Remy BONJASKY flies once more
Fight fans around the world will be thrilled to learn that the iconic Dutch heavyweight Remy Bonjasky has returned from retirement to sign with GLORY, the world’s foremost kickboxing organisation. Bonjasky and GLORY agreed terms recently and have signed a multi-fight deal that will see one of the most exciting fighters in the history of the sport once again thrill a global audience with his unique skills.
“I am really excited about GLORY, really enthusiastic about the people behind it and what they are trying to do for the sport. There are new, fresh minds involved and they are looking to take the sport to a new level, to make it bigger than it already is,” says Bonjasky, three-time winner of the K-1 Grand Prix.
“I achieved great things in K-1 and now I think the new challenge is GLORY, I think they can make the sport bigger than K-1 did.”
In recent years the Flying Gentleman has been retired, partly because of eye surgery he underwent and partly because he was concentrating on his Bonjasky Academy Gym in Almere, near Amsterdam. The transition into coaching looked set to be a permanent one, especially when the decline of K-1 meant that top-level international kickboxing looked to be finished.
But then GLORY emerged as the new premier league of international fighting and that sparked Bonjasky’s interest in entering the ring once again. He noted that numerous elite fighters had already been drawn to the organisation - aforementioned legends like Schilt and Aerts; rising stars like Gokhan Saki and Errol Zimmerman. The challenge attracted him and GLORY are honoured to have him in the ring.
“Its been two and a half years since I had my last fight and my career didn’t end the way I wanted it to. I had some injuries and I made mistakes - three, four times after operations on my eye I returned to training after four weeks or so, instead of three months as doctors advised. And so the injury kept recurring and it affected my ability to fight,” he says.
“Now I have had over two years to recover and the injuries are all healed, everything is perfect. I have the will and desire to fight again and I still have the power, so I want some more fights to show me at my best one again before I retire. I want to finish my career as it should be finished, not stopping as I had to because of injury."
“In my time away from the ring I have opened my own academy and I’ve been training my own fighters, as well as doing a lot of seminars around the world. I’ve also been training myself to become even better than I was. I’ve been keeping busy with my skills and my training so I don’t think it will be a problem, returning to the ring after a long absence.”
GLORY emerged from the chaos that the decline of K-1 caused in international kickboxing. Having secured the services of the best fighters in each key weight class, the organisation made its official debut with the start of its seventy-kilogram tournament in Stockholm, Sweden last month. The event was critically acclaimed both for the quality of its fights and the standard of production; Bonjasky was ringside.
“I was in Stockholm for the debut show last month and I was very impressed. The production was really good, the presentation was a very high standard and I thought the fights were excellent, some very hard fights,” he affirms.
“Semmy Schilt looked very aggressive against Errol Zimmerman and Gokhan Saki had a big knockout against Carter Williams; even the seventy kilogram guys made wars!”
Bonjasky is truly a legend of the sport and the fact that he won the K-1 Grand Prix multiple times places him in the company of all-time greats such as Ernesto Hoost, Peter Aerts and Semmy Schilt. The latter two can, like Bonjasky, be found in the ranks of the GLORY heavyweight division and this raises the possibility of revenge for Remy, because Aerts and Schilt are two of the few fighters to ever best him in the ring. Has he made room in his future plans for rematches such as these?
“Of course there will be room for rematches!” he laughs. “These guys are the best and they have been training very hard, like me, so I am sure there will be rematches between us for GLORY. And with guys like Saki and Zimmerman, its always good to see the new talent rising."
“These guys aren’t my ‘enemies’ as such but I believe in the phrase ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer’ so I watch these guys closely, to see how good they are and how they like to make combinations, because you never know what is around the corner…”