View Full Version : Remy Bonjasky interview

The Maniac
24-11-2004, 20:37
Remy Bonjasky: K-1s “Flying Gentleman? Gets Set To Defend His Crown

In a world where athletes are admired for their killer instinct, Hollands Remy Bonjasky stands out as a unique type of figure. His reign as sole champion of K-1s annual “World Grand Prix Finals tournament not withstanding, the trim and fit 28-year-old distinguishes himself with clean-cut looks and a mild-mannered temperament when hes not dropping bombs on opponents.

Even inside the squared circle, Bonjasky has coined his own eclectic method of conduct - a variation of classic Muay Thai kickboxing that brings a whole new level of excitement and suspense to a sport that produces knockouts at an astonishing rate of 80 percent. Airborne knee strikes are as common a part of Bonjasky’s repertoire as is the one-two combination of the average boxer’s. Then, there are the curveballs in his game; the even riskier, more unorthodox tactics like the flying front kick that he launched at one end of a Las Vegas, Nevada ring and executed at the opposite end of it to score a jaw-dropping knockout on a bewildered Vernon “Tiger? White last August.

Its this element of surprise combined with his graceful use of standard martial arts fighting technique that make Bonjasky a one-of-a-kind champion and that will give him an edge over his competition during Saturday, December 4th’s K-1 World Grand Prix Finals tournament that will be aired live on United States Pay-Per-View television from Tokyo, Japan’s 80,000 crowd-capacity Tokyo Dome.

Bonjasky will, without question, face his greatest test to date when he squares off with K-1’s most decorated champion of all-time in the opening tournament round. Four-time World Grand Prix Finals champion and fellow Dutchman, Ernesto Hoost, may be closing in on 40 years of age, but he is still a potent technician with the kind of tournament fighting experience that puts the majority of his colleagues to shame. Should he overcome martial arts fighting’s equivalent of Michael Jordan, Bonjasky will still have to fend off two more top-flight opponents in order to claim a successful title defense.

Q: Last December, you entered The Tokyo Dome a contender. This year, you’re returning as the defending champion. How does that affect your mindset, in terms of added pressure felt to outperform your competition?

A: Well, last year I went into the Finals as a debutante so I wasn’t looking to win. I mean, everyone is looking forward to win, but as a debutante you just want to be there and show people what you’re made of. But, I won all the matches and I became champion. Right now, I’m defending champion and there is a lot of pressure because all of the contenders want to beat me. For me, I need to train harder to win and try to be even sharper than last year.

Q: How is training going for the tournament?

A: Right now, it’s going great. We don’t have any injuries so that’s the most important thing because I can train 100 percent. So, I’m doing great now.

Q: What is your opinion of the competition in the tournament draw this year in comparison to that of last year?

A: Well, last year I fought against Peter Graham, also a debutante, and (Cyril) Abidi, and Musashi. If you look at the fighters from last year and from now, I think it’s pretty much the same, but the fighters in my bracket this year are a lot stronger. It’s gonna be tough to win it again because you’ve got the three-time champion (Peter Aerts) and the four-time champion. It’s gonna be tougher than last year, but I’m gritty and I’m very young so I think the time is right to pull it off again.

Q: You’re scheduled to take on Ernesto Hoost in the first tournament round. This is one of the most anticipated bouts in the sport’s history. How do you feel you match up with Ernesto at this stage of your career?

A: Ernesto is a very good fighter and he’s shown us for the last 10 years that he’s one of the best by winning (the tournament) four times. For me to fight against Ernesto is like an honor but, on the other hand, I want to win. Right now, I’m not looking at the whole tournament. I just want to win against Ernesto.

Q: So, this is a very meaningful fight to you.

A: It is. I’m not gonna fight against him just to win on points or to spare myself for the second round or the finals. I’m gonna fight like it’s a ‘Superfight,’ like it’s one fight.

Q: A lot of people are looking at this fight between you and Ernesto as a fight between the old guard versus the new guard – the fighter who had been the most dominant in K-1 until recently against the fighter who is supposed to take his place as the best. How do you feel about that?

