K-1 WGP 08 Post-Event Interview with Bonjasky & Tanikawa
書かれた Monty DiPietro

TOKYO, December 7, 2008 -- On a sunny Sunday morning after his stormy win in last night's K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 Final, Remy Bonjasky met with media at the Keio Plaza Hotel in central Shinjuku. Joining him at the press conference was K-1 Event Producer Sadaharu Tanikawa.

K-1 World GP 2008 Champion Remy Bonjasky

How does it feel to be the champion again?
I feel great, I'm really happy that I won the title back again after a few years.

How did you celebrate last night?
I spent the night with my girlfriend. I was very tired after the three fights, so resting was a good thing, to check out my pains and try to recover.

Bonjasky at the press conference

Bonjasky at the press conference

Have you recovered?
Even when I woke up I had double vision and a headache. But from the headache I will recover, and even from the double vision. So it's okay -- the sport is hard, and we just have to learn from it.

Will you see a doctor when you return to Holland?
Yeah, of course you want to check yourself out, physical health is very important for me, both to continue in K-1 and also outside of K-1.

Are you upset with Badr Hari for the foul he committed against you?
Hari is a very good fighter and I respect his techniques and respect his way of fighting. But I was very disappointed in his actions when I fought him in the final, because I think all the people that came to watch wanted to see a good fight. So not only I was disappointed, but I think all the fans and all the reporters and even K-1 were also disappointed by the outcome. That was not a good thing, not for K-1, not for me, and I think also not for Badr.

What sort of penalty do think Hari deserves?
It's not me who has to decide what sort of penalty he's going to get, but I think he needs to be punished where it will hurt most, which is financially. I think he will not do it again if he's punished financially.

Bonjasky with his new belt

Bonjasky with his new belt

In 2003, you fell out of the ring, and you won the title. In 2004, you fought 12 rounds to win the title. This year you were the victim of a foul, and won the title. It seems winning doesn't come easily for you.
Winning is never easy, it takes a lot to win. But you don't want to win like I did in the last fight yesterday. I'm a real sportsman, and I love fighting in the K-1 ring. To win like this is very disappointing. I've done a lot to achieve my goals, to come to this level. It's not so satisfying to win like this.

Why do you think Hari did what he did?
Well, I can't look inside his head and know what he was doing. But it happened before with me, a few years ago during a fight with Bob Sapp. Sapp went down, then he did the same thing -- he pushed me to the ground and then hit me. Badr also went down, maybe he was thinking like Bob Sapp, 'I won't be able to beat this guy, maybe by a foul technique I can damage him and then when he stands up if he's damaged I can punch him out and win.' That's not a good way to play this game, to fight in the K-1 ring you have to have respect for your opponent and respect for the rules. If you don't have respect, it's going to be bad for K-1 and bad for all the other fighters.

Did you hear Hari's post-fight comments?
I didn't hear anything from him.

Well, he said he thought you were 'acting'...
The only thing I can say about that is that if he'd respected the rules we could have fought normally and decided in the fight who was the best. If he thinks I was acting, let me kick him in the head when he's down and we'll see if he's acting or not.

After winning the title in 2003 and 2004, you had some rough times. Now you've won again -- what changed, to help you win again?
In many ways, things changed. I got divorced, but now I have a beautiful girlfriend and she's helped me with everything. I have a new manager, and we've built a new team around me. There were three hard years, but together we coped with it. It was hard work, but in the end, this is the result!

You've now won the championship three times. What's your goal for the future?
Well, winning it one time is already a big achievement, winning three times is great. Now, to win it four times or even beat Ernesto [Hoost] and win it five times would be the best thing. I'll work this year to try to win it a fourth time then lets see what happens.

Is there a chance that you'll fight in K-1 Dynamite this New Year's Eve?
I'm always interested to fight in K-1 Dynamite, but that's up to Mr Tanikawa and K-1!

K-1 Event Producer Sadaharu Tanikawa's Comments

I thought Remy Bonjasky was in great condition, with both strong defense and strong attacks. He looked very good against Jerome LeBanner and Gokhan Saki; and the down he scored on Badr Hari in the final was also very good, he looked like he had a great chance in that fight. But then came the foul, that was not good at all.

Sadaharu Tanikawa

Sadaharu Tanikawa

K-1 is a sport, K-1 is not street fighting. We had the same problem with Bob Sapp in the past, and it's unfortunate it happened again yesterday. I was sitting ringside with Masato, and he was very angry with Hari's actions. This morning in the newspapers I read Hari's comments, he seemed unapologetic, and that is disappointing. We have rules, to fight in K-1 you must have a professional attitude. I will be discussing with K-1 Rules Director Nobuaki Kakuda about an appropriate punishment for Hari. Peter Aerts told me he wants a rematch with Hari at K-1 Dynamite on New Year's Eve, but as we don't know Hari's penalty yet that seems unlikely.

Otherwise, I was happy to see some new K-1 fighters doing very well last night and gaining popularity. I also think Melvin Manhoef can perform well in K-1, and hope to see him in events next year. K-1 is getting faster, as we saw last night, a big fighter like Hong-Man Choi has a difficult time keeping up with the pace. I think he might do well in mixed martial arts, we'll see about that. We'll be announcing more fighters for the New Year's Eve K-1 Dynamite event soon, some of the fighters from last night might be added.