Interview with Bas Boon from Golden Glory what is really happening with K-1 and new “owner” Mr. Kim from EMCOM.
As far as the future of K-1 (according to Tadashi):
- He brought up Kazuyoshi Ishii saying that in court during his tax evasion scandal, under oath, that he had nothing to do with the fight business any more and now here he is wanting to promote K-1 under a new banner.
- Network TV executives don’t want anything to do with Ishii or Tanigawa.
- “So far, they’re done. They’re broke. Everybody is crazy.”
- “Promotions come and go. Eventually, who’s going to survive? I don’t know. Nobody knows.”
Interview below by Rey Miles from www.fightgame.net
Bas, could you tell us what’s going on with K-1, your investors, Isshi and Emcom etc?
FEG has been playing games for a long time but the fighting scene in Japan is suffering, as you know the NYE show in Japan is their biggest show, but even with Fedor vs Japanese rising star and Olympian Isshi plus Peter Aerts and Le Banner, they did not get a TV deal with TBS.
The industry is suffering from all the scandals and it will only get worse. A few years ago I gave a few VIP tickets to a couple important people to join a K-1 event. They wanted to buy the struggling K-1 company, but FEG was too far in debt and many shady people were involved.
Those investors spent a lot of money in due diligence but they decided not to buy K-1 because of FEG.
Mr. Kim from Emcom came to Holland several months ago with Mr. Tanigaw and visited Simon and some other fighters, lots of promises were made and everybody was going to get half of their money and had to reduce their fighting fee so Mr. Kim from Emcom guaranteed everything would be paid. To Note: (“The best quote of the interview fightopinion/gendai magazine was when Eddie asked Tadashi about who exactly UFC paid to buy the PRIDE assets. (Sakakibara? The dreaded Mr. I aka Ishizaka aka Kim Dok-Soo?) The Yakuza behind Pride was a person named Ishizaka a Korean his sir name Kim.”)
Kim now controls K-1 and the future looks dismal. He hasn’t paid up all the outstanding money and doesn’t look like he has enough money to kick of K1 again. It also doesn’t look like he has a real business plan or idea of how to run the business. Also see in the linked article ‘Alarm bells & panic meters are active for UFC Japan 2012’ Interesting read.
So what happened to Mr. Kim?
I went to Japan with one of the investors to meet Mr. Kim from Emcom, we had a long meeting and a second meeting took place two days later. We decided on a partnership and shook hands on the deal. Things were looking good.
Japan Times: Can the fightbiz really sever yakuza ties?
Mr. Kim then visited another partner of ours in Asia to get to know more about our plans, we explained what we wanted to do, which fighters, tournaments, partners, etc…
Unfortunately after the last meeting with Mr. Kim he was nowhere to be found when the contract with us should have be signed, he simply did not answer any more phone calls or emails and it was like he had vanished. We tried to negotiate with Isshi and Barbizon but there were various issues. Finally right before Christmas we were ready to do the deal, Barbizon informed us that they would be closed and we would continue on January 5th.
We waited till January 5th to learn then that this Kim guy walked into the Barbizon office and made an exclusive non refundable payment for an exclusive negation period on December 29th. This was crazy as Barbizon told us to wait till January 5th, it was clear from me then they never wanted to make a deal. Even crazier was when Mr. Isshi and others told us that Mr Kim could not make his second payment and that the exclusive negotiation period would be over. When this happened we approached them again with the whole outstanding amount to all parties ready to be paid within days, then guess what… to our surprise they gave Kim the person who pays in instalments and who makes promoters and fighters false promises another week extension. Which clearly did not make any sense, we were ready to buy on the same terms but not in install payments but all at once and still they chose Kim, Kim still did not pay the whole amount, rumores: it is goinging to take one year to complete all payments?
For sure the Japanese were all together ( Tanigawa) and made a better equity deal with Kim ( interview Gendai magazine Fika joint venture mr. Isshi 40%), the only response through all these meetings came when we brought out the news that our investor paid the outstanding amount to the fighters and would support the Glory World Series Moscow Show. Mr. isshi told us it was bad to sign and pay the fighters. Which obviously means its good to do that. He said it was not good to support the Moscow show, because it was not K1. He clearly did not want to look bad as having others repay and satisfy his owed debt. I still think Mr Isshi wanted to work with our group, but at the end it became clear Barbizon choose for Mr. Kim/Tanigawa.
Its true that this Mr Kim guy from Emcom started threatening one of your investors?
Yes, the story gets even more crazy when one of the investors meets Kim again after it was clear he screwed us and bought the K-1, the investor asked him why he shook hands with us and that we told him all our plans and that we were not amused and would inform all our associates to not work with him as this was not the way you should do business. I guess the real face of Mr. Kim came out as the president of the public company Emcom started threatening the investor and was screaming I will have you vanished, you vanish, and that was the end of that meeting.
The result is now that we ( golden glory) demand all outstanding payments from FEG and if this is not done in a few days we will file for their bankruptcy.
The fighters and others involved should understand that these people do not care anything about them or a healthy working relationship of 18 years or frankly anything but themselves for that matter. While fighters and trainers were not paid these people were flying with private planes to exotic islands and trying to delay my investors from doing a proper deal. Trying to entice fighters to leave Golden Glory and Simon Rutz and blame it all on everyone but themselves.
You’re saying they did not pay the fighters on purpose?
I am saying yes they did not do so, purposely. They deliberately delayed everything and also almost begged us to sue them. They knew we did not have the money (you must pay a large percentage of the claim to the court plus lawyers fee and all that to sue a company which has no assets) and that it would take a long time. In the Japanese culture going bankrupt is a huge disgrace and it can take a long time.
People should realize that Pride lost the Fuji TV deal when Gendai Magazine (weekly magazine in Japan) started publishing details on the court case (Nikkan Sports newspaper as well) I had (and won) with Miro Mijatovic against Kawamata Bombaye in 2003 and they also did not pay the fighters and left. As we won the case all the juicy details with Yakuza and threats came to service which cost Pride their Tv deal with Fuji.
Now, history repeats itself, you have the president of Emcom who needs a new vehicle for his public company and purchases K-1, however this president of Emcom makes screaming threats, the former owner Mr. isshi was convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to prison. The Japanese brought a porn star to the press conference for Mr. Wu in China ( FIKA). Tanigwa is in hiding after he already got beaten up twice and his car and property received damages by angry Japanese lenders who all want their money back. I am sure they will try to throw some mud or accusations towards me and others like Pride attempted (“PRIDE was making $50M USD/year at its peak with Fuji TV. They were drawing 15-to-20M viewers for non-NYE events All it took to destroy PRIDE was a weekly magazine’s negative campaign about who was running the show”) After bankruptcy is filled and the truth comes out we will see how this plays out, it is a very interesting time!
I also offered Simon Rutz’ fighters a settlement and signing fee for our new organization as well as doing so with other fighters. The investors decided to go full force. We are still negotiating with Simon about this, but for now Glory has signed up a huge part of the final 8 K-1 GP fighters as well as a lot of other weight categories most famous fighters. The Moscow show looks great and the start of the tournament will be may 25th in Germany Westfallenhalle for more update go to www.unitedglory.com www.gloryworldseries.com. We feel confident enough to build up the strongest and highest paid professional stand up fight tournaments in the world and do so in record time.
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