The IKF Responds To The Past Article by Russ Shawney and Eric Haycraft of the Kickboxing Ring Reports
Web Site News Article That Bashes the IKF, Don Wilson and Full Contact Style Fighting on the recent (May 14th) PPV Event.

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with dust, sweat and blood... At the best he knows the triumph of high achievement, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

OK, Yes, we DID take this issue OFF the Opinions Page some time back. However, since Paul Hennessy (Right) WAKO PRO rep in England) thought it would be "GOOD READING" in the magazine he writes for, "Fighters Incorporating Kickboxing News", June 1999, we were asked to respond to the issues of the article again. As MANY of you e-mailed us to say, we too we feel the article was written in poor taste towards Full Contact Rules Fighting, The Fighters on the event in question and the IKF directly.

The main issue here?
Why this event Russ or Eric? (KRR-Kickboxing Ring Report)
Why Full Contact Rules?
Why the IKF?
Other promoters and organizations such as the ISKA have been making the errors you speak of in your commentary about this event for years, yet, WHERE is the Bashing of their events? We TRULY believe now that there was CLEARLY more behind this article than a neutral writers opinion of the event and when you finish reading it, we believe you will feel the same. Over 1,500 readers that e-mailed us can't be wrong. You decide for yourself and when your done reading it, put it away somewhere so that next year at this time you can pull it out and see how this particular article was a MAJOR Motivating Factor behind some of the BIGGEST and BEST Advancements in Kickboxing EVER! Because of KRR's article, we decided to focus on these advancements in IKF Kickboxing NOW, rather than wait for the year 2000 as planned.

So in all,
Thank you Russ for the press and the challenge to BETTER The Sport.
However, as we will prove to you and everyone...
"Full Contact Rules Kickboxing" is NOT DEAD Either.
Under the IKF Banner, It will THRIVE with the rest!


Please find various quotes from Mr. Shawney and Mr. Haycraft's article within ours below.

By Steve Fossum, IKF President

There's an old saying that says,

"If your going to point a finger, point it at EVERYONE who's guilty!"

This response is to let you know that the IKF takes FULL RESPONSIBILITY for any negative press ANYONE wants to throw it's way about this event or ANY IKF event. Now DON'T misunderstand us here. Were NOT saying that EVERYTHING done on this event was perfect. We're just saying,

"If we did something wrong, we won't hide behind our letters. We'll take the heat and hope to IMPROVE from it."

I can also say we apologize if there were people who didn't like some of the bouts on this event. However, has ANYONE EVER promoted ANY Fight card, Boxing or Kickboxing where EVERYONE liked EVERY FIGHT? Of course NOT! Don't be Ridiculous. So obviously, some people were not going to like some of the bouts and everyone is entitled to their opinions. I do know that there were a lot of people, 4-1 on our tally that DID like the ENTIRE event and were VERY HAPPY to see a "LIVE" Event that featured nothing but "KICKBOXING" and not kickboxing mixed with of all things…"Board Breaking or Karate Forms…"

Sure, we as a sanctioning body could have said no to the promoters when they asked us to sanction and "HELP THEM OUT" when this all came to the table back in the late spring of 1998, but we didn't. As most of us in the kickboxing world know, promoters have their own ideas of WHO they want to promote for their TITLE BOUTS on their shows. Sure, we have the final say, but usually promoters come to us, as the sanctioning body with the promotional idea. "RARELY" does ANY sanctioning body in Boxing or Kickboxing call up a promoter and "TELL" them WHO they should promote. Remember... The Promoter is the one paying for the promotion expenses and they should be able to have SOME say as to WHAT fighters they wish to promote. As a sanctioning body, it is our duty to request various individuals who are worthy for the title shot, no matter how big the title. Like in the past, we didn't force this on the promoters on this event when they came to us with an idea that looked reasonable on paper. Don't forget that the titles between Wilson and Kimber as well as Labree and Rosier were BOTH VACANT titles that NO OTHER Fighters or promoters have shown interest in fighting for since the IKF was formed back in 1992.

