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Branko Cikatić – Hrvatski Tigar i Mr. Knockout

16. prosinca 2006. 00:00
Branko Cikatić – Hrvatski Tigar i Mr. Knockout

Branko Cikatić nedvojbena je legenda hrvatskih borilačkih sportova i prvi veliki borac koji je postigao svjetski uspjeh i slavu. Intervju s Cikatićem bilo bi jednostavno napraviti s ciljem rezimea njegovih uspjeha od kojih je proteklo vremena.
Ima tu mnoštvo svjetskih amaterskih i profesionalnih titula, počevši od davne 1981. kada je u Miami Beachu postao prvak svijeta u full contactu.

Međutim, upravo vremenski odmak daje nam mogućnost da objektivno propitamo mnoge dileme koje su mučile Brankove fanove i da ispitamo neke događaje koji su obavijeni velom tajne. To je cilj ovog intervjua.

Nedavno ste bili gost na K-1. Pretpostavljam da Vas počasno mjesto uvijek čeka u Japanu.

Otišao sam u Japan na poziv organizatora. Bio sam prošle godine, a kao pobjednik prvog K-1 turnira biti ću počasni gost i ubuduće.

U Japanu uživam veliki ugled. «K-1 Legend» turniri održavaju se u čast svih pobjednika, štampaju se brošure i katalozi u s mojom sportskom biografijom i tamo uvijek dobro osjetim, pogotovo na ulici, da oni nikada ne zaboravljaju svoje sportske legende.

Osim počasne lože, imate i obveza. Držali ste predavanja gospodarstvenicima i seminare japanskim specijalcima.

Iz Gospodarske komore Tokia dobio sam poziv za predavanjem o mom pristupu poslu, a japanskim specijalnim postrojbama koje se bore u Iraku držao sam seminare o fizičkoj pripremi.

Moram priznati da sam iznenađen u kakvoj su vrhunskoj kondiciji. Svi su stručnjaci u borilačkim sportovima i dobar dio njih ima završene fakultete na kojima se rade isključivo borilačke vještine. Tamo je sasvim normalno studirati kyokushin karate ili judo i doktorirati na tu temu. Nažalost, kod nas je situacija sasvim drugačija. Sportaši iz te branše poistovjećuju se s nasilnicima, iako nasilnika ima ni više ni manje nego u drugim sportovima i djelatnostima.

Svjetla iznimka je doktorat «Strukturalna analiza i model vrhunskih K-1 boraca», dr. Kabo Safeta u kojem se na vrlo ozbiljan i temeljit način analizira fizička prirema K-1 boraca. Pomogao sam mu kao jedan od glavnih predmeta istraživanja. Japanci i Nizozemci zainteresirani su za knjigu.

Podsjetimo se prvoga K1 turnira. Sve tri borbe odradili ste nokautom.

Za turnir nije bilo kvalifikacija nego su 1993. organizatori izabrali 8 najjačih boraca svijeta.

Pobijedio sam predstavnike 3 najjače zemlje s jakom borilačkom tradicijom. Japanca Satakea - svjetskog prvaka u kyokushinkai karateu, Tajlanđanina Chang Pueka - svjetskog prvaka u tajlandskom boksu i Nizozemca Ernesto Hoosta - prvaka svijeta u tajlandskom boksu, kickboxingu i savate boksu.

Kako ste došli na K-1?

U našoj zemlji u to doba K-1 je bio apsolutna nepoznanica. U svijetu se znalo da će to biti turniri najboljih, ali naši mediji koji su ionako ignorirali borilačke rezultate, nisu mu pridavali važnost.

Godinu dana prije održavanja prvog turnira, znao sam da će se K-1 održati i bio sam najavljen kao rezerva. U to doba imao sam borbu protiv «Stand mana» u Australiji i izgubio meč u 12. rundi. Iste godine u Las Vegasu borim se neriješeno protiv Denisa Alexia koji je ustvari bio kandidat za K-1 turnir. Na kraju sam umjesto njega završio u Japanu i pomeo protivnike.

Kao profesionalac imate 98 borbi; 92 pobjede i 5 poraza i 1 neriješeno. Koja borba Vam je ostala u pamćenju?

Definitivno, pobjeda nad Hoostom u finalu K-1. Dobro se sjećam i borbe u Njemačkoj protiv Adriana Thompsona. Na potkoljenici sam izgubio dobar komad kože, a puknuo mi je i bubnjić u uhu pa i danas osjećam posljedice tog meča kad se kupam.

Najviše borbi ste odradili za nizozemsku školu Chakuriki i Toma Harincka.

Godine 1981. u Miamiu sam osvojio titulu amaterskog prvaka svijeta u full contactu. U isto vrijeme Harinck je proglašen najboljim trenerom svijeta pa sam odlučio kod njega nastaviti karijeru. Kako do tada nisam nikada radio koljena i laktove, dobio sam dobre batine u Chakurikiu. Od tada smo nerazdvojni. Tom mi je vjenčani kum i dobri smo prijatelji dan danas.

Zašto je Nizozemska jedna od svjetskih borilačkih sila?

Tamo živi jako puno ljudi iz Tajlanda, Japana, uopće iz Azijskih zemalja. Tajlanđani su donijeli thaiboxing i mnogi su se zagrijali.

Harinck je među prvima otišao u Tajland, gdje je dugo živio i borio se. Iskustvo i znanje donio je u Nizozemsku i pokrenuo trend tog novog borilačkog sporta.

I kod nas je bilo entuzijasta kao Marijan Žižanović i Zoran Rebac (glavni urednik mjesečnika «Budo internacinal» op.a.) koji su proveli dosta vremena u Tajlandu i Japanu te iskustvo prenijeli u Hrvatsku.

Tko je još od naših boraca trenirao u Chakurikiu?

Poslao sam Emila Zoraja, Mirka Filipovića, bio je Rudan, mali Jukić iz Splita. Svi su oni napravili nešto u tom sportu, ali nije to to. Nisu dugo izdržali u Amsterdamu.

Kako funkcionira Hrvatski savez tajlandskog boksa?

Savez je do 2000. godine funkcionirao dobro. S obzirom da je predsjednik saveza g. Ante Gotovina uhapšen stvari su malo stale, ali uskoro ćemo postati član međunarodne federacije za neolimpijske sportove, pa će se stvari pokrenuti. Imamo i odličnu reprezentaciju koja postiže dobre rezultate na natjecanjima.

Čuju se zamjerke da su članovi reprezentacije mahom članovi «Tigra».

Čuje se svašta, ali nisam ja kriv što ostali nisu na nivou da uđu u reprezentaciju. Priznajem da imam stroge kriterije, ali kod mene se trenira ozbiljno. Imamo profesionalne, izučene trenere i kod nas je dvorana puna od jutra do navečer.

Ne bih želio nikoga podcjenjivati, ali moji rezultati govore da sam najkompetentniji za tajlandski boks i svi koji u Hrvatskoj nešto vrijede potekli su iz Tigra. Priznajem još Žižanovića i Rebca, a ostale trenere ne poznajem.

Nedavno je u Zadru bio susret Hrvatska - Thailand. Sprema li se još sličnih priredbi?

Slijedeće godine u proljeće, Zagreb će biti domaćin drugog po redu susreta između reprezentacije Thailanda i Hrvatske. U planu je organizacija i najveće priredbe borilačkih sportova u svijetu «Budo Gala» koja bi se trebala održati krajem slijedeće godine. Chuk Norris i Van Dam obično budu komentatori, ali detalji su još u pregovorima.

Što mislite o rastu popularnosti slobodne borbe ili ultimate fighta? Može li PRIDE progutati K-1 u Japanu?

Ako pratite medije vidjet ćete da je PRIDE u velikim problemima. Imam prevedene tekstove iz japanskih dnevnih listova koji objašnjavaju kriminalnu strukturu i upletenost mafije u organizaciju PRIDE. Tu se spominje i Imai, manager Mirka Filipovića.

Mafija stoji iza PRIDE-a a Imai je jedan od vlasnika i Mirkov manager. Mirku je to poznato iz japanskih medija. Ali Pride sigurno neće zasjeniti
K-1.

Koliko ste borbi imali u PRIDE-u?

S PRIDE-om sam imao ugovor na četiri meča. Prvu borbu imao sam 1999. na PRIDE 1 protiv Ralph Whitea kojeg sam nokautirao u 1. rundi. Na webu se zna naći kriva informacija da sam izgubio predajom. U drugoj borbi protivnik je bio Mark Kerr od kojeg sam izgubio diskvalifikacijom zbog držanja za konopce i udaranja laktom u glavu.

U trećoj, namještenoj borbi, dobio sam ponudu od 250,000 $ da izgubim protiv Maurice Smitha, a zauzvrat mi obećaju borbu protiv Ricksona Graciea, što mi je bila želja. Namještenom borbom Cikatić - Smith željeli su «poniziti» K-1.

Četvrta borba je trebala biti protiv Gracie-a, ali je Ken Imai s Orsatom Zovkom i Mirkom Filipovićem organizirao onaj famozni intervju, o kojem ćemo malo kasnije, pa je borba otkazana.

I, kako je prošla borba protiv Smitha?

Izgubio sam.

Jesu Vas isplatili?

Jesu platili su. Ja sam njega bacio, on je ležao na meni, bez udaraca, bez ičega i ja sam tapkao. Sve se može vidjeti na snimci.

Pa to je PRIDE! Evo, novinar najtiražnijih japanskih novina, možemo ga i zvati, može reći da je meč za Cro Copa namješten meč. To su svi mediji pisali tamo.

Bilo je prijetnji ubojstvom i visokim novčanim ciframa Fedorovom manageru a rezultat je taj da se Fedor nije pojavio u ringu. To nisu moje tvrdnje, tako je pisao japanski novinar Endo.

Koga vidite kao nasljednika u ringu?

Japanci me učestalo zovu i pitaju kada ću im poslati nasljednika. Mirka sam im 1996. predstavio na K-1 kao takvog iako nije imao niti jedan profesionalni meč. Na moju riječ Mirko je nastupio u Japanu kao moj nasljednik, a vratio mi je to na vrlo ružan način.

Japanskim novinama dao je intervju u kojem je iznio niz neistina. Da sam organizirao napad na njegovog tadašnjeg trenera, nudio mu borbu na život i smrt u kavezu, da sam uhapšen radi zločinačke organizacije, što su sve neistine. Oblatio me pred japanskom publikom i poslovnim partnerima.

To se sve odigralo 2000. godine u ožujku, netom nakon promjene vlasti. Tu počinju napadi na mene.

Često ste u medijima, ali ne u sportskom kontekstu.

Non stop me netko spominje. Prvo je bio onaj Čabo, pa Špika pa Šafranić, Čelan iz Karate saveza. Svi bi htjeli biti veći od mene. A ja sam postao prvak svijeta kad oni nisu znali gdje je Amerika.

Ima nekih novinara kojima nisam želio platiti «reket» da bi pisali o meni, pa su se udružili zna se s kime i blate me na sve strane.

Uspješan sportaš sam već niz godina. Za nikoga od njih koji me danas napadaju i blate, nije se znalo dok nisu došli kod mene. Svi koji se u Hrvatskoj uzdignu u nekom segmentu, odmah su na udaru.

Mirko je samovoljno otišao iz Tigra?

Mirka sam ja potjerao, jer je radio stvari koje nisu dozvoljene, nisu u skladu s etikom i moralom borilačkih sportova.

Koje su to stvari?

