WKN president Stephane Cabrera talks Simply The Best kickboxing series
WKN kickboxing world championship belt presented by Sylvester Stallone (l) and Stephane Cabrera (r) at Fight Night Saint Tropez on August 4, 2014 in St Tropez, France / Pic: ProKick

President of the World Kickboxing Network, Stephane Cabrera announces the third season of “Simply The Best”.

Stephane Cabrera revealed the dates of the “Simply The Best” 2017. He spoke to Les Infos du Fight announcing six episodes in six different countries. The series make a debut in a cradle of muay thai – Thailand, and also in Colombia – an emerging country in the world of kickboxing.

The idea of the WKN head is to unite under the same label several entities throughout the World. Although not an easy task but it works. The “Simply The Best” is already in the third season. It has gained a considerable success through its television broadcasts on SFR Sport 5 as well as on numerous national stations.

Czech Republic starts the season on April 29 in Prague where the event is the third edition held in the country. The new places to hold the shows, Thailand and Colombia, is an important component in the success of this season.

“The Simply The Best is an international concept where the WKN brings new talents and promotes our champions around the world,” says Cabrera. “In my opinion, especially in France, there are too many titles without values. It is enough to pay a sum, often ridiculous.”

“And as by magic one becomes a champion”

“This is surely good for promoters and their finances. But this completely devalues our sport in the eyes of public, its notoriety. Most of all the value of the real champions.”

Stephane Cabrera, known as the man for popularizing kickboxing across the world, digs deep in the issue. “This is very bad in the long term,” he says. “In my opinion in the end this will serve [problems] the whole community of the stand-up fighting sports in France.”

As an obvious fact, each country has numerous talented athletes. However the majority remain out of the spotlight, due to a low level of interest from TV and media to cover kickboxing. Although France stands out of the list.

“France is a great country of fighters. For a very long time there is a significant involvement of television. There is a history behind. It must be respected above all. It is an enormous chance to be followed in this way.”

“A majority of countries in Europe and in the world do not have that chance,” says Cabrera in comparison. “The Simply The Best is broadcast on SFR Sport 5 for already two seasons. So it is also a chance for us. We aim a reconstruction of kickboxing image throughout the World.

“The quality of the fighting and the quality of the awarded titles – are the priority.”

“For example, the WKN is the only federation in the world that sanctions the least number of world titles. Not that we do not have any requests, but because a world championship must worth it. World title shot must be deserved. We [WKN] are the guarantors of this. Therefore we reject all that is not credible and has no positive outcome for the sport.”

WKN boss gives French project Dark Fights as an example which is “also part of the same registry”. “Which is why since the beginning of their adventure, we collaborate with them. It all benefits kickboxing and its image.”

Stephane Cabrera also mentions last Friday’s Girl Power kickboxing tournament, where the WKN plays the role of a matchmaker. “Admirably illustrated winner, our 19-year-old French fighter [Mallaury Kalachnikoff] is a new generation. We are very proud of it and it’s exactly what we are trying to do: create a dream and build a beautiful history of our sport by privileging the quality of the fighting.”

In addition Cabrera points out that the famed boxing referee Steve Smoger is the WKN international official. “It’s a unique thing in the world, you just have to look at Mr Smoger’s resume.” In conclusion he outlines the mission of the “Simply The Best” as an “improvement of the image and level of kickboxing”.