In regards to Mike Labree and Kevin Rosier

Nothing against either Labree or Rosier - they are not the problem.
Both of these guys have a truckload of heart.
They were promised money to show up and to fight.
They did both. But this should not have been for a world title.
In all fairness, neither Labree nor Rosier were world class fighters in their prime, let alone ten years past their prime. KRR

Oh, so tell me, WHY have they BOTH won World Titles in several OTHER organizations? Again, If Your going to Point a finger... A lot of people have actually wanted to see these two get together for some time now. Sure, maybe it's an old desire, but the promoters WANTED us to match them a SUPER HEAVYWEIGHT Full Contact Rules Fight. Hey, we're sorry they didn't have flashy high kicks and spins or a slim waistline but think about it Russ, "NEITHER DID GEORGE FOREMAN" who you choose to compare fighters to in your article. What saved George is that he does BOXING and doesn't need to kick AT ALL. But regardless of such a comparison, it was a fact that we received the most fan mail (If you want to call it that) in support of their fight and in fact, we already have promoters wanting to book the rematch with them. Since BOTH Rosier and Labree are ranked respectfully in the IKF, the ISKA, WKA & KICK we saw NO PROBLEM with this match. Are they world class fighters? Could we have booked "OTHER" fighters? Maybe. But we didn't. Alexio turned down the offer of 6 digits to fight on the event and several other Super Heavyweights we offered the title shot to were either too busy or wanted 6 figures. Now... Russ, if you or ANYONE wants to promote an event and pay these "OTHER" potential "FULL CONTACT RULES" Champions over $100,000 each than GREAT! Lets DO IT! But as we all know, you don't promote, and neither do a lot of people reading your articles, which means, "Unless your willing to DO SOMETHING about it, What meaning does it have?"

Well, once again, lets look at the top organizations other than the IKF. Or should we say, the "OTHER" recognized organizations. The ISKA has Labree ranked number 5 in their Heavyweight Division. Rosier ranked 12th in their Super Heavyweight Division. Now as we all know, ISKA mixes all their rule style fighters together. As if the sport wasn't confusing enough. That's like mixing Baseball, Hockey and Basketball into "1" rankings. come on.... "MOVE ON...IMPROVE!!! But anyway, such as it is, if you notice in those rankings, both Labree and Rosier are the "FIRST" Full Contact Rules fighters that are listed behind a group of leg kick fighters. So technically, according to ISKA, both Labree and Rosier are ranked number "1" in their Full Contact Rules Divisions. Funny isn't it...Ya, we know...But it even gets better...

Labree currently held and still holds a world title in KICK and is ranked number 8 in the WKA. Rosier had held one in the past with the WKA and defended it MANY Times, only to have it stripped because he wouldn't promote his own events and pay the WKA their sanctioning fees. That's funny, he NEVER lost the title yet for some reason, Rosier isn't even in the WKA rankings now. Hmmmm... Gee, no politics here. Again... Funny isn't it...Ya, we know...But it even gets better...

The ISKA has Rosier ranked ahead of Achille Roger of France. What's odd about that you ask? Well, the ISKA co-sanctioned a World Title Fight with Roger and Dennis Alexio with us in Sacramento CA USA last year, and didn't balk at that match up at all. Anyone want to explain that? Yet the KRR wrote it up as a great fight. It only went 4 rounds...Funny isn't it...Ya, we know...But it even gets better...

The ISKA has Rosier ranked in front of Duke Roufus who is ranked 13th. Are you saying Duke Roufus is NOT a World Championship fighter? Or are the rankings in the ISKA just Fixed… or Wrong… or?? Hmmmm. Maybe the ISKA is just playing politics here and ranking Roufus low since he's a big IKF supporter and holds an IKF world title.

In regards to us thinking it wasn't a worthy title bout? Well, in this case for the SAME reasons as ANY other event, the ONLY time we step in is when the match up is so bad that we feel one or both of the fighters are not at all worthy of fighting for the title. And as we have shown everyone here, both Rosier and Labree had "CURRENT" World Rankings to support their title opportunities.

