Takeru has confirmed that his next fight will be inside the ONE Championship ring. Fans have been eagerly awaiting the promotional debut of the kickboxing star since his signing was announced in April.
Takeru earned a reputation as being the best pound for pound kickboxer in Japan during a period in which he absolutely dominated the 55-60kgs divisions. His profile has never been higher following the lucrative bout with Tenshin Nasukawa last year even if the 32 year old did come off second best on that occasion.
He is coming off a win over Bailey Sugden in Paris. That victory earned Takeru the ISKA and K-1 61kgs belts although it wasn’t anything like as successful at the box office as his previous fight had been.
Takeru took to Twitter today to confirm that his next fight would be on a ONE Championship card:
— 武尊 takeru (@takerusegawa) August 4, 2023
Guest of honour
Takeru’s popularity exploded after the fight with Tenshin. He has been a guest of honour at football matches and baseball matches and was at the Tokyo Dome to throw out the first pitch before the Yomiuri Giants game last weekend.
Everyone was hoping to see Takeru fight Rodtang Jitmuangnon but ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong hinted that this would be a difficult fight to make. The Japanese fighter hasn’t fought in Muay Thai since the start of his career, although the Thai has a few kickboxing bouts under his belt.
In an Instagram comment Chatri wrote,
I want to make that fight but everything would need to fall into place. I just don’t know if it will happen or not.
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He had hoped to match the two in Tokyo and it isn’t clear what the obstacles are. Rodtang would presumably be willing to face Takeru under kickboxing rules although it isn’t clear what weight class the Japanese star will compete at.
His last fight took place at 61kgs with no restrictions on weight cutting. Rodtang competes at 61.2kgs on ONE Championship cards but has to pass hydration tests.
Both men look to be a similar height and build so a suitable weight should be easy to find. But plans to have them fight in Tokyo towards the end of the year appear to be on the backburner.
So it doesn’t sound like Rodtang will be the opponent. But Takeru’s long awaited ONE Championship debut should be coming up soon and fans will be fascinated to see who he is matched with.