Japanese Kickboxing sensation Tenshin Nasukawa recently announced his retirement from the sport of kickboxing. Nasukawa says he is walking away from the sport to compete in boxing. However, before he calls it quits he has called out for a match a former adversary; ONE Championship reigning titleholder Rodtang Jitmuangnon. Not to be outdone by his cold war rival, multiple-time K-1 Champion Takeru Segawa also recently called for a fight with Rodtang.
Tenshin Nasukawa Retiring
“I decided to retire from kickboxing and switch to boxing because of my desire to always take on the challenge.” Tenshin Nasukawa recently said in a statement, “I think that there is a part that can be applied to boxing opponents because of the skill of kicking. Since I started practicing boxing for conversion, I have only stimulated every day. In boxing, It’s a start from the bottom, so I’m excited to see how strong the players are on the top.”
Tenshin Nasukawa, age 23, is a 42-0 kickboxer who has held titles in RISE, ISKA, Rizin, and more. The Japanese-born fighter Nasukawa has had limited experience in boxing. He had a one-sided loss to a larger Floyd Mayweather in an exhibition bout. And, earlier this year fought three fighters for one round each in an exhibition boxing match at the Tokyo Dome.
The Thai fighter Rodtang Jitmuangnon is an aggressive and exciting fighter who has held titles in both Kickboxing and Muay Thai. Rodtang has an impressive record of 267 wins and 42 losses between Kickboxing and Muay Thai and is only 24 years old. Currently is he the reigning titleholder in ONE Championship with three successful title defenses. Rodtang said that he would love a rematch. Rodtang currently is scheduled to face former UFC Champion Demetrious Johnson in a mixed rules bout under the ONE Championship banner.
Rodtang vs. Tenshin II
“My final opponent is not decided yet, but if possible I want to face Rodtang.” Tenshin Nasukawa recently said. Tenshin and Rodtang fought in 2018 and since then both continue to call each other out for a fight. It was a closely contested bout in which both felt they deserved to win. This bout was originally called a draw so an extra round was added. This final round was chaotic and the judges gave it to Nasukawa. Some fans have said this was controversial and a robbery. In 2020, Tenshin Nasukawa said, “I’m not quite sure how each organization work because there are so much politics, but if I were to pick somebody, I would like to fight Rodtang again. I do want to fight him again, and I know I have gotten much better than we last fought. So if we did have a rematch, I am confident that I could dominate him.”
“I would love to fight Tenshin again. Honestly, I couldn’t sleep after that fight because I really thought I won. I hope we can meet one day again soon so I can prove it in the ring … I think I was able to bring out my weapons in that fight. It was a close fight, but I thought I won. I can say for sure that I definitely improved so much since then. If we faced each other again this time around, things will be different,” Rodtang said recalling his bout with Tenshin Nasukawa. “If I get the chance to compete against him again, I would love to hunt him down for my Thai fans. I’m sure I can beat him and make my fans proud.”
Rodtang has agreed and wants to fight Tenshin for his final bout, “I want to see you again in your last Kickboxing Fight.”
Takeru Segawa Also Wants Rodtang
“I want to fight him. Please K-1 call Rodtang,” The Multi-time K-1 Champion recently also called out the ONE Championship titleholder. Takeru Segawa is currently on a 35 fight win streak in Kickboxing. And along the way he has picked up three K-1 Grand Prix titles, the three weight class title belts, and defended each one.
Rodtang is aware of this potential call out as well, “I would love to fight Takeru,” He said, “Some people tagged me in posts where he had called me out. He is a very strong fighter under kickboxing rules, strong hands and he loves to fight.” He recently said, “It would be hard to make this fight happen I think but I would love to fight him on a ONE Championship card so we can see who is the best.”
Rodtang versus either of the great champions of Tenshin or Takeru would be one for the ages. However, what about Tenshin vs Takeru? A dream fight that has eluded the Kickboxing world for years. For now, we’ll keep dreaming.
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