Lets move on to what KRR feels was the most questioned World Title bout, the Don Wilson vs Dick Kimber bout. AGAIN, Keep in mind, as "ALL" Promoters know, that the promoters for the MASS DESTRUCTION event wanted to focus on promoting these 2 fighters the most. WHY? Well, they were "SOLD" to "BELIEVE" by Dick Kimber, that Don Wilson and himself were the main names to promote in kickboxing and that he, Dick Kimber was one of the greatest Cruiserweight in the World and had 3 World titles to prove it. Something else to interest you all in as well is that Kimber and and the original event organizer, Rick Brodier were good friends when all this started. Together, Brodier, Dick Kimber, Kimber's brother Tommy Kimber (Who also fought for a World Title on the event against Curtis Bush...GREAT FIGHT by the way) formed the idea of what they would call "THE GREATEST KICKBOXING EVENT EVER!" However, none of them had any money to invest. From this idea and need of money, Kimber found Scott Hadded & Phil Malanson. From there, Brodier helped them form the Promotional Corporation known as Revolution Productions and the $600,000 plus that went into the event came from Malanson & Hadded, not the others. Keep in mind that both Hadded and Malanson knew NOTHING about promoting a kickboxing event and asked others such as Brodier and Kimber to help. However, NONE involved had ever promoted an event. So it was basically like starting from ground zero and learning a whole new trade with them all. Now that you have some promotional background, lets move on...

Sure, the Roufus vs Longinidis bout would have been a great main event as well, but again, THEY, THE PROMOTERS were focused on Wilson vs Kimber. In regards to Kimber not being credible for a World Title Shot;

"Dick Kimber? What justified his shot?
His record was advertised as 23-2.
Was any due diligence performed and Kimber's actual record and quality of opposition examined?
Before this card was first publicly announced, neither Kimber nor Wilson were anywhere to be found on the IKF ratings.
How then do you explain to a casual fan the credibility of a world title fight between the two?
You can't." KRR

Keep in mind that he is ranked in 3 divisions of the European only Sanction body of WAKO. #8, 9 and 10 depending what rule style you look under. WKA has Kimber ranked #2 in their Super Cruiserweight Division. He's ranked #9 as a Cruiserweight in the ISKA, and the SECOND Full Contact Style Fighter who's name appears in their "MIXED STYLE" rankings. So ISKA must think he's the #2 FCR Cruiserweight. Speaking of ISKA, they had no problem allowing such a title to be sanctioned by them until we decided not to allow a co-sanction due to the way they tried to push themselves into being involved in the event (More on this below). In an organization known as KICK (an organization that use to be pretty well known worldwide but has faded fast the last 10 years) Kimber holds their World title and the World titles of 2 other "Less recognized organizations". So on paper, Kimber to us was clearly an acceptable candidate for such a title shot and is hardly an unknown in the world as your article suggest. If so, we wouldn't see him in ANY organizations rankings.

As we said, "If your going to point a finger...."
For example, lets compare for a moment. On the following night, May 15th in San Jose, CA, USA, ISKA and Scott Coker's West Coast Promotions along with ISKA's IEC company promoted one of their Strikeforce series events with several World Title bouts. Lets look at 1 of them. How about this bout, The ISKA World Super Heavy Championship (Freestyle) Defense of Jean-Claude Leuyer, who we all should know reading this is a legit champion. However, he's defending his title against Andrei Dudko. Just a note here, "WHO is Andrei Dudko? Just thought I'd ask since the ISKA, the sanctioning body who allowed this title bout doesn't even have him in their rankings either… Hmmm… Not to mention, he was no where to be found in ANY ONES RANKINGS. ISKA, WKA, WAKO, KICK..... Who is he? Funnier yet, he seemed almost good enough to beat Leuyer if referee Marcos Rosalas wouldn't have stepped in to save him while Dudko was serving up a pounding on him in the corner. He was rockin Leuyer until Leuyer went to work on his legs with some pounding leg kicks. Makes you wonder the way he wasn't defending Leuyer's leg kicks, if he's EVER done a leg kick fight before. Sure didn't look like it. But here we had a World Title Bout and NO ONE knew one of the fighters in ANY Credible Ranking Organization.

