Panchan Rina has won multiple titles with Japanese kickboxing promotions Knock Out and Rebel. She has 110,ooo followers on Instagram but it seems that the popular and photogenic fighter might be struggling to make ends meet.
Last December she was arrested for fraud. Panchan, whose real name is Rina Okamoto, was accused of forging the signatures of Tenshin Nasukaw and Takeru on a poster and selling it to a fan for 99,900 yen ( approximately $730 USD).
She released a lengthy statement on Twitter just now in which she addressed the incident:
— ぱんちゃん 璃奈 (@panchanrina) January 23, 2023
At the time of her arrest Panchan Rina was recovering from knee surgery. She ruptured her ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and it needed to be completely reconstructed.
Panchan Rina made history at Rizin 30 in 2021 when she became the first female fighter to ever win a kickboxing contest on one of the promotion’s cards. She doesn’t have a single loss listed on her record but away from the ring the 28 year old appears to have been struggling with financial issues.
In the video Panchan Rina says she was the victim of a scam. According to the kickboxer she lost 15 million yen (approximately $110,000 USD) and it appears she resorted to selling the forged posters in order to recoup some of her losses.
She also claims to have met up with the person who purchased the posters the following day and apologized. Panchan Rina only spent a single night in custody and it is not clear what, if anything she has been charged with.
The kickboxer also promised to issue a statement on her future soon. It is possible that Panchan Rina could be about to make her comeback as it i has been almost a year since her last fight.