Rico Verhoeven has no doubt that he will repel an attack on his championship belt at GLORY for the eleventh time in a row on Saturday in Arnhem. The world champion simply considers himself to be on a different level than challenger Tariq Osaro.
The traditional press moment the day before the match went – as expected – quite friendly. Yet, just before the end, Verhoeven couldn’t resist putting things on edge
“He’s not even close. I’m so far ahead of this boy,” said the world champion when asked about a prediction for Saturday’s fight in the GelreDome stadium.
“When I became world champion for the first time in 2013, he was still playing football. I have a lot of experience and have been in this situation so many times. Full stadiums, a lot of media, a lot of pressure on your shoulders. I am on a different level. “
‘He has the momentum’
Verhoeven could not deny that Osaro has an advantage in terms of rhythm. The world champion faces only his second GLORY fight in four years, while his challenger has made six appearances since May 2022. He won five times.
“He has the momentum and rhythm is important in this sport, but I am used to these kinds of situations. I have often not fought for a year or more. I am here now, I am looking forward to it and have worked hard,” said Verhoeven.
The 34-year-old Dutchman is back after a serious knee injury. “I am much better, faster and fitter than I was. The recovery process has taken me to a completely different dimension. I will show that tomorrow.”
Osaro: ‘Ring rust is between the ears’
Osaro also discussed the difference in rhythm between him and Verhoeven. “I have fought ten times in two years. I like to stay active. We will see tomorrow how big that advantage is for me,” said the Dutch-born and raised Nigerian.
“People sometimes talk about ring rust (the lack of rhythm in the ring, ed.), but I think it’s mainly in the mind. It’s not something physical. We’ll see if that’s the case tomorrow.”
The match between Verhoeven and Osaro is the final part of the GLORY event Collision 6 in the GelreDome stadium on Saturday. They are expected to enter the ring between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.
The post first appeared on www.nu.nl