Golden Glory is going to sue K-1 and try to force the Japanese company into bankruptcy at last, an executive of the Dutch martial arts organisation claimed today. Bas Boon, a senior manager with Golden Glory, sent an email to Fighters Only detailing his outrage with K-1 and his plans to avenge what he sees as a litany of shady actions and bad-faith negotiations.
With K-1 and its parent company FEG having been in severe financial difficulties for some time, there have been prolonged negotiations between various parties trying to buy the trademark to continue the brand. These have broadly fallen into two camps – one headed by K-1 president Mr Tanigawa and backed by a Korean investor named ‘Mr Kim’ and the other headed by Golden Glory in association with K-1 founder Mr Ishii.
Golden Glory thought it was close to taking over the K-1 brand in late 2011 but Boon now claims that double-dealing and underhand tactics have put paid to that. Mr Tanigawa’s faction have retained control of the K-1 brand, but Boon contends that they are penniless and surely cannot meet the debts that K-1 has nor handle the operational costs to go forward.
(Editor’s note – in Boon’s text there is reference to a company called Barbizon. This is – officially – a real-estate investment company from Japan. In late 2011, there was a sudden announcement that Barbizon had taken control of the K-1 trademarks due to unpaid debts on FEG’s part.
Sources told Fighters Only at the time that Barbizon was actually a front company for organised crime entities – ie. a Yakuza faction – which FEG had been borrowing money from as its credit rating was too poor to access loans from legitimate lenders.
Also note that the questions in italics below were included in the email that Boon sent us, which was essentially a self-penned interview with himself)
Boon wrote today:
“Well, I guess its time for the truth.
FEG has been playing games for a long time but the fighting scene in Japan is suffering, as you know the NYE show in Japan is their biggest show, but even with Fedor vs Japanese rising star and Olympian Isshi plus Peter Aerts and Le Banner, they did not get a TV deal with TBS.
The industry is suffering from all the scandals and it will only get worse. A few years ago I gave a few VIP tickets to a couple important people to join a K-1 event. They wanted to buy the struggling K-1 company, but FEG was too far in debt and many shady people were involved.
Those investors spent a lot of money in due diligence but they decided not to buy K-1 because of FEG.
Mr. Kim from Emcom came to Holland several months ago with Mr. Tanigaw and visited Simon and some other fighters, lots of promises were made and everybody was going to get half of their money and had to reduce their fighting fee so Mr. Kim from Emcom guaranteed everything would be paid.
(At this point Boon includes a note from a recent Fight Opinion interview with a Japanese MMA figure who suggests that the ‘Mr Kim’ on Tanigawa’s side may be Kim Dok-Soo, a Korean-Japanese member of the Yakuza mafia. More specifically, the Yakuza faction which was involved with Pride FC)
Kim now controls K-1 and the future looks dismal. He hasn’t paid up all the outstanding money and doesn’t look like he has enough money to kick of K1 again. It also doesn’t look like he has a real business plan or idea of how to run the business.
So what happened to Mr. Kim?
I went to Japan with one of the investors to meet Mr. Kim from [his company] Emcom, we had a long meeting and a second meeting took place two days later. We decided on a partnership and shook hands on the deal. Things were looking good.
Mr. Kim then visited another partner of ours in Asia to get to know more about our plans, we explained what we wanted to do, which fighters, tournaments, partners, etc…
Unfortunately after the last meeting with Mr. Kim he was nowhere to be found when the contract with us should have be signed, he simply did not answer any more phone calls or emails and it was like he had vanished. We tried to negotiate with Ishii and Barbizon but there were various issues. Finally right before Christmas we were ready to do the deal, Barbizon informed us that they would be closed and we would continue [negotiations] on January 5th.
We waited till January 5th [only] to learn then that this Kim guy walked into the Barbizon office and made an exclusive non-refundable payment for an exclusive negation period on December 29th. This was crazy as Barbizon told us to wait till January 5th, [so] it was clear to me then they never wanted to make a deal.
