After almost two years away from kickboxing, Marc de Bonte (84-10-1) has committed himself back to the sport in which he started his professional fighting career, by signing a multiple fight contract with Enfusion Live.
The returning de Bonte is set to make his Enfusion debut against the defending 85kg champion, Ibrahim El Boustati in February 2017.
Meanwhile, the former GLORY Kickboxing champion had been pursuing a career in professional boxing. However, after a positive transition including, four wins from four boxing bouts and two by way of knockout, things unfortunately took a turn for the worse as Marc de Bonte explained:
“You have a very big promotion in Germany, Team Sauerland, it’s one of the biggest boxing promotions. A part of them split off when the TV deal with ARD didn’t finalise again. As you know in pro boxing there’s a lot more money to be made. They offered me a substantial contract that neglected every other contract that was put in-front of me. So I signed and went to pro boxing.
“Everything went well and after two years they stopped paying. So that moment I sat down with my lawyer and we terminated the contract. The Sauerland brothers are not involved. Its a promotion that split off from them. They want to get a new TV contract and at the end they didn’t get it. So they couldn’t pay me anymore.”
The former multiple-time kickboxing and Muay Thai champion, made his return to the ring ring last month at Kunlun Fight 51 in China, where he returned to winning ways by defeating Arthur Gorlov with a powerful third round TKO. Before then his last kickboxing fight was when he lost the GLORY welterweight title to, Joseph Valtellini at GLORY 17 by unanimous decision.
Since then kickboxing has only gone from strength-to-strength around the world. In the last couple of years, there have been an increasing number of global promotions such as Bellator Kickboxing and Kunlun Fight, offering new alternatives for professional kickboxers to chose from for where they want to fight on the world stage.
“I talked with Enfusion and they were very understandable. You can talk to them. Its not like a take it or leave it deal. In the beginning when I went there [GLORY Kickboxing] it was a take it or leave it deal but when I was world champion of course it was different.
“I have a good feeling, they [Enfusion] are growing and I’m helping them to the next level and I feel good there now. I can fight for any promotion as long at the negotiations go through Enfusion. So, if GLORY still want me to fight they can call but they didn’t call so, I don’t think they want me to upset the hierarchy in their division.”
Standing at just over 6ft 1inches, de Bonte will be fighting at a higher weight class of -85kg compared to the majority of his GLORY Kickboxing career which, was at 77kg. The step-up in weight doesn’t seem to be of too much concern to him either.
“I can fight from 77 till 85, I have to lose a lot of weight for 77 kilo or 80 kilo. Its not that big of a deal, I have fought two top guys at 85 and won. I fought Jiri Zak, I fought L’houcine Ouzgni who beat [Nieky] Holzken twice. Those were at 85 kilos so, I feel good at that weight. I will see how it goes.”
De Bonte’s February opponent, El Boustati recently fought Filip Verlinden at Enfusion Live 41 and won by decision in controversial circumstances. Verlinden would later appeal the decision in Belgium where the fight took place and had the decision overturned in his favour by Belgian officials. However, “The Beast” has since refused to accept the findings of the appeal and still considers himself to be undefeated.
“I think he should man up and put the title on the line. As he said in your interview, he thinks I’m making a mistake. Well if you’re so sure put the title on the line then and then we’ll see.
“Maybe he feels it coming. So maybe that’s why the title’s not on the line. Maybe he can talk to the promoter and put the title on the line. He didn’t put on the line in his last fight against Filip Verlinden. I was there ringside. In all honesty, I didn’t think he won that fight. I would’ve given it to Filip or at least an extra round but I wouldn’t have given him the decision after three rounds. Judging from the reaction in the crowd they thought the same thing.
“Everybody says you can hit him as hard as you want he doesn’t go down. So that’s what makes him dangerous I guess. The title wasn’t on the line against Filip either so when is he going to defend it? Its easy to stay a champion if you don’t defend your belt. It brings an extra dimension to the fight also not just for ourselves but also for the public if they see our world titles. It brings more depth to the fight. If you have a title then put the title on the line.”