We could pick on the ISKA San Jose event more but heck, why beat a dead horse. The fights for state titles that have 2 fighters from "Different" states, or the duplicated title bouts on the show that others won on the last Strikeforce event. Heck, ISKA doesn't even keep amateur rankings so no sense worrying about those bouts. I think I made my point here about if Dick Kimber is qualified under "World Rankings" to have a title shot. And if not, again I say, if there is a finger to point, point it at EVERYONE RUSS!

You "PRAISED" the Strikeforce event the Monday it after while BASHING our IKF event!
If we would have allowed ISKA to co-sanctioned the Wilson event with us (According to ISKA PRESIDENT Cory Schafer For the small fee of $5,000! How Much????? WOW!, "AND" the video tape rights of the event to SELL to ESPN 2 as "THEIR" event ), would the KRR article still be written? Would the article then include the letters ISKA? It's gotta make you wonder doesn't it! What was the tie here?

I saw Russ BEFORE the Strikeforce event in the hallway and he said that the MASS DESTRUCTION event was great. He even sat at ringside with Referee Dan Stell and told him the SAME THING. So "WHY" the change from "BEFORE" the Strikeforce event to what he felt after? Come on Russ, even if you would have told me that the MASS DESTRUCTION event was TERRIBLE, I would have listened. But you didn't. At least not THEN. WHY? A lot of people have pointed fingers at you since you traded advertising out with the Strikeforce event. KRR had the Strikeforce event, (and still do as of this writing) advertised on their web site as if it were the GREATEST EVENT EVER and in return, the KRR web site address was proudly displayed on the ring canvas for all to see at the Strikeforce event. So again Russ, Eric, "WHY" didn't you include ISKA's event in your article? Or is it obvious?

You spoke in volumes about how bad the Wilson vs Kimber bout was. Now what bothers me is that NO ONE saw a problem with this "BEFORE" the event, but now all of a sudden, we have some viewers who are playing Monday Morning Quarterback…

You went on to accuse us of doing it for the "MONEY"!

"It (IKF) should have told the promoters that it would not lend it's good name to an event that compromises kickboxing's integrity, what little of it seems left.
Taking a stand would have required courage, however.
It would mean lost income, one less event your logo is connected to and one less marketing opportunity." KRR

You know the IKF better than that Russ!
It wasn't about money. Our sanctioning fees "TOTAL" are less than other groups charge for "1" world title and do nothing but offer "LETTERS". In all, we actually lost about $1,500.00 after phone calls, faxes, mailings, title belts and other expenses. It was not a financial profit for us at all.

As EVERYONE knows, A lot of other sanctioning bodies wanted to sanction this event. So much that they tried to push us out with some VERY unethical tactics. ISKA President Cory Schafer (Right) himself went out of his way to try to knock us out of the event until he finally decided to ask us if we would co-sanction. After hearing some of the things he had said and done in relation to trying to get the promoters to throw us off the event in favor of the ISKA we were SHOCKED! So, we did the right ETHICAL thing he and the ISKA DESERVED, as ANYONE would have done. We denied them the co-sanction of the event. But not just for those reasons. From our investigation before making the decision, several of the fighters didn't want him and the ISKA involved at all anyway. ISKA didn't pull away from the event like Cory Schafer is trying to make everyone believe. We told them we didn't want to associate with them. I think the most SHOCKING part though was after we said no. Cory Schafer acted like a little kid who just got his candy stolen from him with his petty actions. We allowed him to sit "AT THE TABLE" as a guest at ringside. What a mistake on our part! One we will NEVER make again. Memories of the Ramona Gatto World title bout where we elected to allow ISKA to appoint all the judges. The end result? Gatto was CLEARLY robbed for financial gain. (See Ramona Gatto article on the Opinions main page) Moving on. At ringside, Schafer went out of his way to try to delay or sabotage the event any way possible. He told the Massachusetts Commission that he was the representing Kickboxing commissioner and that they needed to follow "HIS" guidelines for the event. This coming from someone who hasn't a clue about kickboxing in the first place, and he's been appointed President of a so called World Organization? Anyway, when all was done, Schafer delayed the event considerably and forced us to make changes in the event line-up. We too, like many who e-mailed us, are VERY sorry you couldn't see the Tom Kimber vs Curtis Bush Title bout. Or that you had to wait to see the Paul Biafore vs Bernard Robinson Title bout.

