Champions Win at World Max '05 Open Tournament
TOKYO, May 4, 2005 -- The three K-1 World Max Champions showed why they are what they are, soundly defeating their respective challengers at the K-1 World Max 2005 World Open Tournament today at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo's bayside district of Odaiba.
Bonjasky "99% Sure" he'll Beat Mighty Mo
LAS VEGAS, April 28, 2005 -- In an exclusive interview this afternoon, Remy Bonjasky discussed fighting, training, and his Superfight showdown at the Bellagio Hotel this Saturday against Mighty Mo -- a man many consider America's toughest K-1 fighter. Bonjasky, the Defending K-1 World Grand Prix Champion dapper as always in a smart black and dark brown pinstripe suit, and appeared relaxed and fit.
Are you always this relaxed before a fight?
Yes, I am always relaxed before a fight because it takes more energy to be otherwise! A few hours before the fight, my heart starts beating faster, and I get my energy up.
What is your prediction for your fight with Mighty Mo?
Well, it's difficult to predict. Last time, in Korea [March 19], I predicted it would be a spectacular fight against Ray Mercer, and I would do a lot of jumping and so on. But the fight only lasted 22 seconds [Bonjasky KO'd Mercer]! I don't know how Mighty Mo is going to react to my kicks, or how I will deal with his punches, but I am stepping in like a champion and I want to step out like a champion. I think this is going to be a hard fight because Mo is a strong fighter, he can take a lot, so I think it's going to be a good fight.
What are you going to watch out for with Mo?
Of course his punches. His right -- it looks like a cross but it's a hook, it's very dangerous. Even if I'm trying to kick, I have to watch out for his hands.
As the K-1 Champion, are there areas of your fighting technique that you still want to improve?
I have been working on my punches for a long time now, since several months before last year's Tokyo Dome Final. It's about technique -- not weight training, but how you hit. I have a boxing trainer and he is teaching me new techniques. I don't worry about my kicks, I think they are good enough.
Do you plan to use your fists against Mo on Saturday night?
Yes, but I don't think Mo is going to wait for me to test my hands on his face! It's always difficult to try new things in the ring, so I will try new things, but not in the first round.
Musashi has said that because he went to the Tokyo Dome Final against you the last two years he wants to do well this Saturday night to impress on you that his ability is there.
That's good, to see Musashi working hard to become a better fighter than he already is, because when my opponent improves it keeps me sharp, it makes me go home and work hard to become a better fighter than I am now. Of course I have a lot of people I want to impress as well -- my fans, my friends, the press, even my wife! It is important to me to do my best because people expect something from me as a champion, and they are paying a lot of money to watch me fight. That's what keeps me going.
You have said you like to fight in a 'spectacular' style, what do you mean by that?
Well, some heavyweights just come out and use their fists. But then you have someone like Ray Sefo who likes to drop his guard, and I am also trying to do something extra, something spectacular. You don't see so many people jumping like do in my fights.
What about the future? In soccer there are players who do flipping overhead kicks -- what do you want to try?
(laughs) For my next fight maybe I'll train to do those flipping overhead kicks too!
What other fights are you looking forward to on this Saturday's Bellagio card?
I like to watch Gary Goodridge, because in his fights you know someone is going to be KO'd -- it could be Gary or it could be his opponent, but his fights are always exciting. For technical fights I like to watch Michael McDonald, it's unfortunate he had to withdraw. And of course, I have to keep an eye on Musashi.
There are no knees to the face from the clinch under the rules here in Nevada, how do you feel about that?
I know can't pull the head to the knee, but I can take the knee to the head, so I'm not worried, it doesn't really affect me. But for example in France, there are no knees attacks whatsoever allowed to the head. They asked me to fight in Paris, but it's like asking a boxer to tie his right hand behind his back -- if I am going to step into the ring, I want to know that I can use all my weapons, and my knee is one of my best weapons. So I'm not going to fight in Paris, as much as I'd like to, because I don't want to have excuses afterwards.
How confident are you of a win against Mo on Saturday?
If I didn't think I was going to win I wouldn't come, but you never know what's going to happen in any sport. Mo has also trained hard for this fight, and he thinks he's going to win, and he is confident, and because of his last loss he wants to show everyone that he is strong. I would say I'm 99% sure I'm going to win, but it's that last one percent that counts!
The last time you came to Las Vegas, in August 2003, you won the tournament and then went on to become the World GP Champion four months later. How do you feel being back?
Yes, it could be said that I started on the road to my first championship here at the Bellagio, so I am very happy to be here again! I want very much to show the people here my best.
Remy Bonjasky and Mighty Mo will meet at the Battle at the Bellagio IV on Saturday April 30 at the Bellagio Hotel.