Badr Hari is a Moroccan-Dutch super heavyweight kickboxer from Amsterdam, fighting out of Mike’s Gym in Oostzaan. He is a former K-1 Heavyweight champion, It’s Showtime Heavyweight world champion and K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 and 2009 finalist.
Born8 December 1984
Badr Hari began practicing kickboxing at the age of seven, under the guidance of former World Champion Mousid Akamrane. As a teenager he trained at the Sitan Gym of Mohammed Aït Hassou. When the Sitan Gym moved to Rotterdam, he joined the famous Chakuriki Gym ran by Thom Harinck. Hari was fighting under the Dutch flag until a loss against Stefan Leko in 2005. It was the first time his parents attended one of his fights so he asked to address the Dutch audience. Hari couldn’t be understood as the audience proceeded to boo him, after which Hari was quoted saying « I thought to myself, I have never witnessed such ungratefulness ». From then on Hari has represented Morocco and stopped working with Thom Harinck. Mike Passenier became his new coach.
Today he is a huge natural heavyweight but at the age of seven Badr was only a small boy. His father sent him to the kickboxing gym to learn how to defend himself from bullies in the neighborhood. People quickly realized he was a natural talent and from the age of 11 he was fighting regularly as a junior. In his teenage years he worked with the legendary trainer Thom Harinck at Chakuriki Gym and it was at this time he started to become well-known on the Amsterdam scene.
At the age of 18 he had 50 amateur fights on his record and was ready to fight at a professional level. A year later he was fighting in front of an audience of thousands at the Amsterdam Arena, the biggest soccer stadium in the Netherlands. His opponent was Alexey Ignashov, at that time probably the best heavyweight in the world. Badr took the fight on short notice and lost, but won respect from the crowd and from Ignashov for his display of heart.
In January 2005, Hari left the Chakuriki Gym and joined Simon Rutz’s It’s Showtime team. After a few months’ training at the he returned to Harinck’s, but left again a couple of weeks later. Since then he has been coached by Mike Passenier, who has also trained Joerie Mes, Bjorn Bregy and Melvin Manhoef.
Road to K-1
Hari’s road to fame began with a pair of matches against Stefan Leko in 2005. The first took place at a It’s Showtime 2005 event in June 2005. Hari had started trash talk between him and his opponent before the fight but Hari’s unusually long ring entrance ended up being longer than the fight itself, where Hari was knocked out by Leko’s trademark spinning back kick.
Hari got his opportunity for revenge in November 2005 when he entered the K-1 World Grand Prix 2005 tournament as a reserve fighter against Leko, making his K-1 World GPdebut at the age of 20. Hari knocked out Leko by a spinning back high kick to the jaw at 1:30 in the second round. After the bad blood between both fighters, Hari helped his opponent up and escorted the dazed German to the corner.
K-1 New Zealand 2006
In 2006 Badr Hari was scheduled to participate in the K-1 World Grand Prix 2006 in Amsterdam on 13 May 2006, but fought in the K-1 World Grand Prix 2006 in Auckland, in New Zealand, instead as a last minute replacement. His opponent in the first round was Australian Peter « The Chief » Graham. Hari once again showed his bad boy reputation by abusing Graham and starting a street fight at the press conference. In the actual fight Hari was knocked out by Graham’s trademark « Rolling Thunder ». The heel hit Hari hard on the head and knocked him out cold. Graham’s kick broke Hari’s jaw in multiple places and sidelined Hari for several months.
Return to K-1
Hari returned to the ring at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2006 Final Elimination in Osaka, Japan against Ruslan Karaev. Karaev hurt Badr with a straight right that left Hari slouching over in the corner, then Karaev delivered a kick to Hari’s face: Hari was counted out by the referee but immediately he and his corner protested, claiming the kick was a foul. When the referee did not respond, Hari and his corner men caused a commotion and refused to leave the ring until they were escorted out by K-1 officials. Hari left in anger and trashed his changing room. Six months later, Hari would get a rematch.
