once in the opening round, Badr was then TKO’d in the second after being hit with an uppercut and waiting out the 10 count despite looking able to continue.

The method and manner of Hari’s loss was also particularly surprising. After going down and apparently recovering, we saw Hari glance to his corner before refusing to rise for the final count. As the pro-Samedov crowd erupted in cheers, the rest of us wondered if Hari had simply quit or if there was something more to this particular affair.

A Dutch television show reported the exact amount of Badr’s winnings in Russia amounted over $150,000. Sources close to FSA also state that Hari made around $150,000 for his fight in Croatia as well.

Has Badr lost his love of the sport?

In his last two performances since leaving prison Hari’s fight stints seem to be motivated more by financial reasons than passion. The Badr of old took pleasure in dismantling the best in the business, but as evidenced by his most recent fight against Zabit Samedov, it’s obvious the Bad Boy of Kickboxing is no longer invested in kickboxing the way he used to be.

On top of his seemingly declining interest in bettering himself, or even winning, Hari still must face the looming trial date that has been continually postponed since March.

So now to the big question: Should Badr Hari retire?

The answer is a difficult one, considering Hari’s future depends on a variety of factors.

If the Bad Boy is taken to trial and loses, then retirement is nearly inevitable. If he wins, or is able to come away with a reasonable plea deal, it might be possible for Hari to make a comeback after extensive training. Neither of those options are what the fans are concerned with, however.

What most people are questioning, is if Badr Hari should continue to fight solely for big pay days until the date of his trial is announced.

On one hand, Hari is still a human being. He has to pay the bills, and $150,000 per fight is a great way to make that happen. On the other hand, by taking bad fights, competing while not in shape, and quitting halfway through winnable competitions is perhaps hurting his chances of ever having a career if he is sentenced to a relatively long prison term.

Support for Hari, even among his dedicated fans, is beginning to slip. They will only put up with the violence, arrests, terrible fights, and mismatches for so long before everyone begins to question why they liked him in the first place.

So what should Hari do?

In my humble opinion, I think he needs to get serious. It would benefit his career and his image if he seriously focused on training, and took time to get his physicality back where it should be. Perhaps a departure from Mike’s Gym, a change of scenery, would do wonders. It would then behoove him to take fights against higher caliber opponents and make a concentrated effort to win for the sake of winning, not for the prize that comes afterwards.

The man fans want to see, Badr “The Bad Boy,” ferocious in the ring and fearsome outside it, is slowly slipping away. And if that happens, it won’t be a matter of whether or not Badr’s legacy will be tarnished- it’ll be a question of how much.

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9 Comments on “Ruining a Legacy: Should Badr Hari Retire?”

  1. magnetic
    May 27, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

    Chad, you forgot his fights in It’s Showtime with Gregory Tony and Gokhan Saki, where he absolutely demolished Saki.

    I think the guy is just going through a rough time. The weight of his mistakes has finally come crashing down on him as the system isn’t willing to let him get away like he usually does. The Dutch courts would love nothing more than to make an example out of him.

    As for what Badr should do, I would echo a suggestion made by Bloodstain Lane of all people. When Badr finishes whatever sentence he is to receive, he should relocate to America. In Holland, he’s an infamous celebrity who is caught between his shady friends and the Dutch legal system. In America, he isn’t anyone special. If he bases out of Blackzillians, he can train with Overeem and Spong and arrange camps with boxing coaches if he wants to do so. He would be a huge addition to their team. At this time he’s almost destined to get in trouble again if he stays in Holland.

    • May 28, 2013 at 12:00 am #

      Hey magnetic, i didn’t forget. But those wins were before his break when he still looked solid. which was over a year and a half ago. Couple that with the threat of the impending trial and a fragile emotional state, it’s going to be hard for Badr to make a comeback. It has very little to do with his skill as a fighter. Blackzillians is a great team for mma, not so much kickboxing.

  2. Wilco
    May 27, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

    The man with the glass chin.. time to retire!

    • Weedo
      May 29, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

      Dont know if Overeem and Hari will be good together. Some badblood after the broken promise from Hari to Overeem to fight K1 and a MMA match. After the k1 match Hari didnt do the MMA match.
      Dont know if its solved between them.

  3. splooge
    June 16, 2013 at 6:14 am #

    this really sad. not even in his prime and hes faltering…really has to get his shit together
    we loved him for his skills and bad boy attitude

  4. Rach
    September 12, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

    No one can argue Badr s skills. However,in his fight against that megit Samedov it looked clearly he was in it only for the money. Badr was sloppy, bad cardio and was brawling like someone who never fought before. I hate to say that as Moroccan, but that’s the truth, Badr should retire he has no passion for the sport anymore.

  5. atef
    February 11, 2014 at 8:53 am #

    for me the golden boy is stil golden and iam sure he gonna a camback very strong because he got a very special heart ,I can say lion heart and badr he gonna a finish his carrer as a lion ,he gonna a be out from the sport from the big door ,is just question of time and we will se the diamond boy , I trust him

  6. February 26, 2014 at 8:27 pm #

    I’m really impressed with your writing skills as well
    as with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it
    yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see
    a nice blog like this one today.

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    […] I’ve mentioned earlier today when posted about Buakaw’s fight on Monday is also from FSA and contains several aspects and outlines about Badr’s presence and explanations of his […]

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