Title Holder Challenges: All IKF champions whether Amateur or Pro are "ONLY" required to defend their title "IF CHALLENGED" by a "TOP IKF RANKED" opponent as agreed to by the IKF first. If the challenger is not in the IKF Rankings, they must first "REGISTER" to be ranked with the IKF BEFORE any request or challenge for title is taken seriously by the IKF Headquarters
In a "PERFECT WORLD", a top ranked fighter would be able to make an official challenge for a title and a neutral promoter would promote and pay both fighters a great purse to fight each other for the title in a neutral town and country on a neutral show. However, Unlike Pro Boxing, there are not a lot of "Neutral" Promoters and not a lot of big TV deals to pay money to make such an opportunity possible. For this reason, many fighters have always been promoted by their own trainers. In addition, many others do not have a trainer that promotes or a regular promoter that promotes them. Currently there are no "Regular TV Shows" for kickboxing and no TV/Cable companies paying out money like they do for Pro Boxing. Without TV, promoters do not have big money sponsorship. Without big money sponsorship, the promotional budget must be watched closely to avoid loses to the promoter who is taking a business risk like any other. It's not uncommon to see a "Televised TV event with less than 500 spectators in the crowd where the fight purses are $25,000 to $50,000 plus. This is because the Promoter usually received his money from the TV/Cable company as well as money from Sponsors who will be shown on TV so the promoter doesn't have to worry about a big draw for income at the gate to cover expenses.
However again, as said, kickboxing does not have this pleasure yet and until we do, the income to cover the expenses of the event must be made by ticket sales as well as sponsorship income. With this in mind, those who do promote are looking to promote a fighter of their own, or in their community that is assured to make a great draw for ticket sales at their event to pay the expenses of promoting the event. It's not greedy, it's just business. The numbers need to work for anyone to invest into anything. So if you are a pro fighter, trainer or manager, when it comes time to "Negotiate" your requested purse, keep in mind one very important thing the promoter who's paying you is thinking. "What will having you on his event do for him?" In other words, if you ask for a purse of say, $5,000.00, the promoter is going to ask him/herself, "Will you bring in "$5,000 in "ADDITIONAL" ticket sales or will you just be another name/fight on the event to the local people in his/her town? Again, "What are YOU worth to the Promoter?" How many people in the town of the promotion know you by NAME? Since kickboxing is not on TV, very few fighters are known "By NAME." Keep in mind the expenses of a promotion many fighters don't know about or often ignore. We will list some with "Example Estimates" of the costs below. The fees obviously range greatly due to location, country, venue size and many other factors. Knowing that some of these can be attained for FREE, we will list the $$ amounts of fees we have seen paid on some events only. These examples include but are certainly not limited to;
And the list goes on and on with many other things and of course, sanctioning fees...With this in mind and now having a little better understanding of how an event promotion works, let us move on...
If you are challenging a Title Holder for his IKF Title, you are known of course as the "Challenger". To get that title shot you desire we don't suggest you to sit around and wait for your phone to ring. We suggest you do as all successful individuals do and "Make It Happen" with the drive of yourself. Seek out who can promote the bout on an event in your town and country. Organize the promoter, venue and pay the Champions required Purse as stated below. It is not the responsibility of the Champion to promote their own title defense. They already have the title, it's yours or anyone else's to come go for. However, if they and their trainer choose to, they may, with the acceptance of an opponent of choosing by the IKF, choose to promote the event themselves. If this is so, keep in mind the "What are you worth" comment above. It may be in your best interest to take a reduced purse just to get the shot at the title in question. Something to think about. If your purse requests is too expensive to pay, the promoter may elect to select another opponent he/she can afford. Remember, they already have the title, so they don't have to pay big dollars to defend it.
Years ago, people would complain that World Champion Dennis Alexio was dodging opponents because he was promoting his own events and bringing in fighters of his choosing, some very credible, some not. However, keep in mind, Alexio's phone was ringing, but the offers for him to fight were more of an insult than legit offers. Instead, he promoted his own events in Hawaii drawing large crowds and taking in around $100,000 an event (before any expenses paid out) This to any businessman is "Excellent Business." He was getting no offers so he "Made it happen" himself. Alexio is a great fighter but more importantly, he was a great businessman with his career. Another Champion that comes to mind with this same idea was Duke Roufus. Roufus promoted his own IKF World Title show as Alexio did and his first defense. Since then, he has his own promoter who promotes him and his fighters.
