Takeru scored a buzzer beater KO against Bailey Sugden in Paris last weekend. There was no timing due to a mix up with the French officials but it transpired afterwards that he had finished the English man in the final second of the fight.

Takeru was on track to take the decision win having scored multiple knockdowns against the Englishman who was game but ultimately outmatched. The Japanese kickboxer had been away from the ring for an entire year and was coming off a loss to Tenshin Nasukawa in The Match.

Takeru had also undergone surgery during this time but looked like he had never been away. Due to the issues with the timekeeping he probably wasn’t aware just how little time was left on the clock when he knocked Sugden out.

But it was a beautiful combination that ended the contest with Takeru trapping the Englishman against the ropes and then following up a right hook to the body with a left head kick that instantly finished the fight.

Multiple knockdowns

Takeru had already scored three knockdowns by this stage meaning that the point he was deducted for holding in the final round was never going to prove decisive.  It was his first win in over two years and afterwards he wrote that,

My first win in a while, very happy to hear the voices of the locals in France. Two surgeries, sickness, and I contemplated retirement many times but I’m glad I kept going. Thanks to everyone who supported me. I’m ready for ONE Championship.

The fight was broadcast live on Abema in Japan and it is clear that Takeru has a big fanbase there. He picked up the K-1 lightweight title and the ISKA lightweight title with this victory.


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Next up

After the fight Takeru stated that he wanted to fight Rodtang Jitmuangnon next. The Thai didn’t take too long to respond on Instagram telling the multiple division K-1 champion that,

Before you call my name, get some wins in ONE first.

Chatri Sityodtong has already declared that he wants Takeru to fight Rodtang in Tokyo. The Japanese fighter is a kickboxer and it is unlikely he would be willing to compete under Muay Thai rules.

Rodtang is the reigning ONE Championship flyweight Muay Thai champion but does have some experience of kickboxing. He is on a nine fight winning streaks although it is clear his most recent opponents have not been of Takeru’s calibre.

Chatri will have been relieved to see Takeru sail through his comeback fight without any difficulties. A second defeat would have seriously derailed the 31 year old’s career but everything is on track for him to face Rodtang later this year, assuming that is still the plan.