To on dobro zna. Kroz moj klub prošlo je mnogo boraca. Imam svoja pravila i zakone kojih se svi moraju držati.

Pitajte svjetsku klasu boraca kakav je odnos njih i trenera, s kakvim poštovanjem se odnose prema treneru. Oštra i nemilosrdna disciplina, ali to ovaj sport i zahtjeva. Ja takav odnos nastojim držati i u svom klubu, ali malo je onih koji to izdrže.

Ali neki izdrže. Koga biste izdvojili?

U Splitu je Andrijašević dolazio kod mene, i Jukić je bio talent. U Zagrebu je trenirao Emil Zoraj, Ivan Rudan.

Tigrove perjanice trenutno su Srđan Špirk, Ivan Posavec, Mario Valentić, Irena Dolenčić. Ima još nešto mlađih koji će se tek dokazati.

Rudan je nedavno istupio u medijima i optužio Vas za krah karijere.

S Rudanom sam potpisao ugovor na 5 g. Prije 3 godine napravio sam mu ugovor s Japancima koji je istekao u 9 mjesecu ove godine. Prvu borbu imao je u Japanu 2004. godine i izgubio je nokautom nakon 20-tak sekundi. To je vrlo važan podatak s obzirom da su se Japanci obavezali u njegovu promidžbu uložiti 50,000 $.

Drugu borbu odbio je s obrazloženjem da je bolestan. Za treću borbu ponovno nije bio spreman. Kako je stvar za mene bila vrlo neugodna, zabranio sam mu da se bori bilo gdje drugdje. Bio sam odgovoran za njega i vezan ugovorom plaćanja penala u slučaju neizvršavanja obaveza.

Japanci su saznali da je nedavno nastupio u Mađarskoj. Zvali su me i tražili objašnjenje. Uspio sam stvar zataškati pod izgovorom da ne znam ništa o tome. Srećom sam dobar prijatelj s tim menadžerom inače bih imao velikih problema.

Što se mene tiče, Rudan je zadnja 3 mjeseca «slobodan» čovjek. Ugovor s Japancima je istekao. Naš ugovor važeći je još godinu dana, ali što se mene tiče on je slobodan borac. Ja ga apsolutno ne sprječavam da se bori.

Kako je obitelj? Vaša najstarija 20-godišnja kćer je atletičarka.

Imam zgodnu ženu i lijepu djecu. Najstarija kćer je prvakinja Hrvatske na 800 i 1500 m u atletici, a imam i dvoje male djece. Vlasnik sam zaštitarske kuće «Tigar Cikatić», zastupnik njemačke firme za zaštitu okoliša «Lambda». Aktivan sam u savezu i klubu.

To su stvari kojima se bavim, koje me svakodnevno zaokupljaju. Prijetnje i provokacije preko novina mi ne trebaju niti imam vremena za njih.

Iz drugog puta uspjeli su Vas nagovoriti na glumu?

Film Neboder snimio sam zahvaljujući borbi koju sam odradio 1992. u Miamiu protiv Dennisa Alexia, (glumca iz filma «Kickboxer»), a Van Dam je bio komentator. Već sam tada dobio na razmatranje scenario pod radnim nazivom «Tihi ubojica» u kojem sam trebao glumiti glavnu ulogu. S obzirom da sam bio zauzet, ulogu sam odbio.
Nakon K-1 turnira opet su me zvali pa smo snimili «Neboder».

Kako kondicija? Da li će biti još izleta kao prošle godine protiv Tanayame?

Treniram svaki dan osim nedjeljom. Pripremam se za veteransku borbu koja će biti negdje u ožujku.

I na kraju, koji je bolji film: Neboder ili Ultimate 7?

Ne znam, nisam gledao Ultimate 7. Samo znam da sam ja film snimao u Hollywoodu s holivudskim glumcima, a ne u Zagorju i Puli.

Branko, zahvaljujem na razgovoru.
Nema na čemu, pozdrav.


