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How I became a successful manager in the Fight Business!

Let’s think about education, Maybe the traditional education route is not for everyone.  Marck Zuckerberg from Facebook dropped out of school, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs dropped out of Harvard. John D. Rockefeller, Sr., dropped out to take business courses at Folsom Mercantile College! Disney dropped out of high school at age 16 to join the army! Richard Branson dropped out of school at age 16. Well you get the picture…!

What all these business tycoons have in common is that they could see what wasn’t working for them, they discovered what they loved, followed passion for their idea’s, hobbies and personal interests made their visons into billion $ businesses – this is what they all have in common.

Surely that is no excuse for anybody to drop educations as the above-mentioned names are exceptions to the rule. Formal education Is not for everybody. I dropped out of school at the age of 15 and have a driving license and a swimming diploma. As a young Dutch boy, I learned English, French and German languages by doing business in those Countries.!

I disliked the words you can not do that, you are a failure, you can’t study, you are stupid, but what really turned me down in life was a test I had to do for being accepted at a school. I did the same test twice for two different schools (two years apart), I remembered every question. There was a section of psychology, questions like: do you help your mother do the dishes, would you enter a cinema without paying, answer A: never, answer B: I would sneak inside C: I would tell the police and Cinema security other would enter without paying. The first test years ago I was the rebel, so where my answers, surely, I would sneak inside, no I never do dishes, you get the picture. I was advised to go to a school for children with a disability problem! The second time years later I filled in the questions with much consideration: I would always help with the dishes and report children who would sneak inside the cinema without paying…. Result: I should attend a much higher education then I was currently searching for! The stigmatisation and labelling of children, looking back at those times I felt sick! The result of this was the utmost desire to perform, to become the best at anything, which is not bad. if it was not for creating jealousy with others even hate!

Picture Simon Rutz “It’s Showtime”: Simon Rutz: Bas Boon was my rival, you can laugh with him and sometimes made me very angry. Bas Boon is in my top three list of people who are completely fearless.

If I look back at my life I would have studied my ass off and would have gone to a university my father was a professor doctor engineer and I had the brains. However, it’s not because of those reasons I would choose university now, but because of the network. These graduates would all become bankers, lawyers, judges, hedge fund managers, brokers, real estate moguls, successful business people! They would become part of a network which relied on each other, help each other, trusted each other!

I liked fighting (I started at the 11 schools, before I dropped out of school at the age 15) I then started to work in Germany when I turned into 16.  I started fighting full contact, the prize 100 guilders or German marks for a tournament, lots of headache and bruisers and a trophy, not the best or smart way of making a living!

My first promotions where at age 17 not long after I opened my sports store Nikko Sports and a few years later I was producing fight shows. In the beginning that was for the sales of video tapes as there was no Tv involved. Tapes where all analogue as the digital time period did not exist yet three quarters of an inch and U-matic tapes, then betacam Sp and finally digital!

My love for reading was a big plus point, I had a photographic memory and would suck up information. Surely in the beginning I only read books like Stephen King and all Ludlum’s and John Grisham, but slowly I understood that knowledge was power. By then I devoured books and autobiographies, Steve Jobs, Lee Iacocca, Richard Branson, other books I read where how to better myself. The one-minute millionaire, all the books from Rhonda Byrne “The Secret” “the Power” ” the Magic””, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, “the Four Agreements” by Miquel Ruiz anything which could help me forward! Ooh and dress code, invest in good tailer made suites!

In my time the fight industry was filled with many shady types and above all the sponsorship mostly came from the Amsterdam Red Light District and Coffee shop owners and date sites (they did help the sport grow), but not the blue-chip sponsor the sport needed! It was a vicious circle without sponsors no event with certain sponsors no Tv!

Now we can see Budweiser, Harley Davidson, Toyo tires, software giants and 7/11 in the cage for the last years, the sport became a billion-dollar industry and is not only commercially accepted but loved.


This must be the most brutal gathering of fighters (and training together) captured in one picture (at one time I managed both teams Red Devil and Golden Glory) Bas Boon, Alistair Overeem, Melvin Manhoef, Ronny Rivanno, Stefan Leko, Alexander Emelianenko, Gilbert Yvel, Fedor Emelianenko, Roman Zentsov Chalid Arrab!

As a young producer I grew up with Peter Aerts, I promoted and produced many of his younger career fights and I even became his manager for a short period of time. Another fighter who I manged in my early career was MMA fighter Igor Vovchanchin. The real deal and shift to full time manager came in 1999 in Aruba where I founded Golden Glory with Frederico Lapenda, this was the start of becoming one of the most powerful fight managers in the world! I learned a lot and started to apply strategies and formulas in my management (avoiding previous mistakes and applying things I read in books) like the book Tribal Leadership by Dave Logan. I brought the press from Holland to Japan, invited the Dutch telegraph journalist and Panorama Magazine editors and other European media to travel with the team to Japan. This lead to an avalanche of positive press and many news articles about Golden Glory (many times causing tons of jealousy in other camps). For some reason I was ahead of the curve and at a certain time I managed Team Red Devil from Russia which included Fedor Emelianenko and Golden Glory, see picture!

