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Don Clovis

Exclusive Interview


Gus: Tell us some of the fighters that you are managing at the moment.
Don: Perry Ubeda, Rayen Simson (Thai boxing), Cheik kango, Marc Emmanuel (Free-fight), and some new coming generation Fighters...
Gus: What do you think makes a good fighter? Surely you have managed a lot, but what is the secret to a fighterís success?
Don: At first he should really want to be a fighter. Second, he should practice very very hard...
The best base for a fighter is proper conditioning and the best way to achieve this is by running a lot, a few times a week.....The fighter should also have a good schedule of practice at the gym...good balance.

 Don and Perry  Ubeda

Don and Bas Rutten.

Gus: What about his character?
Don: Character? He should be very tough inside the ring, but very normal and polite, outside the ring. Also it does not matter if one fights for a title or not, he has to practice very hard for every fight.
Gus: Why do you think that kickboxing and mixed martial arts events are not as popular as boxing and pro wrestling?
Don: Kick Boxing and Free-Fight are actually very popular, but some government people are against them and try to stop them. In France, where Kickboxing and Thai Boxing was popular, there are now only amateur events... In Holland we have way too many events. And here you can see in everything in ONE event.....Thai boxing, Kick Boxing, Boxing and free-fight events. Boxing is hard to beat because it was there before the Thai/kick-boxing... Also when you think how the Free-Fight became a big name, it started for sure in Europe.

Don and his Pancrase friends.

Gus: Holland is a fighterís paradise.
Don: Yes, Holland is really the best country (IN THE WORLD), where so many great and big events are organized... The only thing I regret a lot is that now these events are more a money business...the sport comes in second place....and this is regrettable. Anyway, the events in Holland are always fully booked a few weeks before the events take place. We sign fighting contracts sometimes one year before....
Gus: Youíve been to Thailand, what does a fighter need to survive there?
Don: I was in Thailand a few times, but more in Japan...2 different countries, 2 different ways of life, of thinking, and doing.
Gus: Do the Japanese have a better way of organising events?
Don: It depends. For Thai Boxing, Thailand of course is the number one place to be...I know also a few good gyms in Japan for practicing Thai-kick, free-fight, and also Shoot Boxing.
Gus: There are not a lot of managers like you I believe. Most fighters are managed by their gym owners, am I right?
Don: Yes, you are alright... I'm not a trainer myself...I believe that I could do it, but I donít because managing is very important also...and exciting. A fighter can fight, but a lot of them need to be managed if they really want to make a career out of it. I can be a good manager, but still the fighter has to make it in the ring.....

Don and Ken Shamrock.

Don and Peter Aerts.

Gus: Have you trained in the martial arts?
Don: Yes, ha, ha...I am still training 3 times a week in Thai boxing, in the Vathorst Gym, where Simson is, and also in the Perry Ubeda Gym... I donít train fighters, I prefer to train myself... and I'm always very close with my fighters....Rob Kaman, Bas Putten, Perry, Simson. I am still very close friends with Peter Aerts, Hoost, Peter Smit, Gilbert Ballentine, and a lot more...
Gus: You have achieved a lot but surely you have some dreams that you could not make happen. Tell us about them
Don: The dreams I could not realize before, I try to do now....I am trying to produce some films, and really hope to produce an action film soon... as far as sports are concerned, I still try to find a new star...Also I have a small record company, and work with a few producers. We produce, R&B, Rap, Hip Hop, Dance, etc.... I am also trying to manage fighters from the USA...a young Dominican Boxing fighter....he is great and the number1 ranked amateur fighter by the Olympic Games and Rank list in the US.
Gus: Thank you, Don. I wish you all the luck.
Don: Thank you, too!

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All images: copyright  2003 by Don Clovis.