ENGLISH VERSION:

Branko Cikatic is undoubtedly a legend of Croatian combat sports and the first great fighter that has achieved world class success and glory. The interview with Cikatic would be easy to do with the goal to review his successes from which many years went by.

There a lot of world amateur and professional titles, starting way back in 1981 when he became a world champion in full contact in Miami Beach.

However, time lapse gives us the opportunity to objectively question many dilemmas that have troubled Branko’s fans and to examine some events that were shrouded with the veil of secret. This is the very goal of this interview.

You were a guest recently on K-1. I assume that an honorary place is always ready for you in Japan.

I was invited to Japan by the organizers. I was there last year, and I will an honorary guest there in the future, as a winner of the first K-1 tournament.

I enjoy a great respect in Japan. «K-1 Legend» tournaments are taking place in honour of all the winners, and the brochures and catalogues are being printed with my sports biography and while I am over there I always feel it quite well, especially on the street that they never forget their sports legends.

Besides an honorary seat, you have commitments as well. You have held lectures to the businessmen, and the seminars to the Japanese special forces.

I was invited from the Chamber of Commerce in Tokyo to hold a lecture about my approach to the business, and to teach the Japanese special forces fighting in Iraq about physical preparations.

I must admit that their superb conditioning surprised me. All are martial arts experts, and a good number of them have finished colleges that specialize exclusively in martial arts. Over there, it is perfectly normal to study Kyokushin karate or Judo or to even get a PhD. on the subject. Unfortunately, over here the situation is quite different. The athletes from that branch are identified with thugs, even though the thugs are not more and not less present in other sports and lines of work, just the same.

The bright exception is the doctorate «Structural analysis and model of the superb K-1 fighters» by Dr. Kabo Safet in which he covered and analysed in a very serious and through fashion the physical preparations of the K-1 fighters. I helped him as one of the main subjects of research. The Japanese and the Dutch have expressed their interest for the book.

Let us reminisce about the first K-1 tournament. You have finished all three fights with a knockout.

There were no qualifications for the tournament, but the organizers have selected the 8 strongest fighters in the world. I beat the representatives of 3 strongest countries with a strong fighting tradition. The Japanese Satake – the world champion in Kyokushinkai Karate, Thai Chang Puek – world champion in Thai boxing and a Dutch fighter Ernesto Hoost – world champion in Thai boxing, kickboxing and Savate box.

How did you come to K-1?

In our country, K-1 was an unknown term. Abroad, it was well known that it will be the tournament of the best fighters, but our media, which have ignored the combat sports anyways didn’t give any attention to it.

One year before the first tournament took place, I knew that the K-1 was confirmed and I was announced as a reserve fighter. At that time I had a fight against «Stand man» in Australia and I lost that fight in 12th round. The very same year I fought to a draw in Las Vegas vs. Denis Alexio who was in fact a candidate for a K-1 tournament. In the end, I took his place and ended up in Japan and smashed through my opponents.

As a professional you have 98 fights, 92 wins and 5 defeats and 1 draw. Which fight was most memorable to you?

Definitely a victory over Hoost in the finals of K-1. I also remember quite well the fight in Germany against Adrian Thompson. I lost a good chunk of skin on my shin and I also had a ruptured ear drum so I still feel the consequences of that match when I shower.

You have fought most of your fights for the Dutch school Chakuriki and Tom Harinck.

In the year 1981 in Miami, I have won the title of the amateur champion of the world in full contact. At the same time, Harinck was pronounced the best coach in the world so I decided to continue my career with him. Being that up until then I never trained in knee and elbow strikes, I got me quite a beating in Chakuriki. Since then we are inseparable. Tom was my best man at wedding and we are good friends to this day.

Why is Holland one of the worlds strongest fighter countries?

Many people from Thailand, Japan and other Asian countries live over there. Thais have brought Thai boxing and many took it up.

