A year ago Rico Verhoeven successfully defended his kickboxing world title against his fellow countryman Badr Hari for the 9th time. In 2 months, he will put his title on the line for the 10th time, this time against the Belgian Moroccan Jamal Ben Saddik.
Ben Saddik caused a sensation by beating Verhoeven with a technical knockout on his debut in 2011. “He says it is 1-1 between us, but that first fight was so long ago. I was at the start of my career then, still wearing a pamper.”
“We are now at a completely different level”, Verhoeven does not shy away from the boast in conversation with the NOS. “I’m going to show that difference. You can’t even compare him to me, but it’s always nice when a cat plays with a mouse, isn’t it?”
Verhoeven clearly doesn’t think much of Ben Saddik, not even as a person. “I think I’m more of a sportsman, but more importantly, I’m honest and sincere. If you’re not, then I don’t like you.”
Rico Verhoeven tries to start a career as an actor in addition to his sports career. You could see him in recent weeks in the second season of Undercover, where he plays an accomplice of the Dutch criminal Ferry Bouman.