- GLORY 51: Rotterdam takes place this Saturday (March 3) at the Ahoy Rotterdam arena in the Netherlands.
- Coming off a crushing loss to Rico Verhoeven, will Badr Hari take out his frustrations on Hesdy Gerges?
- What does Gerges, a heavy underdog, have to do to pull off an improbable upset?
One of the baddest men in combat sports history will be stepping back inside the ring on March 3 for GLORY 51: Rotterdam. Late last year, heavyweight Badr Hari signed a multi-fight contract with GLORY Kickboxing and his first bout under the new deal will be a rematch against Hesdy Gerges.
The first time these two men slugged it out back in 2010, Hari dropped Gerges in the second round, but inexplicably kicked the Dutch-Egyptian fighter while he was down, leading to Hari’s disqualification. Gerges was awarded the promotion’s heavyweight title as a result. Now, over seven years later, Hari is looking for redemption.
It’s safe to say there is no love lost between these two combatants, which should make the build up to this fight interesting. Will that translate into a competitive bout in the ring? Below we preview the big tilt and set the odds on who will have their hand raised.
Badr Hari vs. Hesdy Gerges
|FIGHTER||ODDS TO WIN||IMPLIED PROBABILITY|
|BADR HARI||-300 (1/3)||75%|
|HESDY GERGES||+300 (3/1)||25%|
When GLORY CEO Jon J. Franklin called this bout a “tune-up fight” for Badr Hari (106-13, 92 KOs), it made it really hard to get excited about. Yet it’s true; Hari’s matchup with Hesdy Gerges (50-19-1, 23 KOs) should be a one-sided affair, setting up a lucrative heavyweight title rematch between “Bad Boy” Hari and champ Rico Verhoeven.
Hari has not fought since suffering a second-round TKO at the heavy hands of Verhoeven at GLORY Collision in late 2016. Despite winding up on the losing end, the match was somewhat encouraging for Hari, who has found himself in a courtroom more than an actual ring over the last five years. The 33-year-old was competitive until an arm injury forced the end of the contest, and it was a very reasonable showing for someone with just two fights since 2014.
Perhaps when your resume includes well over 100 fights and nearly 100 victories by knockout, ring rust becomes less of a concern.
…the fact that [Hari’s] right hand is nicknamed “the sleeping pill” tells you everything you need to know about his tendencies.
Although Gerges has been in the ring with some top-ranked fighters, he doesn’t have a lot of big wins and is just 1-4 in his last five fights. Although his record says he has a win over Hari, he was actually losing that fight until the disqualification. To say he will have his hands full in this rematch is an understatement.
Hari fights with an aggressive style predicated on pressure-based punching. He throws most of his strikes at full power and the fact that his right hand is nicknamed “the sleeping pill” tells you everything you need to know about his tendencies. Yet his brawling style somewhat belies his technical abilities, which are sound. Hari will throw a punch just to peel away the defensive guard of his opponent, setting up his powerful right hand.
Gerges, another man who likes to brawl, will have to fight his natural inclinations to find success. He needs to focus on picking his shots and throwing some of his patented low kicks to set up combinations. It’s hard to counter against Hari, who throws punches in bunches, but Gerges has a very durable chin and might be able to find an opening or two to land a right hook if he’s patient.
Our odds pretty much tell the story here. The fight will probably go the same way their first bout did back in 2010 sans the disqualification. Hari is just too fast and powerful, and with a title rematch waiting in the wings, he will be extremely motivated.
Predicted Winner: Badr Hari