Martijn de Jong, Cor Hemmers, Bas Boon, Bert Ditmans

But my old job as a promoter/producer would haunt me, it was like a magnetic pull! Cage Fighting Championships series, 2h2h series, Free Fighting Series, WVTC series, I produced tons of footage (my library was later acquired by Glory Sport International)! Glory World Series was a logical effect, I am still very proud as a manager and producer of this achievement. With the cooperation of my partner Cor Hemmers (35 years) and Bert van der Ryd, Martijn de Jong, we made Glory World Series grow to a professional martial arts league which was well known worldwide! The success of these early Glory WS shows was because of the passion from all of us, there were no executive salaries, no investors or board of directors only a few mostly local sponsors, no big TV licensee deals only a team which worked 24 hours to step through obstacles and essentially move mountains to make things happens. The good thing about that was that I pretty much made all the company decisions by myself with  Cor Hemmers-regarding the fighters, matchmaking, marketing less opinions more focus and (if you fail you can only blame yourself)! We were the golden duo, with good negotiations we basically agreed in record time and this made the company thrive! At the same time, I had my other partner in Hollywood Frederico Lapenda (business partner for over 23 years), another person who thought exactly like me “no nonsense” which resulted in tons of successful projects! I finally made a deal with terrestrial TV broadcaster SBS6 in the Netherlands for K-1 and Glory World Series, this was the next stage for the sport in The Netherlands and for myself!

Part of Team Golden Glory-Fatih Kocamis, Gilbert Yvel, Valentijn Overeem, Remco Pardoel, Alistair Overeem, Heath Herring, Semmy Schilt

Quoteby James-Altucher :   “When you get pretty good at a lot of things and then combine them: you’ll be among the best in the world at the intersection”.

I can assure that people who studied at university for fight sport athlete management, fight event promotion and media production definitely would not have “survived” a few months as a fight manager, managing a team like Golden Glory. You had to be a social worker, lawyer, therapist, nutrient, toilet cleaner, babysitter, friend, parent, family expert, fighter, bully, coach, actor, banker, travel agent, translator, promoter, bankruptcy expert, movie producer, drug expert, media expert, AAA specialist, punching ball, debt collector, mediator, journalist……The list could go on, to become successful!

 Quote Confusius: “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.”

© Bas Boon www.basboon.com

During the later Glory World Series I promoted the Fight Game brand (Frederico Lapenda and Bas Boon), see Glory World Series Moscow Youtube PPV promo!

About Bas Boon

”’Bas Boon”’ is the founder and has been the manager of Team Golden Glory since 1999, a network association of mixed martial artists, and kickboxers headquartered in Netherlands and Thailand. He has trained and managed the likes of Alistair Overeem, Semmy Schilt, Sergei Kharitonov. Stefan Leko, Marloes Coenen, Nieky Holzken, Errol Zimmerman, Gokhan Saki and many more… Below is the biography on the Golden Glory website: :“Born and raised in Holland, Bastiaan Simon Boon is one of the most powerful figures in the fight business today. He has been promoting and producing fight events for the past 35 years. Today he is the owner of Golden Glory, the strongest and most feared fight team in the Globe. Currently Mr Boon represents Pride, K1,Dream, UFC and Too Hot To Handle fighters and champions. Something that has never happened before in the industry. Boon is the son of Kasper Boon the noted Professor, Doctor and Engineer. At the age of 17 the young entrepreneur Bas Boon began his first sports oriented company, Nikko Toshogu Sports, a Martial Arts equipment company that became enormously successful and quickly spawned a number of other businesses including Nikko Press, and production company. While still a teenager Boon became the youngest promoter of professional martial arts competitions sponsoring Thai Fighting and Kick Boxing events throughout Europe, promoting and producing more than 300 shows world-wide. As a television producer Boon was responsible for conceiving and creating 22 episodes of the series Oriental Fight Promotions which was broadcast by the Super Channel across Europe, he also produced 20 martial arts programs broadcast by Euro-Sport, and several free martial arts fighting events for the FOX TV Network in Holland. With long time partner Frederico Lapenda, Boon produced of the “Red Light District” which was broadcast by FOX FILES in the United States. Boon is also the Producer of the series “You Gotta See This”, aired by FOX. Bas Boon also produced 5 Hollywood Movies together with partner Frederico lapenda He has also distribute Fighting and Martial Arts shows for world-wide TV and DVD licensing. Boon’s ventures has generated a numerous of articles for such magazines as the German edition of Playboy, Dutch TV Guide, Revue, Actueel Panorama, all the major newspapers in Europe and several sports and martial arts magazines in Japan and the United States.” Bas Boon was also an executive producer of the well known Glory World Series which also was sold to Glory Sports International. In 2012. Bas Boon helped facilitate in the sales of the Golden Glory and Nikko library to Glory Sports International and is affiliated as a consultant. Bas Boon can be found at the Fight Game Camp, Golden Glory in Pattaya, Thailand. 2- May 2012 Dureka Lang Carrasquill Tranberg capital:: Boon is a polarizing figure. Outspoken, unorthodox and fiercely demanding when it comes to staging events, he is a suave entrepreneur with a business mind that switches between Wall Street and street hustler as the situation demands. Where the American mixed martial arts organisation Ultimate Fighting Championship has the foul-mouthed fight fan Dana White as its president, GLORY has his European counterpart - the colorful and confrontational Bas Boon, president of GLORY Sports, the sporting division of GLORY Sports International (“GSI”). And where White is counterbalanced by the urbane Lorenzo Fertitta, so too is Boon contrasted with Marcus Luer, the GSI managing director.

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