A: I’m happy people are looking at it this way. I think it’s time for Ernesto to retire because he is one of the dominant fighters in the K-1 and it’s time to give the belt to another young guy who is doing his best to also be a dominant fighter.

Q: You and Ernesto are from the same country, yet your fighting style is very unique from his. It’s also unique from other Dutch Muay Thai kickboxers, most of whom have fighting styles similar to one another. Why do you feel your style developed so differently?

A: I think because I’ve watched a lot of fights from the lighter divisions. They use a lot of techniques that a lot of heavyweights don’t use. Heavyweights don’t use a lot of techniques (requiring) speed because they’re too big. For me, I’m not a toe to toe fighter or a hard puncher so I need to use my speed and do a lot of things with it. I can’t stand toe to toe fighting against guys like Ray Sefo, Ernesto, or Peter (Aerts) so I have to do a lot of other things to fight against them like the jumping knees or jumping high kicks. My fights have to take advantage of my speed.

Q: What would you consider the most creative knockout that you’ve ever delivered on an opponent in a K-1 fight?

A: I think in the fight with Vernon White. I was really trying to get him with a knee to the head, but he moved too early to the left side. That left me some time to hit him with a kick instead of a knee to the head. I think that was one of the best knockouts I ever saw (Laughs).

Q: Overall, you fought a very strong tournament during that event in Las Vegas last summer. Do you think winning that tournament represents somewhat of a turning point in your career, one that gave you the momentum to win your fight in October with Bob Sapp and to win the December tournament?

A: I think the turning point was when I fought a very bad match against (K-1 contender) Semmy Schilt – a very bad one. That, for me, was the turning point. That made me say ‘Hey, I have to do something’ because if I fight a bad match like this one, my career will be over. We started training a little differently and (began) using a lot of creative kicks. When I fought in the Las Vegas tournament, my game was different and my appearance was different. In the fight against Bob, I think you saw a different face. If you look at the fighter before I fought Semmy Schilt, it was completely different.

Q: I noticed that you finally have an official nickname – “The Flying Gentleman.? When I saw you after the Las Vegas tournament last August, you still hadn’t taken on a nickname. Who gave it to you?

A: A lot of people were trying to give me the name ‘The Black Panther,’ but that name is the name of a (music) group and I didn’t want to have something to do with these guys. I told everyone I didn’t want that name and, at the same time, a lot of people were calling me ‘The Gentleman,’ because I’m always dressed nicely, or ‘The Fly.’ So, that’s how the name came about.

Q: I was going to bring up the subject of having gentleman-like attributes. You seem to bring a sense of class to a sport that is very tough and can be brutal on its competitors. How important do you feel it is to have athletes like this who represent the sport as gentleman and show the public that there are people like this who are out there competing?

A: I think it’s very important because, in the ring, you have to be a strong fighter and a good athlete. At the same time, you have to respect the rules. You have to respect everything you’ve been taught. A lot of people think these fighters are criminals or just aggressive guys by nature. In the ring, I’m trying to be who I am, while still using my techniques as a fighter to do the best I can. I won’t ever kick or punch somebody while they’re on the ground, though. Outside of the ring, you don’t have to fight, so why be an aggressive guy? I see a lot of fighters who are aggressive in the ring and outside of the ring. That’s not Remy.

Q: What can we expect to see from Remy Bonjasky on December 4th?

A: A lot of spectacles – especially against Ernesto. I’m gonna use everything I’ve got to beat him. It’s very important to me. I’m going to try to attack, attack, attack.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to let the fans know?

A: I just want to say to my fans that I love them. I hope they will cheer for me and wish me luck because I’m fighting for them. I’m trying to give them exciting fights. They deserve it because they’re the ones who support me. So, I’m gonna try to show them great knockouts.

24-11-2004, 20:41
Remy, net als hoost zijn de perfecte ambasadeurs voor de sport.... gewoon netjes en reeel blijven... en niet zo aso als bijv Yvel in de pers is..hahahaha...
Goed interview....

24-11-2004, 20:43
Topgozer die Remy! Gaat een vette finale worden (hoop ik) :thumbs: