Hari: I have the best scenario for victory
written by Monty DiPietro

Badr Hari, sometimes known as the "Devil Prince," beat Hong-Man Choi at the Seoul K-1 WGP Final 16 to advance to the K-1 World GP 2008 Final. His opponent December 6 will be none other than three-time K-1 WGP Champion. Peter Aerts. Hari promises to show his true colors against one of K-1's most respected veterans.

You defeated Hong-Man Choi, who had terrific fan support from his home country, at the WGP Final 16 in Seoul. How was the fight?
Badr: It went well. He is a big guy, which made it a little bit hard for me to reach him, but you know. I did what I could do!

Badr Hari and Nicholas Pettas (2006)

Badr Hari and Nicholas Pettas (2006)

Was it difficult to fight him?
Badr: I tried to knock him out in the first two rounds, but he had a very strong chin. At one point, I realized that it was almost impossible to get to his jaw.

It must be hard to knock out such a tall guy.
Badr: Well, yes. I changed my tactics during the 3rd round to concentrate on his body. I think that became the key to winning the match.

He knocked you down in the 2nd round. Did that affect your fight?
Badr: If a fight has a lot of action, you have to take a risk, you know. He is very heavy weighing about 150 kg. With heavyweights, anyone can be finished with one punch.

Badr: If you fight, you know you can be knocked down once in a while. That's just one of the things can happen during a fight. So, it was nothing for me.

We know your spirit well. Could you please tell us how you feel about fighting Peter Aerts in the upcoming K-1 WGP Final?
Badr: I had always hoped to fight against Peter and Ernesto [Hoost] before they stop fighting. There isn't the chance to fight against Ernesto any more, but Peter is still on my list.

Do you see able to beat such an experienced fighter?
Badr: Peter is a good guy and I respect him as a fighter. Yet, he cannot stand my aggression and my speed. I will knock him out!

You are that confident that you will win your first match against Peter?
Badr: Of course I am. This will be a good chance for me to win the Grand Prix and become the champion.

Semmy Schilt lost against Peter Aerts at the Final 16 in Seoul. How did you feel about that?
Badr: I was surprised at the outcome of the fight.

Were you expecting Semmy to win?
Badr: No, I didn't care who won. Semmy fought very badly that night. It seems he was too cautious, that he was stuck a little bit.

Did the outcome disappoint you?
Badr: Well, it is going to be a positive for K-1 and for the fans, because more action will give more excitement in the Final. But personally, I didn't care who was going to win the fight. This time, Peter won the fight. That is why I will be able to fight Peter at the first match in the Final. I feel that it was like fate, since I always wanted to fight Peter. I am satisfied with the result of the drawing.

Did you think about choosing a spot next to Jerome Le Banner whom you also always wanted to fight?
Badr: To tell you the truth, Jerome came to me before choosing his spot.

Badr: Jerome told me "I am going to fight with Remy, is that OK?" I said, "You have to choose what you want to choose. I don't care who you fight with and who I fight." Then, Jerome went to stand next to Remy and Peter stayed there waiting for me.

Badr Hari after his loss to Remy Bonjasky (2007)

Badr Hari after his loss to Remy Bonjasky (2007)

That's an interesting story.
Badr: I will become the champion by beating Peter at the first bout, and then Jerome. Don’t you think that is the best scenario for the Final?