Terminally ill kickboxer Robbie Hageman has a tumor in his head but will play his farewell match in Eindhoven on Saturday. It’s a match that his mother prefers not to be present and that his opponent had to think long and hard about. This one finds its environment close to the match.
Anita Hageman, mother
“I didn’t want to be there, but he insists on his children being there. So I said I’ll keep an eye on them. It is also a distraction. Where he draws power from, no one understands. It’s a miracle he persevered with chemo so much. He saw it a lot. That’s his all. I think adrenaline does that. I can understand Robbie wanting to end it this way.
I’m very worried. I’m a little tense before the game. I always thought it was a great sport, but of course I see it differently now. I hope it’s a great match where they both come out well and it’s well balanced for him.
Chantal Hageman very pregnant, wife
“I still have two weeks ahead of me. So it can happen at any time. You never know, huh. She is already selfish. We agreed that if I was allowed to give birth during her farewell party, I would still allow her to play her farewell party. He liked it.
It’s going to be an emotional game because it’s the last time. I love him so much for him. We’re just going to enjoy. He can finally realize his dream.
Ali Gunyar, coach
“I struggled a lot with it at first. I spoke to his parents and his wife. The doctor agreed. We started training. He’s come a long way and now he’s ready.
It’s a game with a story. It’s Robbie’s last game, in his prime. He had to end his career immediately. We will prove once again that nothing can stop us. We are ready.
I expect a show. On both sides, because he has a good opponent. It’s a legend. He has competed in many competitions at home and abroad.”
Former European champion Rachid Belaini, opponent
“My goodbye was in 2015 against Robbie. I was asked if I could put my gloves back on. To fight Robbie.
I had to think about it for a long time. It gives a double feeling. He had received the approval of the doctors. I really like Robbie. The family is close and I like that. He’s a good guy. A good father. I thought: if I can help this boy, I will. In three months, I lost eleven kilos. It’s going to be hard. I always go 100%. Not for eighty or ninety.
Theo Hageman, father
“For me, as a father, it’s very double. Of course, he’s sick. No wonder he has to say goodbye. It’s sad. At the same time, he can say goodbye to all his audience on a nice evening. I really like Robbie. Then he can shut it up.
The farewell match will take place on Saturday at the Indoor Sportcentrum Eindhoven. Part of the profits go to Fundraising for Robbie Hageman for treatment in the United States.
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