We also find it funny now how Schafer and ISKA claim to everyone that they never wanted a part of it in the first place and they have bad mouthed the event and all the fighters from the moment it was over. What class Mr. Schafer. At least Mr. Sawyer of the ISKA who runs the whole show (ISKA, IEC, SMI) over there has class. Maybe you should learn from him. How did you get your position anyway??? Too bad Cory couldn't admit that he was willing to do ANYTHING, no matter HOW TERRIBLE just to be a part of this event.

When you said (Russ & Eric) that "From top to bottom the card was a shame" I respect that this is YOUR opinion. However again, what bothers me now is that, If it was such a shame, why didn't ANYONE comment on the card weeks even months before the event? We have had the FULL line-up posted for MONTHS yet only AFTER the event, we hear these negatives.

In regards to the IKF sanctioning the Wilson - Kimber bout for a world title, again, keep in mind that EVERY other organization wanted to do the same, which doesn't make it right, but WHY is it WRONG? NO ONE else asked to fight for that title! NO ONE! If they had, we would have looked at their credentials and possibly allowed them a shot. The title was "VACANT" and has been vacant since the IKF was formed back in 1992. So again, as in any event, any bout, there is always someone that will ask, "WHY did he/she get that title shot?" We have always maintained a credible selection process because of potential criticism such as this, and now, that selection process will be even tighter to please the fans who thought our acceptance of the bout was wrong. However, allow that criticism to be spread around to ALL sanctioning organizations if you want to give it justice for the sport. I and the IKF STILL believe that some organizations don't THINK before they give out all their titles. If you feel we are guilty here, we accept it and will improve our selection process for future title bouts. For it is clear to us that the IKF is the ONLY Sanctioning Body that "LISTENS" to the fans, the critics, the fighters, trainers, promoters and officials when asked or told to improve something. This is what has made us the number 1 organization in the world today.

In regards to Don Wilson, complain if you desire and If there is blame to take, we accept it. Funny though "AGAIN" how no one had a problem with this match BEFORE it happened. We ALWAYS welcome constructive thoughts and if someone would have brought up such a concern in the beginning, who knows, maybe we would have thought differently. But NO ONE did. You mentioned the idea of a "FIX" between Wilson vs Kimber that was raised months ago.

"The Wilson-Kimber matchup itself raised suspicions of 'fix' when it was first announced several months ago.
The running joke among kickboxing insiders was betting on exactly what round Kimber would "go".
And that was some pretty bad acting in the third round, as Kimber was "knocked out".
Wilson, who's a trained actor did OK, but Kimber would not make the cut at a WWF audition with those moves.
No one was fooled Friday night." KRR

That's funny, No one I know EVER read or heard this ANYWHERE. I believe by your words that your calling the Kimber vs Wilson fight a FIX and that Kimber took a dive. Did Kimber also take a dive when Dennis Alexio stopped him in the second round a couple years back? I saw the same look on Kimbers face then as I did Friday night. I personally have never heard any talk of any fix. To add to what Russ & Eric said, I and many wonder, "If Kimber went down from what he did, HOW has he ever won any fights?" But than again, NONE of us are Kimber, NONE of us took the punches Don gave him so NONE of us really know what was going through his head, do we...But boy, we sure would like to know because if he DID just lay down to collect his purse, I'm sure Wilson would NOT be happy about it either. Don came to fight and WHAT would he have to gain to ask Kimber to take a dive? Nothing. What would Kimber gain? Really nothing, except an easy pay day with no pain. But on National TV? No. Kimber really wanted to beat Wilson and truly thought he could. So WHERE is there justified thought that there was ANY fix, ANY dive? Sorry, but I don't see any.

