A quick update on that lawsuit Dutch kickboxing promotion It’s Showtime was preparing to unleash on the financially crippled FEG. You may remember that FEG claims to have been bought by some mystery group and is starting to line up new shows despite owing It’s Showtime fighters (amongst others) nearly half a million dollars in payment for fighting at their events. They also threatened to blackball anyone who fought for It’s Showtime in Japan.
It sounds like K-1 president has backed down from that sleazy behavior in an apologetic phone call that I’m sure included a lot of bowing just because that’s how the Japanese roll. From It’s Showtime:
It is true that I had a telephone conversation with Mr. Tanikawa in which he has taken some of my worries away, by apologizing to me several times and saying that for him it’s no problem that IT’S SHOWTIME will organize events in Japan.
However, there’s still the fact that we have 400.000 US Dollars in direct demandable deposits at K-1 and we also have many contracts with a total value of millions of dollars which have not been fulfilled by K-1.
Mr. Tanikawa asked us if we want to delay our juridical actions with another week because he will make us some positive offers within a week. Given our long term relationship with K-1, we will not make a problem out of this week. If we haven’t heard anything positive after a week, we will continue our already embarked actions.
I would like to emphasize that I would sincerely regret it if Mr. Tanikawa can’t find a way to help K-1 to recover. K-1 has done a lot of good work for a lot of years for the fans, the fighters and the image of the sport.
Ah, the old “I’ll pay you next week” thing. K-1 has been stalling and avoiding fighters like they’re debt collectors for nearly a year, but I’m sure in a week they’ll have everything figured out! Just let me hold my breath. As for the hope that K-1 can come back, I don’t share the same feelings as It’s Showtime.
I feel like this has been going on for so long that it no longer sinks in: FEG consistently and flagrantly screwed over a large number of fighters and didn’t pay them for their fights. The first time people heard of it, it was an outrage. But here we are, dozens of cases later, and it’s just becomes normal. “Better get paid in advance!” we joke to all the athletes that fight for them. And MMA websites continue to cover their events like they aren’t disgraceful scammers.
At the very least, heads must roll. For a country where honor and face is so important, I have no idea why half the management team hasn’t stepped down in abject shame.