Takeru and Rodtang Jitmuangnon will fight under kickboxing rules at ONE 165. It is a ruleset the Japanese fighter is very familiar with and he has already enlisted the help of some high level sparring partners.

Takeru made his name competing in K-1 and has been sparring with one of the kickboxing promotion’s current champion. He shared some footage of him going toe to toe with Yuki Yoza in the gym:


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Bigger men

Takeru held the K-1 featherweight and super featherweight titles. His ONE Championship debut is set for 135lbs with hydration tests and he has been preparing for Rodtang by sparring with some bigger men.

Yoza holds the K-1 lightweight title. He is on a seven fight winning streak and both men seem to really be going for it in the footage which Takeru shared on Instagram.

Takeru has travelled all over the world to train this year. During his early years he spent time at the Kaewsamrit Gym in Bangkok and fought in Thailand a few times.

In 2023 he has trained at the Superbon Training Centre in Bangkok and Boxing Works in Los Angeles. He normal gym is tiny compared to these places and appears to consist of one small room with padded walls.

There is no ring at the Vasilieus Gym and the punching bags have to be removed if two fighters are sparring. Takeru appears to be the only fighter who is using the facility regularly.


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Unorthodox approach

It is an unorthodox approach but Takeru clearly believes he can make it work. The gym isn’t open to the public and doesn’t appear on any maps, it appears to be purely for the kickboxer’s personal use.

By contrast the Jitmuangnon Gym, where Rodtang trains, is home to around 20 fighters. The camp has its own ring and a long track record of producing top fighters like Panpayak Jitmuangnon and Yodpanomrung Jitmuangnon.

At least Takeru appears to be in peak physical condition. He has only fought once this year and that was a comfortable win over Bailey Sugden in June.

Rodtang has already fought three times in 2023 with the most recent coming in September. It is not the most hectic of schedules by Thai standards but he doesn’t always do a full camp before fights.

After the win over Edgar Tabares at ONE Fight Night 6 the Thai admitted he had only trained for a few days. He will need to take the challenge of Takeru much more seriously because the Japanese fighter is clearly training very hard at his bespoke gym.