Romanian kickboxing legend Daniel “The Savage Samurai” Ghita is backing Badr Hari to defeat Rico Verhoeven when the two heavyweight rivals meet on 21 December in their long-awaited rematch at GLORY: Collision 2.
In a social media post today, Ghita said he favors Hari to avenge his previous defeat to Verhoeven, won via second-round TKO in 2016 when Hari was unable to continue because of an arm injury.
“I ask the fans and the press to give me the opinion who will win the fight between Badr Hari vs Rico!,” he wrote.
“True kickboxers vote Badr Hari! This is also my vote #badrhari Badr is an explosive fighter, with a lot of technique and experience, fighting without fear. I like the attitude of a true fighter!”
Although Verhoeven is the reigning GLORY Heavyweight Champion, his title is not at stake in the Hari rematch. The fight is scheduled for the championship distance of five rounds. Like others, Ghita questioned why the fight is a five-rounder when no title is on the line.
“Why five rounds, if not for the belt? If it’s not a belt, three rounds, not five rounds. Can anyone explain to me?,” he wrote.
The 38-year-old Ghita is familiar with both fighters. He fought alongside Hari in the K-1 organization a decade ago, although the two fighters never faced one another. He was outpointed by Verhoeven twice in GLORY, with the GLORY Heavyweight Title at stake in their second encounter.
The former It’s Showtime Heavyweight Champion resumed his career last October after a four-year hiatus. Fighting for the Colosseum Tournament promotion, Ghita scored first-round knockouts of fellow veterans Dzevad “BH Machine” Poturak and Petr Vondracek.
He said he’s received many offers to fight, but declined because he wants to be compensated equally.
“No matter how many bids I get, I have refused many if not paid equally with the Dutch, German, Belgian, etc. opponents. It is about demeanor and principle!,” he said.
“I was the only Romanian who had a 70% win rate through TKO. Do you know why? Because if I came to the decision of the referees I was disadvantaged, just because I am Romanian! We need money to live, not to become slaves to money.”
The 2009 K-1 Tokyo tournament winner also gave his thoughts on the current state of the GLORY Heavyweight division.
“No offense, but top heavy, Glory: Rico, Badr Hari, Jamal, the rest is filling!”
(Translated from Romanian)