Despite being knocked out, Hari was once again picked as a reserve fighter in the K-1 Grand Prix 2006 Finals against Paul Slowinski. He won the fight by unanimous decision.Hari then fought the Danish Nicholas Pettas at the K-1 Premium 2006 Dynamite!! event and broke Pettas’s left shoulder in the second round with a right high kick.
Hari got his revenge against Karaev at the K-1 World GP 2007 in Yokohama. Karaev and Hari’s matchup was one of two bouts to qualify for the first K-1 heavyweight title match, scheduled on 28 April 2007 in Hawaii. Hari was knocked down in the second round and was just able to make it back to his feet when Karaev intended to finish the fight with a swinging punch which Hari ducked, and landed a right cross to score a KO.
K-1 Heavyweight champion
On 28 April, at K-1 World GP 2007 in Hawaii, Badr Hari and Yusuke Fujimoto fought for the newly introduced Heavyweight belt. Hari won the fight in 56 seconds with a kick to the chin. With the knockout Hari became the first ever K-1 Heavyweight champion.
Hari got his chance for revenge against Peter Graham, whose turning kick had broken his jaw in 2006, in Hong Kong at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2007 in Hong Kong. He dropped Graham with a body punch and won by unanimous decision. After the bout, Hari and Graham seemed to bury the hatchet, hugging each other, although the two started taunting each other again at the post-fight press conference.
In September 2007 at the K-1 World GP 2007 Final Elimination, Badr Hari beat the K-1 World GP 2007 in Las Vegas tournament champion, Doug Viney, by a second-round KO and qualified for his first K-1 World GP Final, held on 8 December in Yokohama, Japan. His winning streak came to an end with a decision loss to Remy Bonjasky, in the quarter finals.
K-1 World GP 2008
All of Hari’s wins in 2008 were by knockouts, by beating Ray Sefo in Yokohama, Glaube Feitosa (whom he defended his heavyweight title) in Fukuoka and Domagoj Ostojic in Hawaii. On his next fight in Seoul he qualified for the K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 Final by TKO win over the Korean Hong Man Choi.
Hari facing Remy Bonjasky in the K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 Final
In the quarterfinals on 6 December, Hari defeated three time K-1 World champion Peter Aerts by TKO in the second round. In the semi final he knocked out Errol Zimmerman and advanced to his first K-1 Final against Remy Bonjasky. After suffering a knockdown in the first, Hari was disqualified in the second round for unsportsmanlike conduct by having stomped and punched an already downed Bonjasky. First the referee Nobuaki Kakuda issued a yellow card and one point deduction. Meanwhile, Hari proceeded to Bonjasky’s corner shouting, and quareled with his opponent’s trainer Ivan Hippolyte who then also approached Hari aggressively, but the officials prevented any further physical contact between them. After the five-minute recovery time elapsed, the doctor reported Bonjasky was seeing double and could not continue. Hari was issued a red card and Bonjasky was declared the K-1 World GP 2008 champion.
In later interviews Hari claimed Bonjasky was acting, and that « Remy’s corner was screaming at him to stay down ». At a press conference before the K-1 World Grand Prix 2009 in Yokohama, where Alistair Overeem attended along with Bonjasky, Overeem handed Bonjasky a statue which looked exactly like the statue of Oscar, implying Bonjasky was acting.
Although numerous Japanese media sources assumed that K-1 would suspend Hari indefinitely, he was not suspended, but he received the most severe punishment in the history of K-1. K-1 stripped him of his heavyweight title, his runner-up title in the tournament, his prize money from the tournament and the full amount of his fee for participation in the tournament.
While there were many rumours of his and his opponent’s participation, it was finally announced that Hari would face MMA Heavyweight Alistair Overeem in a K-1 rules match on K-1’s New Year’s Eve extravaganza Dynamite!! 2008. Hari lost the fight by a left hook KO at 2:02 in the first round. After the match, Hari commented that this would be the last time he would participate in the Dynamite!! series, and that he would stick to stand-up fighting so he would never have an MMA rules match with Overeem.
