In combat sports, the heavyweight division is generally considered the most exciting to watch by the fight fans.
In both kickboxing and boxing, they both have their heavyweight champions, but how do they compare with each other?
Both fighting styles are very similar and require an equal amount of grit and determination, enduring the same amount of physical punishment. However, kickboxing is slightly more complex than boxing, as not only do you need to kick, but also defend against them too.
So, is a Kickboxing Champion better than a Boxing Champion?
Not quite. In any combat sport, the champions excel in their sport, but with that said, a kickboxer may be able to transition to boxing without any great difficulty as a kickboxer will be focusing already on boxing techniques. Whereas a boxer, their punches may already be better than a kickboxer, but if they struggle to kick, they would have a hard time kickboxing.
The current kickboxing and heavyweight boxing champions are two great athletes. Rico Verhoeven is a Dutch world champion kickboxer also known as the ‘King of kickboxing’. Verhoeven has been fighting on the premier kickboxing promotion Glory kickboxing since 2012 and is the reigning world champion. Verhoeven is also considered the best kickboxer in the world since 2014.
Number of Fights: Fury Vs Rico
Verhoeven has had a total of 69 professional fights with 59 wins under his belt and 22 of those fights were in Glory kickboxing with 21 wins.
Tyson Fury is the WBC boxing champion with 32 fights and 31 wins, and the only fight he didn’t win was a controversial draw. Fury has also, to many experts, been considered the best boxer on earth since he beat Klitschko in 2015.
Weight: 118.7 KG
Weight Class: Heavyweight
Height: 1.96 m
Fight Record: Wins – 59, Wins by KO – 19, Losses – 10
Glory Kickboxing suggests that he is ‘A very intelligent fighter, Verhoeven is creative and focuses a lot on technicality. He has a wide arsenal of attacks and a tight defense. He also works closely with the British heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury, who he credits with making his jab into the highly effective weapon it is today.’
For more info about Rico, check out this video below:
Weight: 126 kg
Weight Class: Heavyweight
Height: 2.06 m
Fight Record: wins- 31, wins by KO-22, Losses- 0
Frank Warren suggests that he is ‘one of the most popular, the most talked about, most confident and more importantly the best heavyweight in the world…The self-styled Gypsy King shows why he was the world’s number one’
For more info about Fury’s unpredictable boxing style, check out the video below:
World Title Fight: Fury Vs Rico
As you can see, both fighters are great champions but is one better than the other. There are a few differences between the two sports. Verhoeven has never fought over five rounds as in a GLORY Kickboxing World Title fight; it always consists of five rounds of three minutes each. In exceptional cases of a draw after five rounds, the champion remains the champion.
A world title fight in boxing consists of 12 rounds, and Fury has had his fair share of his bouts going the distance. In any sport, you are only as good as your last opponent, and in kickboxing, once you are signed to the leading promotion like Glory kickboxing, you will have to fight equally high level of ranked fighters to earn your spot in the division.
However, in boxing, fighters can have a bit of a luxury of handpicking their opponents as no leading promotion or governing body controls the sport. Boxing has independent promoters hosting the boxing shows instead.
That’s not to say, Fury, by all means, has handpicked opponents as he has proved time and time again, he is capable of fighting anyone, anytime and even in their back garden as his claims. Furthermore, at the top level of both sports, boxers tend to fight less per year than kickboxers.
Take a look at this exclusive interview between Mike Tyson and Rico Verhoeven below:
Fights per year: Fury Vs Rico
Elite boxers may only fight around two times per year, whereas a kickboxer could fight a minimum of 3 times a year, depending on their contract. A lot of this comes down to the fact boxers earn a substantial lot more money, so they can pick and choose when they like to fight to give their complete preparation.
As boxing has a wider audience demographically, Fury is the bigger star with more fans.
Fans: Fury Vs Rico
Verhoeven still has an impressive 1.9 million Instagram followers and 700k Facebook fans. However, Fury has a whopping 5.2 million Instagram followers and 1.8 million Facebook fans.
Fury & Rico: Training Together
Rico and Fury actually have created a relationship after Rico was used as a sparring partner for Fury in 2015 during the lead up to his fight against Wladimir Klitschko. Verhoeven has become friends with the Fury family, with Tyson’s cousin Hughie Fury considering him a kindred spirit.
In an interview with Give Me Sport, Rico suggested that ‘I’ve trained with Tyson – with the whole Fury family actually – for years. I still do to this day… I try to look at fighting like he does, we really study the game, and just try to be the best at what we’re doing.’