Stories about attacks do not distract kickboxer Ben Saddik for upcoming fight

Glory/Nicholas Olsen

NOS Sport

He is in the midst of preparing for his upcoming kickboxing fight, in three weeks in Düsseldorf against Benjamin Adegbuyi. But in the meantime, the name of Jamal Ben Saddik keeps popping up in the Belgian media for a completely different reason. A whole series of attacks were carried out in Antwerp this summer on houses and business premises that were allegedly owned by him or his family.

That is not true, according to the Belgian heavyweight. According to Ben Saddik, his name is being misused by the media to sell more newspapers and get more clicks on online articles. “I think that media in Belgium very quickly use my name in their articles in order to attract as much attention as possible.”

But still, the list of alleged attacks in Antwerp is long. Bullet holes in houses, arson in a car wash and a diner and several arrests of suspects. One of them was arrested with what the Belgian media calls “a weapon of war”.

Kickboxer Ben Saddik about attacks that would target his family

The Gazet van Antwerpen writes that the series of attacks would have to do with the theft of a large shipment of drugs by a relative of Ben Saddik. The kickboxer himself was in prison for a few weeks last year for alleged involvement in Operation Sky. Ben Saddik is said to have sold illegal crypto telephones to criminals, but his involvement has not (yet) been proven.

“How seriously can you take the media?”

“Let the police solve the case, I can hardly respond to every shelling in Antwerp,” says Ben Saddik. “The Belgian media should focus on my sporting achievements and not deal with rumours.”

Ben Saddik has been living in Amsterdam for a year

“I had never experienced anything like this,” Ben Saddik recalls. “I am especially happy that there were no injuries. I trust that Glory has now taken good measures so that something like this cannot happen again in Düsseldorf.”

The uproar in Belgium over the alleged attacks provides Ben Saddik with “zero distraction” for his fight against Adegbuyi. “I don’t feel insecure or threatened. If people want to visit me: I’ve been living in Amsterdam for a year now. I’m not concerned with what’s happening in Antwerp at all. I focus on my sport.”



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