We also found it odd to later see a written apology by you Russ addressed directly to Don Wilson "ONLY" on your web site. Where was the apology to EVERYONE ELSE you offended? All the other Full Contact Fighters "WORLDWIDE"? Or what about the IKF? Well? Or maybe an article, as you promised about what the other organizations have done over and over in the past! Why just Don Wilson? We know why, but we'll save it for now.

You talked about George Foreman waiting so long for a title shot.

(When George Foreman un-retired from pro boxing after a 10 year absence, how many fights did he have before challenging for a world title?
3? 8? 15?
Try twenty-five fights before he got his shot at Evander Holyfield

True, but what kickboxer has the opportunities to get as many fights as often as Foreman got?
NONE! He was able to fight nearly once a month.
Also, Foreman fought a lot of unknown fighters which of course were tune-up fights.
Last but not least, that's boxing, not kickboxing.

  1. Foreman started his comeback on March 9, 1987 when he Knocked out Steve Zouski in the fourth round. An unranked and unknown fighter.

  2. Fight 2: July 9, 1987 he Knocked out Charles Hostetter in the third round. A then 15-9 Heavyweight from Texas.

  3. Fight 3: September 15, 1987 he Stopped "CRUISERWEIGHT" Bobby Crabtree in the sixth round.
    Bobby Crabtree by the way retired for 4 years after that to come back and go 2-5 with his only wins against Kickboxer Rick Roufus and Lorenzo Boyd(Boyd was a Heavyweight from Oklahoma with a record of 17-34.)

  4. Fight 4: November 21, 1987 he Stopped Tim Anderson in the fourth round, an unranked and unknown fighter.

  5. Fight 5: December 18, 1987 he stopped Rocky Sekorski in the third round, an unranked and unknown fighter.

  6. Fight 6: January 23, 1988 he knocked out Tom Trimm in the first round, an unranked and unknown fighter.

  7. Fight 7: February 5, 1988 he stopped Guido Trane in the fifth round, an unranked and unknown fighter.

  8. Fight 8: March 19, 1988 he stopped Dwight Qawi in the seventh round, an unranked and unknown fighter.

  9. Fight 9: May 21, 1988 he stopped Frank Williams in the third round, an unranked and unknown fighter.

  10. Fight 10: June 26, 1988 he stopped Carlos Hernandez in the fourth round, an unranked and unknown fighter.

  11. Fight 11: August 25, 1988 he stopped Ladislao Mijangos in the second round a 26-18 Heavyweight from Mexico.

  12. Fight 12: September 10, 1988 he knocked out Bobby Hotzenberger in the first round, an unranked and unknown fighter.

  13. Fight 13: October 27, 1988 he stopped Tony Fulilangi in the second round, an unranked and unknown fighter.

  14. Fight 14: December 28, 1988 he stopped David Jaco in the first round, an unranked and unknown fighter.

  15. Fight 15: January 26, 1989 he stopped Mark Young in the seventh round, a 14-31-2 Heavyweight from Charlotte, North Carolina.

  16. Fight 16: February 16, 1989 he stopped Miguel De Almeida in the third round an unranked and unknown fighter.

  17. Fight 17: April 30, 1989: Stopped J.B. Williamson in the fifth round, an unranked and unknown fighter.

  18. Fight 18: June 1, 1989 he stopped Bert Cooper in the second round.
    This was his most impressive win as Cooper, a Heavyweight from Sharon Hills, Pennsylvania had a record of 34-18 (29 KOs)
    He was the Former WBF Heavyweight Champion, Former NABF Heavyweight Champion and Former NABF Cruiserweight Champion.

  19. Fight 19: July 20, 1989 he won a 10 round unanimous decision over Everett Martin who went 3-13 after he fought Foreman.