Other Past or present IKF Pro World Champions that had their trainers or managers promote their own IKF World Title Bouts include Anthony Bartinelli, Vasily Shish, Vladimir Autamonov, Chris Wright, Dmitry Shakuta, Cung Le, Kongnapa, Kurt Podany, Khunpon, Robert Coquete, Garnet John, Songhkla Magesticgym and Ali Hallak. The numbers of Amateur champions using this formula are countless and usually what occurs about 90% of the time. If they want a title, they "Make It Happen!"
Other Past and present IKF World Champions were lucky enough to be asked to fight on a Neutral Promoters event for their IKF World Titles. They include, Enn Fairtex, Holly Ferneley, Danny Steele, Paul Biafore, Matee Jedeepitak, Fernando Calleros, Kongnapa, Dave Marinoble, Matt Skelton, Ramona Gatto, Mike LaBree, Francis Farley, Don Wilson, Juan Torres, Tommy Kimber, Saeksan Saengchan Janjura, and Rick Roufus.
This is why, if a top ranked fighter wants to fight for the title, they are required to accept the bout at an affordable purse to the proposed promoter, or find a way to organize the promotion of the title through their own contacts. Once an official challenge is made (Through the IKF Headquarters ONLY) the IKF will notify the Champion of the offer for challenge (That is being produced by associates of the challenger) and the champion (Of any size Title) has 10 days to either officially accept the bout or vacate their title. Their other option is to host their own IKF World Title Defense against the proposed Challenger themselves at their own expense or by an associate of theirs.
MINIMUM PRO PURSE For IKF WORLD Title "DEFENSE"
By having a minimum cap on all IKF World Title challenges, this prevents a fighter from simply refusing a title defense because he/she is not offered what they "WANT" to be paid. There are some exceptions to this rule (Last 3 fight average as explained) but again, this is so a fighter who holds a title will be required to defend it as well. Final decisions on a Title Defense and purse amount lies with the IKF Headquarters. This is not to say that an IKF Pro World Title holder cannot be paid "MORE" than $2,500.00. This is not true at all. In fact, most IKF Champions "DO" get paid more.
TITLE REMATCHES: No IKF Title holder is required to offer a re-match to a fighter they defeated to win or retain their title until the title holder has fought a minimum of 2 other opponents. And Still, the IKF and the Title Holder will determine if such a re-match is necessary or credible.
TITLE HOLDER, Non Title Bouts: Any IKF Title holder is allowed to fight a non title bout even AFTER becoming a champion. This will assure the title holder to remain active if never challenged.
TITLE BOUT PURSE SETTLEMENTS: The IKF may step in to assist in determining a purse amounts if the challenged fighter and promoter do not come to a mutual agreement.
REASONS FOR A TITLE HOLDER NOT TO FIGHT
FIGHTERS MEDICAL ABSENCE: A title holder is not required to fight if under a medical absence due to an injury. To protect his title, an injured fighter, both pros and amateur, must submit to the IKF a medical report from a licensed physician explaining the injury.
IKF TITLE BELTS - AMATEURS AND PROS
CURRENT EXISTING BELTS: All Champions, when DEFENDING their IKF Title are required to bring their current IKF Title Belt TO THE EVENT and TO THE RING. The Champion must enter the ring with the belt (Either wearing it or being held by them or a trainer/associate) After the entrance into the ring, the belt shall be given to the IKF Event Representative. At the end of the bout, the IKF Event Representative will place the "EXISTING IKF TITLE BELT" around the waist of the Announced Champion. However, All original IKF Title winners keep their own belt forever; it is their award. If the Title is won by the Challenger, see below...
EXCHANGE OF IKF TITLE HOLDERS BELTS: A fighter who loses his title will keep his belt after the event. The belt may be used after the event for pictures with the new champion. The promoter of the event shall purchase a new belt for the new champion to equal the belt of the old champion. However, the new champion must wait for his personal Championship Belt to be received from the IKF. If new belts are needed after the event, the promoter must directly pay the IKF representative for the new belt(s).
RETAINING An IKF TITLE BELT
If the present champion wins the title defense, no new belt will be given. However, in TOURNAMENT competition a new IKF Title Belt is always presented to the IKF Champion.