Tenshin Nasukawa ended his illustrious kickboxing career with a mega-fight against Takeru Segawa in 2022. For the Japanese superstar, it served as more than just a battle against another elite striker, but a passing of the torch.
Takeru will carry that torch with him into his ONE Championship debut on Sunday, January 28, when he tries to become the ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion at ONE 165.
During a media scrum promoting his next boxing match, Nasukawa praised Takeru as the face of kickboxing (h/t Tokyo Sports). The star also was clear that Takeru has his full support against reigning ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion Superlek Kiatmoo9.
"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," Nasukawa said.
The Japanese star will need to showcase that essence in order to defeat one of the most technical and feared strikers in the world today.
Superlek is on an outstanding streak, which he extended in a catchweight super-fight against Rodtang Jitmuangnon last September.
His 10-bout winning streak has shown off his technical mastery and his ability to be aggressive and take home highlight-reel knockouts.
The matchup showcases the true apex of the sport.
The elite kickboxing showdown happens at ONE 165 on Sunday, January 28, live on pay-per-view.