In May 2009 at the It’s Showtime 2009 Amsterdam, Hari fought Semmy Schilt in a bout for the newly introduced It’s Showtime World Heavyweight title. Hari came out very aggressively and knocked Schilt down twice in the first round. The fight was stopped after the second knockdown and Hari took the heavyweight title in 45 seconds. Simon Rutz, the president of It’s Showtime, has referred to this as one of his favorite bouts in the history of It’s Showtime.
In September 2009 at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2009 Final 16, Hari again used his right body shot to score a first-round knockout over Zabit Samedov.
At the selection for the K-1 World Grand Prix 2009 Final Hari chose to fight Ruslan Karaev for the third time. He made quick work of his first 2 opponents in the tournament with first-round knockouts over Ruslan Karaev and Alistair Overeem. Then in the final of the World Grand Prix Hari lost in a rematch against Semmy Schilt by KO after being knocked down 3 times in the first round.
His first fight in 2010 was at the It’s Showtime 2010 Prague in the Czech Republic, where Hari defended his Showtime heavyweight title with a second-round knockout over Mourad Bouzidi. In April Hari defeated Alexey Ignashov in the K-1 World Grand Prix 2010 in Yokohama. The fight went to decision, Hari’s first non-knockout win in 3 years.
It’s Showtime 2010 Amsterdam
Hari’s Showtime title was again on the line against his former Chakuriki fellow Hesdy Gerges in Amsterdam in May. Before the match, he claimed in a press interview that his opponent at the event was originally planned to be Remy Bonjasky but Bonjasky refused to fight Hari, stating Bonjasky was afraid to lose.
The It’s Showtime 2010 Amsterdam event took place at the Amsterdam Arena in May 2010. Hari dominated most of the first round, hitting Gerges many times and having him on the ropes. Hesdy surprised everyone on the night for taking the punishment. In the second round, Hari knocked down Gerges, and when Gerges was standing up, Badr Hari kicked him in the face. Badr was again disqualified and did not speak in the ring after Gerges was announced the winner. Instead, training partner Melvin Manhoef apologized to the fans on Badr’s behalf but was booed by the crowd. Gerges became the new « Its Showtime » Heavyweight champion.
After the Gerges fight, Hari took a year off from kickboxing. He stated that it was his own choice. He made his return to the ring at It’s Showtime 2011 Lyon against French Kickboxer, Gregory Tony. Rather than using the catwalks for his entrance he decided to walk through the crowd. The fight was actually delayed because of Hari being unable to get to the ring without security keeping the crowd away. What was expected to be a warm up fight for Hari, it turned out to be one-sided as Hari won by TKO in round one with 3 quick knockdowns.
Though the biggest interest was for Badr to rematch Hesdy Gerges for the Showtime heavyweight title it was announced that he would fight Romanian Daniel Ghita in September. Ghita had been ranked as one of the best 5 kickboxers in the world. Ghita had lost a decision against Gerges earlier in the year, but many felt he had been robbed and viewed him as a tough opponent for Hari.
The fight never materialised. Hari stated that he will compete in the 2011 K-1 World Grand Prix in October and December, and then face Gökhan Saki in the Netherlands on 28 January 2012 as his final match. However the K-1 World Grand Prix was cancelled due to financial difficulties.
Hari faced Gökhan Saki at It’s Showtime 2012 in Leeuwarden on 28 January 2012 in a kickboxing match. He defeated Saki by scoring three knockdowns in the first round before the referee stopped the fight, which earned him a TKO victory. He dropped Saki for the first time with a right uppercut. The second knockdown came from a right hook. Finally, he landed a right uppercut which dropped Saki and ended the fight.
In April 2012 new K-1 Global President Mike Kim announced that Hari would make his comeback under the organization’s banner. Hari’s first fight was on 27 May 2012 in Madrid, Spain against Anderson « Braddock » Silva. Hari won the bout via unanimous decision. Badr Hari was scheduled to participate in K-1’s final qualifications in October in Asia and the K-1 World Grand Prix Final in New York in December however he was unable to participate due to uncertainty over his availability following allegations of two separate incidents of serious assault.