Harinck is among the first to go to Thailand where he had lived for a long time and fought. The experience and the knowledge came with him back in Holland and he started a new combat sports trend.

In Croatia, there were also enthusiasts such as Marijan Žižanović and Zoran Rebac (chief editor of the monthly magazine «Budo International») who have spent a lot of time in Thailand and Japan and have transferred their experience in Croatia.

Who else trained in Chakuriki, from our fighters?

I sent Emil Zoraj, Mirko Filipović and Rudan, little Jukić from Split. All of them have done something in that sport, but that was not «it». They didn’t last long in Amsterdam.

How does the Croatian Thai Boxing Federation function?

The Federation has functioned well until 2000. With regard that the president of the federation, Mr. Ante Gotovina was arrested, things slowed down a bit, but we are soon to become a member of the international federation for non-Olympic sports, so the things will get moving again. We also have a great national team that is scoring great results in competitions.

There are some complaints that the only members of the national team are members of «Tigar».

There are many rumours floating around, but it is not my fault that the others are not up to the level to enter the national team. I admit to having strong criteria, but in my place, we train seriously. We have professional, trained coaches and our gym is packed from morning till the evening.

I don’t want to underestimate anyone, but my results speak that I am the most competent for Thai Boxing and all that are of any worth in Croatia have come from «Tigar». I also recognize Žižanović and Rebac, but I don’t know the other trainers.

Recently, there was a meet Croatia vs. Thailand. Are there other events alike in the making?

Next year in the spring, Zagreb will be the host of the second meet between the national teams of Thailand and Croatia. There is also a plan for the organization of the greatest event of the martial arts in the world «Budo Gala» that should take place by the end of the following year. Chuck Norris and Van Damme are usually the commentators, but the details are still under negotiations.

What do you think of the growth of the popularity of free fight or ultimate fight? Can PRIDE overshadow K-1 in Japan?

If you follow the media, you can see that PRIDE is in great troubles. I have the translated texts from the Japanese daily papers that explain the criminal structure and the involvement of mafia in the PRIDE organization. There are mentions of Imai, Mirko Filipović’s manager.

Mafia is behind PRIDE. Imai is one of the owners and Mirko’s manager. Mirko is familiar with that from Japanese press. But pride will definitely not eclipse K-1.

How many fights did you have in PRIDE?

I had a four fight contract with PRIDE. First fight was in 1999. on PRIDE 1 vs. Ralph White whom I have KOd in first round. One can find incorrect information on the web that I have lost by verbal submission. In the second fight, the opponent was Mark Kerr from whom I have lost by disqualification because of the rope holding and elbow strikes to the head.

In the third worked fight, I have got an offer from $250,000 to lose against Maurice Smith, and in return was promised a fight against Rickson Gracie, which was my wish. With the worked fight, they wanted to humiliate the K-1/

The fourth fight was supposed to be against the Gracie, but Ken Imai with Orsat Zovko and Mirko Filipović had organized his famous interview, which we will talk about a bit later, so the fight was cancelled.

So how did the fight against Smith go?

I lost.

Did you get paid?

Yes, they paid. I took him down, he was on top of me, with out striking, no anything and I tapped. It can all be seen on the recording.

Well that is PRIDE! Here, the journalist of the most published Japanese papers, we can call him if you will, can say that the match for Cro Cop was a work! All the media were writing about that over there.

There were threats of murder and high money balances to Fedor’s manager and the result of that was that Fedor was a no show in the ring. Those are not my claims, that’s how the Japanese journalist Endo wrote.

Whom do you see as a successor in the ring?

The Japanese are frequently calling me and asking when will I send them a successor. I have presented Mirko to them in 1996 on K-1 as a potential even though he didn’t have a single professional match. On my word Mirko had a fight in Japan as my successor, and he paid that back to me in a very ugly way.

