Takeru and Leona Pettas will finally go head to head on January 24th. The former will be putting his super featherweight title on the line at K’Festa 4 which is set for the Yoyogi National Gymnasium.

The venue was the site of the first ever K-1 Grand Prix back in 1993. The previous three K’Festa cards have taken place at the Saitama Super Arena. Promoter Takami Nakamura explained the change of venue as follows,

“Yoyogi Daiichi is the place where K-1 was born in 1993, and I am happy to be able to hold the event in a place that can be seen as the sacred place of K-1.“

The fight between Takeru and Pettas was originally due to take place at K-1 World Grand Prix 2020 in November but the champion was forced to pull out after injuring his left hand. The challenger says he was disappointed to see his title shot postponed,

“I’m sorry for everyone that was looking forward to the match in Fukuoka. It is a pity the match with Takeru didn’t go ahead in November but I want to fight against a perfect Takeru, and the perfect Takeru will be in January. I want to prove to everyone that I am the best by beating the strongest Takeru.”

Takeru apologised for having pulled out of the first fight,

“I’m sorry to have kept you waiting.The fight will now take place in the Yoyogi National Gymnasium which I think is a meaningful venue with a great history for K-1 and I’m very happy to be able to fight Leona there. To everyone who was looking forward to the fight in Fukuoka I’m really sorry but I’ll do my best to make the fight more exciting and bigger at Yoyogi and bring the K-1 to Fukuoka again at a later date.”

He promised to be in peak condition come January but admits the hand injury has had an impact on his training camp,

“I’m really sorry that I couldn’t make the fight in November and I want to make it better. As Leona said, I want to fight Leona in the best shape so I want to fight in the best condition on January 24th. There has been a slight change in my training due to the injury, but I do the same thing every fight. I want to build my body in the same way, and I want to build the best condition as possible. I will definitely be in the best condition on January 24th. I’m confident that I’ll finish the fight.”

The only other match up on the card so far sees the return of Kyotaro Fujimoto. The former K-1 Heavyweight champion hasn’t fought under kickboxing rules since 2010 when he stopped to pursue a career in boxing.

He had significant success on the regional scene winning the Japanese heavyweight title and the OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific heavyweight titles. Kyotaro’s last fight was in December 2019 when he was stopped in 2 rounds by Daniel Dubois in London.

He spoke of his focus ahead of January’s return.

“If you do not take things seriously to participate in K-1, nothing will succeed, and now 34 years old is a good age for me to return. I hope I can end my martial arts life with a good feeling, when I finally stop,” he said.

K’Festa 4, Yoyogi, January 24th
Takeru (c) vs. Leona Pettas (For super featherweight title)
Kyotaro Fujimoto vs. TBA (Heavyweight)