Mark Hunt vs Jerome Le Banner 2001
Mark Hunt met Jerome Le Banner a total of four times throughout his kickboxing career, losing 3 times. In the K-1 World Grand Prix tournament qualification rounds of 2001 and 2002. Hunt and Le Banner went head to head in some of the most thrilling action ever to grace the K-1 arena.
In 2001 Le Banner was the hot favourite to win between the two. With many questioning Hunts reason for choosing to face the Frenchmen in the early rounds. When asked at the time, why he had made the decision Hunt simply replied “I was too tired to walk any further” so he stopped beside the French colossus.
Becoming The K-1 Champion
What transpired in their 2001 fight would go on to be one of the biggest upsets in the promotion’s history. Enshrining Hunt’s legendary status amongst the sports fans. And sending the Super Samoan on his way to becoming the K-1 World Grand Prix Champion that year. An achievement not too many in the sport saw happening.
To give you a better understanding of Hunts mental state and preparation for the tournament. Here is what he said when questioned about that period in his career.
“Well, that was it for me. I didn’t realize I had just started about fighting… I lost interest in fighting and after I bought my parents a house and everything. I was like wow, I’ve done it… I was still smoking and drinking. I was still not fully in my mind and heart about fighting… I went backwards as a fighter… I didn’t even train. I was still smoking and drinking and partying. Not doing what fighters suppose to do. I lost interest in fighting.”
The two men would once again go on to meet in 2002 with Le Banner out to settle the score. This would be the third time the two men fought and again became another classic fight. So sit back and enjoy these awesome performances between two living legends in combat sports. On one of the greatest stages, the world has ever known, K-1 “The King of fight sports”.
Mark Hunt vs. Jerome Le Banner K-1 WGP 2002 Semi-Final
A year later and the pair would once again face off inside the ring at K-1. This time around le Banner was better prepared for the hard-hitting Samoan. As the pair went toe to toe in one of the bets kickboxing fights you are ever likely to see.