Even crazier was when Mr. Ishii and others told us that Mr Kim could not make his second payment and that the exclusive negotiation period would [thus] be over. When this happened we approached them again with the whole outstanding amount to all parties ready to be paid within days. Then guess what? To our surprise they gave Kim – the person who pays in instalments and who makes promoters and fighters false promises – another week extension!
Which clearly did not make any sense! We were ready to buy on the same terms – not in instalment payments but all at once, and still they chose Kim! Kim still did not pay the whole amount, rumor [has it] it is going to take one year to complete all payments.
For sure the Japanese were all [in it] together and made a better equity deal with Kim. The only response through all these meetings came when we brought out the news that our investor [on our side] paid the outstanding [fight purse] amounts to the fighters and would support the Glory World Series Moscow Show. Mr. Ishii told us it was bad to sign and pay the fighters. Which obviously means its good to do that.
He said it was not good to support the Moscow show, because it was not K-1. He clearly did not want to look bad [due to] having others repay and satisfy his owed debt. I still think Mr Isshi wanted to work with our group, but in the end it became clear Barbizon chose Mr. Kim/Tanigawa [faction instead].
Is it true that this Mr Kim guy from Emcom started threatening one of your investors?
Yes, the story gets even more crazy. When one of the investors meets Kim again after it was clear he screwed us and bought the K-1 [brand], the investor asked him why he shook hands with us and [said] that we told him all our plans and that we were not amused and would inform all our associates to not work with him as this was not the way you should do business.
I guess the real face of Mr. Kim came out as the president of the public company Emcom started threatening the investor and was screaming “I will have you vanished, you vanish!” and that was the end of that meeting.
The result is now that we (Golden Glory) demand all outstanding payments from FEG and if this is not done in a few days we will file for their bankruptcy.
The fighters and others involved should understand that these people do not care anything about them or a healthy working relationship of 18 years – or frankly anything but themselves for that matter.
While fighters and trainers were not paid, these people were flying with private planes to exotic islands and trying to delay my investors from doing a proper deal. Trying to entice fighters to leave Golden Glory and Simon Rutz and blame it all on everyone but themselves.
You’re saying they did not pay the fighters on purpose?
I am saying yes they did not do so, purposely. They deliberately delayed everything and also almost begged us to sue them. They knew we did not have the money (in Japan you must pay a large percentage of the claim to the court plus lawyers fee and all that to sue a company which has no assets) and that it would take a long time. In the Japanese culture going bankrupt is a huge disgrace and it can take a long time.
People should realize that Pride lost the Fuji TV deal when Gendai Magazine (weekly magazine in Japan) started publishing details on the court case (Nikkan Sports newspaper as well) I had (and won) with Miro Mijatovic against Kawamata Bombaye in 2003 and they also did not pay the fighters and left. As we won the case all the juicy details with Yakuza and threats came to service which cost Pride their TV deal with Fuji.
Now, history repeats itself, you have the president of Emcom who needs a new vehicle for his public company and purchases K-1. However this president of Emcom makes screaming threats, the former owner Mr. Ishii was convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to prison. The Japanese brought a porn star to the press conference for Mr. Wu in China (FIKA backer).
Tanigawa is in hiding after he already got beaten up twice and his car and property received damages by angry Japanese lenders who all want their money back. I am sure they will try to throw some mud or accusations towards me and others like Pride attempted… After bankruptcy is filed and the truth comes out we will see how this plays out, it is a very interesting time!
I also offered [Its Showtime boss] Simon Rutz’ fighters a settlement and signing fee for our new organization as well as doing so with other fighters. The investors decided to go full force. We are still negotiating with Simon about this, but for now Glory has signed up a huge part of the final 8 K-1 GP fighters as well as a lot of other weight categories most famous fighters.
The Moscow show looks great and the start of the tournament will be May 25th in Germany Westfallenhalle – for more updates go to www.unitedglory.com www.gloryworldseries.com. We feel confident enough to build up the strongest and highest-paid professional stand-up fight tournaments in the world and to do so in record time.