In the realm of kickboxing, the roar of the crowd, the adrenaline surge, and the pulsating rhythm of combatants can shape legends. And amidst this vibrancy, a Japanese megastar, Takeru Segawa, sets his sights on one formidable adversary: Rodtang Jitmuangnon.
It was at the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok where Rodtang squared off against Superlek Kiatmoo9 in a contest that captured the imagination of enthusiasts worldwide. ONE Friday Fight 34 witnessed this epic bout, and right there, amidst the thunder of applause, sat Takeru Segawa, analyzing every nuance of the face-off.
Rodtang might have lost the unanimous decision to Superlek, but for Takeru, this outcome did nothing to diminish the appeal of a face-off with ‘The Iron Man’. Takeru’s ambition was clearly voiced when the South China Morning Post presented a tantalizing scenario: Would he be interested in challenging Rodtang for the ONE flyweight kickboxing world championship if Superlek moved up a weight class? Without missing a beat, Takeru responded, “Very very interested. I wanna do that.”
Takeru Segawa’s entrance into the ONE Championship earlier this year created ripples in the kickboxing world. The sensation of 2023, his signing wasn’t just another entry; it heralded the possibility of matchups previously relegated to the realm of fantasy. Takeru, not just a three-division K1 world champion, also carries the legacy of the iconic Tiger Mask persona. As he prepares for his ONE Championship debut, the sense of expectation in the air is thick, almost tangible.
While fans are abuzz with speculation and hope, Takeru remains laser-focused, enhancing his skill set, training with the best in the business. His time in Bangkok was well spent, sharpening his techniques with legends like Superbon Singha Mawynn and Nong-O Hama. A debut in the ONE Championship is not just another fight; for Takeru, it’s an opportunity to etch another golden chapter in an already illustrious career.
Despite the monumental clash between Rodtang and Superlek, Takeru’s vision remains unclouded. His aim? A super fight with Rodtang. This potential clash isn’t just about titles or bragging rights, it’s about proving oneself against the best. “Of course, my plan to fight Rodtang is not going to change because I understand how strong Rodtang is and how tough his body is. So the plan is the same,” Takeru candidly shared post the Rodtang-Superlek bout.
Should this dream bout materialize, it could redefine the very fabric of kickboxing rivalries, with Rodtang potentially making history by being part of two of the most awaited fights in quick succession. The anticipation, the strategy, the sheer electricity of such a matchup could set arenas afire.
Chatri Sityodtong, the CEO of ONE Championship, is no stranger to the allure Takeru brings. The buzz around Takeru’s debut and potential adversaries is intense. Sityodtong elaborated on the same, stating, “There’s a lot of killers in that division, and they all want a piece of him.” As for Takeru’s debut, Sityodtong hinted at multiple avenues, both in Japan and elsewhere. While the venue remains uncertain, one thing is crystal clear – Takeru Segawa is not just another fighter; he’s a phenomenon waiting to be unleashed.
The trajectory of Takeru’s career has always been upward, with him solidifying his position as Japan’s best. But the overarching question, as posed by Sityodtong, remains: Is he the best in the world? Only time will unveil the answer. But for now, the kickboxing world stands at the cusp of an era that promises unparalleled excitement. With fighters like Takeru and legends like Rodtang, the canvas of the kickboxing universe is poised to be painted with tales of unmatched skill, unwavering dedication, and the relentless pursuit of glory.