Having been released from detention, Hari was given the chance to fight in the K-1 World Grand Prix 2012 Final in Zagreb, Croatia on 15 March 2013 when Ben Edwards withdrew. He rematched Zabit Samedov in the quarter-finals. Hari scored a knockdown early in round one and forced a standing eight count in three, after which he simply jogged away from Samedov for the rest of the fight while the Azerbaijani taunted him. He won by unanimous decision but injured his foot in the bout and was forced to bow out of the tournament.
A third fight with Zabit Samedov took place at the Legend Fighting Show in Moscow, Russia on 25 May 2013. After being dropped late in round one, he was sent to the canvas again with a left hook in the second. Although he seemed lucid, he stayed on his knees and did not beat the count.
Hari had his rubber match with Alexey Ignashov at Legend Fighting Show 2 in Moscow on 9 November 2013, taking a unanimous decision win in a rather lackluster fight.
Hari was expected to fight Ismael Londt at the A1 World Combat Cup in Eindhoven, Netherlands on 17 May 2014 but the match was cancelled when the promoters had issues acquiring a license to promote the event.
Hari won a four-man (Tammam Majzoub was supposed to be in this fight but cancelled due to busy schedule) tournament at GFC Series 1 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on 29 May 2014, having his rubber match with two former foes; he knocked out Stefan Leko in the semi-finals and scored a TKO over Peter Graham in the final. He reportedly earned 1.000.000.000 in prize money for the tournament win.
On 6 July 2014, Hari announced via social media his intention to take an indefinite leave from kickboxing in order to find himself. The following day, however, he denied ever making such a statement and disavowed his « official » Facebook account.
Hari was expected to fight Patrice Quarteron at GFC Series 2 in Dubai, UAE on 16 October 2014. Eventually, he refused the fight, and fought a Lithuanian fighter instead, saying Quarteron did not behave sportingly.
In June 2017 several media have suggested that Hari was expected to fight Rico Verhoeven in the rematch in 2018.
Aside from the sport, he has been arrested multiple times since 2006 on various assault charges.
Hari has been the subject of a number of police investigations for charges of assault and has gained a reputation for violent behavior. A psychologist who spoke to Hari in relation to one of his trials, concluded that his success as an athlete and celebrity status, combined with a lack of personal guidance, has resulted in narcissistic personality traits. About his violent eruptions, Hari has said: « I am able to explode at any moment. […] When my brakes are off, it’s just one big clump of explosion, chaos and noise, and I become blind to it all. […] A storm, a hurricane, a disaster. […] There just is a certain aggression inside of me, of which I don’t know what to do with and neither where it comes from. » At his conviction on 21 February 2014, the district attorney described Hari as an individual who is very short-tempered, indulges in vulgar power display and demonstrates aggressive and intimidating behavior which is characterized by a high « do-you-even-know-who-I-am caliber ».
Late October 2012, an indictment was handed to Hari in his holding cell, which contained nine criminal charges against Hari: eight crimes of violence and one moving violation.The moving violation relates to an incident in March 2010, where a pedestrian sustained injuries. The eight crimes of violence were: attempted manslaughter of Koen Everink (who was later murdered in 2016, however without link to Badr Hari), two assaults in night club Club Air, the assault of the brother of an ex-partner in bar Cooldown, an assault in club Jimmy Woo, an assault of two people including a woman in July 2011, and the assault of a doorman in 2010. An investigation is on going. If convicted he could face up to four years in prison.
- 20 February 2010 Club Blinq. The bouncer of Club Blinq is assaulted by several perpetrators one of which is said to be Hari.
- 6 maart 2010 Albert Cuyp Market. Hari drives his car into the Albert Cuyp Street, which was closed to vehicle traffic, and has an accident with a pedestrian severely injuring her leg.
