Reports are beginning to surface that the Final 16 of the Grand Prix, scheduled for October 29 in Nanjing, China, has been cancelled, though there is still no official word from K-1.
The most credible report comes from Anil Dubar, manager to K-1 fighter Daniel Ghita, who announced on a Dutch language blog that the Final 16 event was cancelled.
There is no mention of the event on the website for the Nanjing Olympic Sports Center Gymnasium (the alleged site of the show) nor any information on how to purchase tickets.
With only two weeks until the show, tickets not on sale, fighters and managers publicly saying that they are off the show, and It's Showtime, K-1's biggest partner gearing up to pull their fighters, it certainly seems like this is a done deal.
At this point, it's time to accept facts. The best kickboxing tournament in the world is over.
Rest in Peace K-1 Grand Prix.
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IT'S SHOWTIME president Simon Rutz rpovided further details via a statement posted to his event website on Monday.
FEG, the parent company of the former K-1 brand, is technically bankrupt. The name K-1 lays now at the Japanese company Barbizon. There are 2 serious parties now, which try to pull the K-1 brand name towards themselves and place this in a new company.
The first one to find an investor is FEG’s president, Mr. Tanikawa. He has found a Korean investor who has big plans with the K-1 label. This investor claims to have a verbal agreement with Mr. Ishii and Barbizon regarding the takeover of the K-1 label. Details were already discussed and agreed upon, but the only missing thing is the necessary signature of Mr. Ishii.
The second one to find a potential investor is Bas Boon. He has found an American company which also has big opportunities to bring the K-1 brand to high levels. However, also this company needs the signature of Mr. Ishii.
In the meanwhile, even a third potential investor has reported itself to take over the K-1 label, but this investor has presented itself only a couple of days ago.
All three companies have big plans to bring the K-1 label back to the place where it belongs and therefore make sure that the brand of K-1 has a healthy future.
All investors understand that a good cooperation with IT’S SHOWTIME is essential to prevent future conflicts of interest and to make sure that in the future all world elite fighters will participate to the tournaments; that means the fighters of both IT’S SHOWTIME as the ones of Golden Glory. We from IT’S SHOWTIME support the plans to make the K-1 label a strong brand again, because this is in the best interest of the sport, the fighters and the millions of fans around the world.
This year there will be no K-1 Final Elimination and K-1 World Grand Prix Final for the following reasons:
It’s currently unknown which investor gets Mr. Ishii’s signature;
There’s not enough time left to organize such a big event;
The visas for the fighters to travel to China haven’t been arranged and these are essential to be able to fight there.
From next year there will be a new and healthy company that will work on the worldwide brand of K-1.
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