Tenshin vs. Takeru Kickboxing Showdown Set for June

Tenshin Nasukawa RIZIN
Tenshin Nasukawa, RIZIN 26 Credit: RIZIN FF

What is seen by many as a dream match-up in the world of kickboxing has been set for June.

On Friday, during an official K-1 Kickboxing press conference, a 58kg (128lb) match-up between RIZIN star Tenshin Nasukawa and K-1’s Takeru Segawa was announced. The pairing has been hotly anticipated for the past few years, and up until Friday’s announcement, was at risk of slipping away, with Tenshin previously stating that he would retire from kickboxing shortly, and transition into boxing full time. That compounded an already difficult situation politically, with the fighters under contract to different promotions.

In an opening statement during Friday’s press conference, RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara stated that “it would sound cheap to call it the ‘dream card.’ It is rather, the fight of the century: ‘the match‘” (h/t TheFighter.net). He later took to social media to refer to the bout as a “Christmas Gift from ‘Uncle No Comment.'”

Tenshin Nasukawa has long been one of RIZIN Fighting Federation’s biggest stars. A teenage prodigy when he started his fighting career, 23-year old Tenshin has compiled a 42-0 record in kickboxing, after piling up nearly 100 victories as an amateur. In addition, he’s 4-0 in MMA, though he has not competed in that realm since 2017. In Kickboxing, he’s won a RIZIN grand prix, and held titles under RISE and IKSA.

Infamously, Tenshin was matched up with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in an exhibition boxing match in 2018. Out-sized and giving up decades of experience, he was stopped via TKO within a round.

Takeru Segawa has built up an equally impressive resume, posting a 42-2 record as a professional kickboxer. He’s won the super bantamweight, featherweight, and super featherweight titles in K-1, and is a multiple time K-1 Grand Prix winner.

Details on the rule set, number of rounds, and which promotion’s ring the fight will take place in are still being hammered out. Sakakibara is set to head up a committee overseeing the event, with details to follow further down the line. Even the exact date and location of the event is yet to be revealed.