- 1–29 July 2011 Spuistraat. Hari is accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend Rosa in her apartment in Spuistraat and the destruction of her property.
- 17 July 2011 Club Air. Jeroen van de Berg, the owner of the Club Air and an Italian guest are assaulted. Jeroen suffers serious damage to his teeth due to a kick to the head.
- 2 December 2011 Cooldown Cafe Hari is caught on camera in « The Cooldown Cafe » assaulting Olivier, the stepbrother of his ex-girlfriend.
- 8 July 2012 Sensation White, Dutch millionaire entrepreneur Koen Everink is severely assaulted at a dance event in the Amsterdam Arena. Everink suffered a broken nose and eye socket and a broken ankle, which required several surgical procedures. The public prosecutor stated that numerous witnesses had pointed the finger at Hari.
- On 25 July 2012, Taken Into Custody. Hari turned himself in to the police in Amsterdam. He was taken into custody as a suspect for six cases; later his detainment was prolonged for 90 days.
In July 2012 Hari handed himself into police as he feared « being arrested by a SWAT team ». Having come forth to deny his involvement in an alleged assault on businessman Koen Everink, who claimed Hari was responsible for inflicting his face and leg injuries including a broken ankle, further allegations of assault were made by an Amsterdam nightclub owner. The latter alleged that he had also been attacked by Hari, saying that he ‘suffered a broken jaw and lost teeth after being kicked in the head’ during an altercation at his nightclub and that in light of Everink’s seeking to press charges, he would also seek to press charges.
As is procedure in the Netherlands for crimes that carry a statutory minimum four-year prison sentence or more, Hari was detained in prison whilst awaiting trial. On 9 November 2012 a court in Amsterdam decided to allow Hari to return home until his trial on the condition that he not visit any ‘horeca’ establishments (hotels, restaurants and café establishments), or contact witnesses, with the exception of his girlfriend Estelle Cruijff. The day following his release he was spotted violating this condition by eating out at a deli with his girlfriend Estelle Cruijff. 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.
On 21 January 2013 a court in Amsterdam determined that Hari should again be released from his pre-trial detention, this time with the condition that he could not visit catering establishments between the hours of 8:00 PM and 8:00 AM. By this point the main witnesses in the case had been heard; consequently the court deemed it unnecessary to further detain Hari . Following Hari’s release he resumed training with the intention of returning to the ring. His trial is reportedly set to take place in March 2013, he faces nine charges including aggravated assault and attempted manslaughter.
In 2013, Hari released a hip-hop song with Dutch-Moroccan rapper Appa entitled « Kampioen » (« Champion »).
On 21 February 2014 a court in Amsterdam condemned him to jail for 1½ years.- His legal team filed an immediate appeal, as did the prosecution. However, the High Court in The Hague found him guilty of aggravated assault, noting in particular that each of his assaults was preceded by a relatively mild quarrel and that to his victims his violent behaviour came as a complete surprise, leaving them no chance to defend themselves. He was sentenced to two years in prison, of which ten months suspended. Since he had already spent eight months in pre-arrest, he still had to serve half a year in prison. In addition, he has to pay his victims a fine of €45 000.
Hari is friends with the President of Chechnya (Russia), Ramzan Kadyrov.
Hari was reportedly arrested in Dubai following his tournament win at Global FC 3 on 29 May 2014, and he was detained and questioned by police over an alleged incident from late 2011/early 2012 before being released, according to his lawyer. Hari himself refuted the reports.
- 2014 GFC Fight Series 1 Heavyweight Tournament Champion
- 2009 K-1 World Grand Prix runner up
- 2009–2010 It’s Showtime Heavyweight champion +95 kg (1st title defence)
- 2008 K-1 World Grand Prix runner up
- 2007–2008 K-1 Heavyweight champion −100 kg (1st title defence)
- 2002 WPKL Dutch Muay Thai champion
. Total 120
. Wins 107
. By knockout 92
. Losses 13
. By knockout 9