  20. Fight 20: January 15, 1990 he knocked out Gerry Cooney "The Great White Hope..." in the second round.

  21. Fight 21: April 17, 1990 he stopped Mike Jameson in the fourth round, an unranked and unknown fighter.

  22. Fight 22: June 16, 1990 he knocked out Adilson Rodrigues in the third round.
    An impressive win for Foreman, Rodrigues 67-5, from Brazil, later became the WBF Heavyweight Champion.

  23. Fight 23: July 31, 1990 he knocked out Ken Lakusta in the third round, an unranked and unknown fighter with a major losing record.

  24. Fight 24: September 25, 1990 he knocked out Terry Anderson in the first round, a 20-9 heavyweight from Florida.

  25. Fight 25: April 19, 1991 he finally lost in a 12 round unanimous decision to Evander Holyfield.

Since then, Foreman has went 7-2 with 5 of the wins by a decision. Sure it would have been nice to see Don Wilson fight "25" times before a title shot but WHY? You can look in many rankings and see fighters with less than 25 fights holding World titles today in both kickboxing and boxing. If those putting the fight together feel the fighter worthy of the opportunity, why not offer it? The real test comes now though... When will Don Wilson defend the title? And if he refuses to, what choice will we have at that point? More decisions to make. Chances are that he will NOT be paid the $150,000 he was paid by the promoters to win it. In fact, a legitimate title defense offer would be between $10,000 and $20,000 right? What about other champions such as Alexio and Rick Roufus? What should their defense purse be? Remember, this isn't Boxing. Kickboxing does not have the purses boxing does. The highest paying promoter out there in Ishi with K-1. But ask yourself, "WHAT fighters and Rule Divisions will K-1 support?" "1" Weight division and "1" rule style. So WHERE does that leave the Other Fighters? Nowhere! Sure, Thailand was famous for the Muay Thai style and Europe has done them for some time now but lets face the facts, K-1 made leg kicks famous! What if Ishi wanted to promote Full Contact? Do you really think Full Contact Champions like Rick Roufus would have decided to switch to leg kicks? Would we be having a different argument here? Russ, Eric, you say Leg Kicks are the most Popular Style Worldwide. However I strongly disagree from what I have seen and disagree even more here in the USA. We are filled with talent in the Full Contact Style here in North America and a lot of great leg kickers as well. But NOT a lot of Great Muay Thai Fighters. In fact, it's clear that the style or sport is different from country to country. Sure soccer is bigger now in America than in the past, but as big as in Europe? What about Crickett? Big in Europe, on the TV EVERYDAY, but where is it here in the USA? Baseball? Football? All different from country to country. But still, if you pay Don Wilson now $20,000 to defend the title, what would you pay his opponent? For example, someone such as Current IKF World Muay Thai Cruiserweight Champion Chris Wright of England who will fight "ANY" Cruiserweight in ANY RULE DIVISION, who has already asked for a legit challenge to Wilson. (Wilson in currently out of the country shooting another movie, but the offer will be made to him) What should Wright be paid if Wilson deserves 5 digits? $50,000? $70,000? What if Wilsons demands 6 digits, again, what would Wright be worth? Makes sense doesn't it? We'll just have to wait and see what happens won't we. Wilson will have 2 choices to do the right thing. Simply retire the title since no promoter will be able to pay him what he wants to step back into the ring and defend the title or simply accept a credible challenge and a much lesser payday of say $10,000. If he wins, no one will question his skills. If he loses, well...lets move on...

You mentioned that the Roufus vs Longinidis fight was the ONLY fight with head kicks.

