Badr Hari is one of the biggest icons in the sport of kickboxing, a champion at the elite level. He has one of the highest knockout ratios in the sport and that has made him hugely popular with fight fans worldwide. His training started at the age of seven and he had his first fight when he was just 11 years old. Badr has spent his life in the ring.


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.
Badr’s fame grew after that fight. He went on a seven-fight winning streak against some of the Netherlands top competitors, including Antoni Hardonk, Gokhan Saki, Errol Parris and Aziz Kattou. He then got a second chance to fight in the Amsterdam Arena, taking on Germany’s Stefan “Blitz” Leko in one of the most heated fights in the kickboxing history.


KO ratio


Badr Hari started training at the age of 7 and had his first fight at the age of 11. By the time he was 18 he had more than 50 amateur fights to his name and it was time to turn professional. Immediately it was clear that he was one of the biggest talents ever to come out of Amsterdam and in a short period he took wins over names like Antoni Hardonk, Errol Paris and Gokhan Saki.


K-1 was at the time the world’s biggest kickboxing league. The Japanese organization recognized Badr’s talent and so offered him a contract after the Leko fight. In fact, they were so impressed with the heat and venom of the fight with Leko that they wanted to recreate it in Tokyo for themselves: Badr’s first fight for K-1 was to be an immediate rematch.

It was an inspired move. Badr’s legend began with this fight. The knockout he inflicted on Leko is one of the most incredible finishes in the entire history of the martial arts and made him an instant hit with the Japanese fans. The young Moroccan was immediately nicknamed ’The Golden Boy’ and was on his way to becoming one of the biggest names in kickboxing.
Badr Hari
Big in Japan
Japan had never seen anything like Badr Hari. The Japanese people are very quiet and reserved; the martial artists who fought for K-1 had echoed that when they visited Tokyo. But suddenly the fire of Badr Hari was among them, trashing locker rooms and getting into fights at press conferences, and the nation’s media could not get enough of him.
Wherever he went, cameras followed, and when he fought it seemed like the whole of Japan tuned in to watch because they knew that wherever Badr went, chaos followed. He came to the ring to kill or be killed and with his big finishingg ratio the crowd knew a knockout was never far away.


2005 - 2009
The K-1 period was one of the biggest highlights of Badr’s career. The Japanese promotion staged numerous events in Tokyo and around the world. It was the biggest fight show on earth and one of the most prestigious organizations that a martial artist could be invited to compete in.
In his K-1 years, Badr established himself as a knockout machine. His KO ratio of almost 75% made him one of the most feared fighters on the circuit and that, coupled with his fiery personality, made him hugely popular in Japan and throughout the world.
KO ratio


Badr Hari established himself as the absolute KO machine in kickboxing. With a KO ratio of almost 75% he was one of the most feared fighters in the K-1 circuit. His popularity in Japan was like no other fighter and his fame was known throughout the world.


Towards the end of 2009 it was clear that K-1 was struggling financially, the result of mismanagement by senior executives. The 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix was held in a much smaller venue than usual and Badr was absent from the line-up, which hurt television ratings due to decreased fan interest. The K-1 was over... but looking back Badr had some good moments to look back to as there are some great rivalries out of the K-1.
  • Alistair Overeem
    K-1 realized it needed Badr on its events to attract fan interest. But there was the tricky issue of Badr being subject to disciplinary proceedings due to a controversial incident in a fight with Remy Bonjasky. In the end it was decided that he could escape suspension if he assisted the company by agreeing to a New Year’s Eve 2008 fight against Alistair Overeem.
    Having fought several weeks previously, Badr had some injuries. But he felt Overeem, previously best known as an MMA fighter, would not present him with too many difficulties. And so he accepted the fight and learned one of his hardest lessons: underestimating an opponent is dangerous, and there are no easy fights at this level. Badr was knocked out in one of the biggest upsets in kickboxing history.
    Nearly a year later the two would rematch. This time it was Badr who took the win, having prepared properly for an opponent who had proven himself to be very dangerous. The rematch drew huge attention worldwide.
    Not all rivalries are based on bad blood, the Karaev rivalry is a special one as he fought him three times and each time it was in a different stage in Badr his career. His first fight was early in his K-1 career as he was a youngster having troubles handling his emotions. He was counted out by the referee while Badr was not really out but was protesting that he got kicked while being down. This mistake cost him the fight. The second time would be one of the most epic comebacks in K-1 history and the third time it was Badr just being too much for Karaev. It was clear Badr got his revenge after their first fight but both gentleman still have much respect for each other.
    One of the most controversial moments in kickboxing history was the K-1 final of 2008. Prior to that fight Badr Hari faced the favorite Remy Bonjasky in his first K-1 Grand Prix tournament. It was a very close fight which ended in a decision which could go either way. There second fight was the K-1 final where Badr got the chance to establish himself as the number one fighter in the world. Instead it would become one of his key moments in his career, where he got too emotional and got disqualified after kicking him while he was down. It was Remy and his corner yelling to stay down so Badr would be disqualified. We would never find out if Remy was acting or couldn’t really continue but it sure was the start of a heated rivalry.


In its later years K-1 was struggling financially. Focus shifted to Europe, where the Dutch promotion It’s Showtime was producing world-class events. Badr did not take part in the K-1 World Grand Prix 2010, which proved to be a smart move as most of the participants never received their prize money.
The biggest fight of 2009 took place in the It’s Showtime ring. Badr Hari returned to the Amsterdam Arena for the first time since his loss to Stefan Leko. This time he faced literally the biggest challenge of his career: Semmy Schilt, the multi-time world champion. The fight would prove to be one of the biggest highlights of Badr’s fighting career.
Badr Hari
The champ
After this fight Badr could lay claim to being the best heavyweight in the world. He would defend the It’s Showtime World Heavyweight Championship against fighters such as Mourad Bouzidi and Alexey Ignashov. But controversy is never far from Badr. When he faced fellow Amsterdam fighter Hesdy Gerges there was tension due to Gerges being coached by Badr’s former trainer, Thom Harinck. That tension exploded in the ring, adding to Badr’s notoriety.


Nowadays the kickboxing landscape has changed. The world’s premier league is GLORY, which has acquired It’s Showtime and signed most of the world’s top talents. Rather than sign an exclusive deal with one organization, Badr has retained his free agency and conducts negotiations for fights on an individual basis from his headquarters in Morocco.
Badr Hari   Badr Hari
At present, Badr is co-operating with Global Fighting Championships (GFC), a Dubai-based promotion which builds each event around a centerpiece four-man tournament. In his first tournament appearance for them Badr made quick work of Stefan Leko and Peter Graham to finally settle the score in his favor once and for all.

He is very happy with his partnership with the Dubai promotion and now feels he has one more goal to chase: the chance to fight in Morocco in front of thousands of his countrymen. He hopes to achieve this dream in 2015.