Takeru will be back in action on June 24th. The Japanese kickboxer has been booked to face Bailey Sugden in an ISKA <61kgs title fight in Paris.
Takeru’s last fight was one of the biggest in kickboxing history. He faced Tenshin Nasukawa in front of 56,399 fans at the Tokyo Dome in a fight that had been several years in the making.
Unfortunately for Takeru the fight didn’t go his way as he was knocked down in the opening round and beaten by decision. Tenshin has subsequently retired from kickboxing and will make his pro boxing debut next month.
Takeru has taken an extended break but seems to have decided to continue with his kickboxing career. He is taking on an opponent who has fought numerous times for Glory with slightly mixed results.
Sugden does come into this contest on the back of a three fight winning streak. But Tenshin was the first fighter to beat Takeru in over a decade during which the 31 year old established himself as one of the best pound for pound kickboxers on the planet.
Takeru earned a career high purse from that bout with Tenshin and this will be his first time fighting since becoming a multimillionaire. He has been out of action for around a year but has clearly not given up training.
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Takeru travelled to Thailand last year and has been heavily linked with a fight with Rodtang. This show is being put on by English promotion MTGP who have hosted Road to ONE tournaments in the past.
Having effectively conquered K-1 before running down his contract Tenshin has basically run out of opponents in Japan. The choice of location and opponent for his comeback is something of a surprise, given that he had been linked with some high profile, big money fights.
With ONE Championship having signed up so many of the world’s best Muay Thai fighters and kickboxers there would be no shortage of potential opponents for Takeru. He will be expected to overcome Sugden in Paris and it will be fascinating to see what comes after.