"Is it any coincidence that the most spectacular and powerful kick was a high kick landed in the evening's only low kick bout?
No, Rick Roufus' textbook roundhouse that caught Longinidis was no coincidence.
More low kick bouts end in high kick knockouts than do full contact bouts." KRR

I STRONGLY Disagree! I have seen JUST AS MANY "BAD" low kick fights as Full Contact Rules bouts. In addition, there are JUST AS MANY "GREAT" Full Contact Rules bouts as leg kick bouts! Stop "COMPARING" the types of fighting! It's like comparing Boxing to Kickboxing, Baseball to Football. They "ARE" very different styles!!! But saying "The most spectacular and powerful kick was a high kick landed in the evening's only low kick bout" That's funny because I remember seeing "A LOT" of spectacular head kicks in the Robinson - Biafore bout, the last bout of the night. That was a GREAT fight and it was Full Contact above the waist rules. Too bad the Tom Kimber - Curtis Bush bout wasn't shown to those of you watching it on TV. It too had "A LOT" of great head kicks. HOWEVER... The Full Contact Rules fighters taking those head kicks didn't get knocked down like Longinidis. So what....? You want to say that FCR fighters can TAKE a better head kick? That too would be a STUPID argument! But so is saying that "Low Kick Bouts have MORE Head Kicks and MORE Head kick KO's!" On the "MAJORITY" THEY DON'T! But Russ, Eric, you weren't there to witness it in person, to see AT RINGSIDE all the bouts. I sure wished you were. You missed a GREAT NIGHT! We were there, and the Mass Destruction event was FAR MORE Impressive than the Strikeforce event the next night. Not the fighters, but from a fans point of view, the 20 minute delays between bouts was a joke!

In closing Russ & Eric, as you know, I would be the first to agree that there are way too many champions. Way too many organizations. However, we seem to disagree, with all do respect, about the style of Full Contact. As the IKF has grown around the globe, we see just as many full contact rules bouts as leg kicks and Muay Thai rules bouts. It just depends what fight your watching. In regards to WHAT STYLE is the most exciting, well, there should be no answer here because the fact is, the Individual FIGHTERS make the fight exciting. NOT the rule style. I have seen some VERY BORING fights in ALL the rule divisions, as well as GREAT fights in ALL the rule divisions. I do respect your thoughts Russ as much as anyone. I just wished if ANYONE had a problem with these bouts before, they would have come to us and said something. However, it seems like the same old story here… Let someone else jump in the water first. If the temperature is right, just say you were already coming in. And if the temperature is not right, well, it's easy to call the jumper the fool. But than again, as long as you've known me Russ, you know I'm willing to take chances if it can better our sport. So far we here at the IKF have had some great success. You say that we have just did what every other PPV show has done. Well, I truly believe we did something NO OTHER PPV event has done in terms of quality fights. I and a lot of people are proud of it for our "First" PPV show. I know for a FACT that others cannot say the same. I remember their first shows very clearly. We truly tried to step out of the old trail here that others have been taking all along.

I guess we can take whatever heat comes our way here if anyone wants to give it. I do know that we were truly in the arena here. I guess this can be looked at like Theodore Roosevelt once said;

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with dust, sweat and blood... At the best he knows the triumph of high achievement, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

And in following that line, the reason why the IKF is where it is today is because we are not afraid to take chances. We will continue to do so and fail or succeed, we will make this sport bigger than it is with our hard work! Maybe because we have noticed that with all the TV use and the years of experience all the other organizations have on us, WHY then has the IKF past them all up so easily?

Answer: Excellent Customer Service and Dedication to the Support of EVERYONE in the Sport From Fans to fighters!

There is still prestige in holding an IKF title, even though others would like everyone to believe differently. The IKF is the only TRUE WORLDWIDE organization today. It has been created by fighters and for the fighters. By the fans and for the fans. We have listened to what the sport and it's participants want and we've been giving it to them. Little by little we break through the walls that are holding our sport back. Every once in awhile, we meet up with what has happened here, a test of our strength to see how we react. I don't think another organization would take the time to respond to such an article. The past has proved that. But we feel it is our duty to answer to our critics, for they too are the strength of the sport. Our worst critic can also be our greatest asset, which has proven true throughout the growth of the IKF. Through the years, we have always followed this rule with the IKF

"Do not follow where the path may lead.. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail…"

And we've been making some pretty good trails in this sport.

So now… Lets move on and Really Have some Fun! Let the Kickin Begin!

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