He gave to the Japanese papers an interview in which he stated a number of lies. That I have organized an attack on his coach at the time, offered him a fight till death in the cage, that I was arrested because of the crime involvement, which is all lies. He has trashed me in front of the Japanese audience and business partners.

All that took place in March 2000, right after the elections and the government shift in Croatia. That’s when the attacks on me begin.

You are often mentioned in media, but not in the sports context.

They are talking about me non stop. First it was that guy Čabo, and then Špika and then Šafranić, Čelan from Karate association. They would all like to be bigger than me. And I became the champion of the world when they didn’t even know where America is.

There is some journalists that I didn’t want to pay the "racket" to write about me so they have ganged up with you know whom and are talking trash about me all over the place.

I have been a successful athlete for a number of years. None of them who are attacking me today were heard of until they came to me. Everyone in Croatia who rises in whatever segment is right away under attack.

Mirko left Tigar gym on his own will?

I sent Mirko on his way because he was doing things that were not allowed, and were not in accordance with the ethics and the morale of the combat sports.

What were those things?

He knows them well. Many fighters went through my club. I have my own rules and laws that everyone has to obey.

Ask the world class fighters what is the relationship of them and their coach, with what respect they treat their coach. Harsh and ruthless discipline, but this sport demands that. I am trying to maintain that relationship in my club as well, but there are a few of those that can withstand that.

But some do withstand it. Who would you single out?

While I was in Split, Andrijašević used to come to me, Jukić too was a talent. In Zagreb I trained Emil Zoraj and Ivan Rudan.

Tigars representatives at the moment are Srđan Špirk, Ivan Posavec, Mario Valentić, Irena Dolenčić. There are some other juniors that have yet to prove themselves.

Rudan has recently stepped out in the media and accused you for the crash of his career.

I have signed the contract with Rudan for 5 years, three years ago, and made him a contract with the Japanese which expired in September this year. His first fight was in Japan in 2004 and he lost it by knock out in 20 seconds. That is a very important information with regard that the Japanese were committed to invest in his promotion over 50 000$.

He declined the second fight with argument that he is ill. He wasn’t ready for his third fight, Being the whole thing was very embarrassing for me, I have barred him to fight anywhere else. I was responsible for him and tied with a contract for paying the penalties in the case of not fulfilling my commitments.

The Japanese have found about his fight in Hungary. They have called me and sought explanation. I have managed to cover up the whole story under the excuse that I don’t know anything about it. Luckily, I was a good friend with that manager; otherwise I would have had great problems.

As far as I care, is a «free man» for the last three months. The contract with the Japanese has expired. Our contract is valid for another year, but as far as I am concerned, he is a free fighter. I am in no way barring him from fighting.

How is your family doing? Your oldest daughter is 20 now and she is doing athletics.

I have a pretty wife and beautiful children. My oldest daughter is track champion of Croatia on 800 and 1500m. I have two little kids as well. I own a security company «Tigar Cikatic» and I represent a German company for environment protection «Lambda». I am also active in my Muay Thai association and in the club

These are the things I do and that take up all of my daily time. Threats and provocations through the papers are not unnecessary to me, nor have I the time for them.

It took them two times to get you to take up acting?

The movie Skyscraper was recorded thanks to the fight I had in 1992. in Miami vs. Dennis Alexio (the actor from the movie «Kickboxer») and Van Damme was a commentator. I have already gotten the script to review under the name «The silent killer» in which I was to play leading role. Since I was quite busy at the time, I refused the role. After the K-1 tournament they had called me again and then we shot the «Skyscraper».

How is your conditioning? Is there going to be any other ventures like the one last year vs. Tanayama?

I train every day but Sunday. I am getting ready for the veteran fight that will take place some time in March next year.

And lastly, which one is a better movie: «Skyscraper» or «Ultimate 7»?

I don’t know, I didn’t see Ultimate 7. I only know that I shot the film in Hollywood with Hollywood actors, and not in the outskirts of Croatia.

Branko, thanks you for this interview

You are welcome.