K’Festa 3 is set for the Saitama Super Arena on Sunday night and there have been several last minute changes to the card. In the main event Takeru will now be facing Petchdam Petchkiatpetch.
Petchdam is a replacement for Adam Bouarourou. The Moroccan fighter was unable to travel to Japan as he is in lockdown in France.
Now Takeru faces the former Channel 7 featherweight champion, who comes into the fight on the back of a win against Sherzod Kabutov of Kyrgyzstan on the Superchamp television show at the end of January.
For Petchdam it is a dream come true to step in and get a chance to make history against one of the biggest names in kickboxing,
“I am delighted to participate in K-1 for the first time and compete with the champion Takeru. My fight that was originally planned for March in Thailand has been cancelled, so I am happy to get the opportunity to still fight. I’ve seen a little bit of Takeru’s footage, I’m going to have to fight cleverly with him because he seems to have a strong punch and aggressive style.”
Takeru was disappointed that his fight was changed, but happy to still get to compete.
“I’m sorry that the opponent changed, and it is sad that the title match disappeared, but I will concentrate on this opponent and win and the title match will go ahead next time so that we can turn this situation into a plus. I am still coming to put on a powerful show, so please support me.”
Another fighter grateful for the opportunity to step into the limelight is Japanese fighter Yasuo Asaku, who stepped up to the plate as a replacement for Kenta Hayashi’s original opponent Zhu Shuai.
Asaku comes into the fight on a three fight win streak and had no hesitations in accepting the offer,
“It was a sudden offer, but I am glad that the fight was decided. I don’t care, I will fight anytime, anywhere, with anyone! Hayashi is a champion who punches very hard, and with a very high work rate. I think everyone will be excited about this fight!”
Kenta was also relieved to still be able to fight,
“A lot of fighters have been pulling out and my opponents have changed a few times, so thanks to Asaku for fighting with me. I appreciate everyone’s continued support.”
Denmark’s Niclas Larsen was also forced to pull out of the show’s super-welterweight tournament, due to being unable to travel. Avatar Tor Mohsri replaces him in the semi-final match against Hiromi Wajima.
He is a a former WPMF champion at 147 and 154lbs and a former Top-King World Series World champion at 154lbs. Avatar is a stocky, tough, aggressive fighter and Hiromi is not taking him lightly,
“I am sorry that I can no longer face Niclas Larsen, but I have to keep very focused, because I have had foreign opponents change in the past and they have always been very strong. I need to keep preparing the best I can and even though my opponent has changed I am determined to get the win,” he said.
Avatar unsurprisingly was very happy to step in and compete in such a big tournament,
“I was very surprised to get the chance to go and fight in Japan, but it’s not the first time it has happened, so I immediately started to focus mentally on the fight. All the fighters seem to be a little bigger than me, but I am very determined and coming to fight!”