Tenshin Nasukawa may be preparing for his next boxing match, but that hasn’t stopped the Japanese star from keeping tabs on the kickboxing world.
On Sunday, Jan. 28, ONE Championship returns to Toyko, Japan, for ONE 165, which features a monster main event. ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion Superlek Kiatmoo9 will defend the gold when he welcomes kickboxing megastar Takeru Segawa to the promotion, and fans are waiting with bated breath to see how it pans out.
Nasukawa is very familiar with the upcoming title challenger. In 2022, he closed out his kickboxing career against Takeru with a decision victory. He left to chase boxing glory shortly after but has put full faith in his old foe to carry the banner for Japan into the future.
Following a press conference for his upcoming bout, Nasukawa commented on Takeru’s bid for ONE gold and mentioned how he believes Takeru represents the sport (h/t Tokyo Sports).
“Now that I am no longer in kickboxing, he is the icon of kickboxing now. As a representative of kickboxing, I don’t want him to lose. When you think of kickboxing, you think of Takeru now. So, I hope he proudly showcases the essence of kickboxing and carries that pride firmly,” he said.
The ONE 165 main event title tilt will be the perfect opportunity for Takeru to prove his former rival right.
Superlek vs. Takeru is the epitome of what kickboxing is supposed to be. It is the elite taking on the elite, as both men are considered to be among the pound-for-pound best in the world.
Takeru will have the support of his fellow countryman in one of the year’s biggest fights, and this could prove pivotal as the pressure mounts for his ONE debut on home soil.
ONE 165 airs live on global pay-per-view on Sunday, Jan. 28, from the Ariake Arena.
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