Poturak: “K-1 deceived us, stories about the new owner are ridiculous’
Well-known Croatian athlete and Croatia’s biggest fighter Mirko Filipović addressed entire fighting sports scene via social networks last week. ‘Cro Cop’ warned everyone associated with K-1 promotion and its owner Mike Kim that they never paid K-1 WGP Finale tournament finalists who fought at K-1 event in Zagreb in March 2013. And the tournament took place almost five years ago.
Despite promises and appeals to prolong the final deadline for the payment, Filipović argued that he and other fighters like Zhuravlev, Londt and Poturak never got their hard-earned money. K-1 and its owner Mike Kim own more than a million dollar to fighters while the biggest portion of the money belongs to ‘Cro Cop’ as the winner of the tournament. The situation got heated up again a year ago when K-1 organized two events in Southeast Europe, first in Serbia and then in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Although the organizers claimed that this “new” K-1 had nothing to do with the old organization that owns the money to the fighters, which makes no sense whatsoever, this turned out not to be true. Moreover, the company’s owner Mike Kim showed up in Belgrade. Finding out that Kim is only a couple of hundred kilometers away, ‘Cro Cop’’s former manager and K-1 Zagreb local partner Orsat Zovko, Mirko Filipović and Dževad Poturak arrived to Belgrade. And Kim was more than surprised to see them there. After extensive conversation, K-1 owner promised them to pay off his debts very soon and asked them to be patient a little bit more. But Kim and K-1 never paid the fighters and in the last couple of months they never answered their phones, e-mails and messages. However, they organize Grand Prix tournaments in Tokyo like nothing ever happened.
Poturak: They deceived us!
“It’s true we’ve been deceived by K-1. On the other hand, we have this new tournament and K-1 revival now,” stated legendary ‘BH Machine’ Dževad Poturak.
“I’m sorry about this whole thing with K-1. Because this promotion has always been a motivation and a dream of all professional kickboxers. I do not want to talk about K-1 promotion in a bad way, I want to motivate them to stand back up on their feet and move forward. And of course, they have to settle their debts like real samurai,” added Poturak.
There were also rumors that Mike Kim sold the brand which now has new owners, but Poturak says one cannot buy a company without its debts.
“I heard stories that K-1 has new owner as well as different people in the top management. That’s all fine, but it’s not K-2, it’s still K-1. No one buys a company without clean accounts. That story is just ridiculous,” claims Poturak who stepped in as replacement at K-1 in Zagreb and then defeated Laschenko thus making it to semi-finals.
K-1 held 6 Grand Prix tournaments this year mostly at Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo, Japan. Croatia’s Antonio Plazibat won the last heavyweight Grand Prix tournament and Poturak also has a message for him.
“As for the winner of the latest K-1 WGP, which was recently held in Japan. I just want to congratulate him and wish him good luck in future tournaments. Me and my team participated in his preparations for this tournament,” concluded Poturak.