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Saturday 22 June, 2024
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Famouse wrestler Antonio Inoki dead at 79, Cause of Death

BY Salman Ahmed Oct 01, 2022. 11:20 am UPDATED: Oct 01, 2022. 11:20 am

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Famous Japanese professional wrestler and lawmaker Antonio Inoki, has died at 79.

Inoki established mixed martial arts competitions amongst top wrestlers and champions from other combat sports including judo, karate, and boxing. He also popularised Japanese professional wrestling.

In his sport, he was also the first to pursue politics. In an effort to foster friendship and peace, he travelled to North Korea more than 30 times while serving as a congressman and promoted peace via sports.

According to the New Japan Pro-Wrestling Co., which he founded and served as president of, Inoki passed away early on Saturday. He was battling a rare condition called amyloidosis. Inoki was optimistic and in good spirits despite having to battle the disease.

Inoki’s most recent public appearance was on a TV show in August, while he was in a wheelchair and wearing his signature red scarf around his neck.

As you can see, he continued, “I’m working hard and getting stronger as I get to visit you.

Born in Yokohama, Japan, in 1943 under the name Kanji Inoki, he went with his family to Brazil when he was 13 and worked on a coffee plantation. At the age of 17, while on a wrestling tour in Brazil, Inoki made his professional wrestling debut after achieving local prominence in the shot put as a student. Rikidozan, regarded as the father of Japanese professional wrestling, was impressed by Inoki.

Inoki made his professional wrestling debut in 1960, and two years later, he adopted himself the ring name Antonio Inoki.

Inoki established professional wrestling as a tremendously popular sport in Japan along with his competitor and fellow Japanese great, the late Shohei “Giant” Baba. The New Japan Pro-Wrestling was established in 1972 by Inoki.

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When he competed against Ali in a mixed martial arts bout at Tokyo’s Budokan arena in 1976, the contest became known as “the fight of the century,” he gained international notoriety for the activity.

After securing a seat in the upper house, one of Japan’s two chambers of parliament, Inoki entered politics in 1989 and served as the leader of the Sports and Peace Party. In 1990, he went to Iraq to secure the release of Japanese nationals who were being held as hostages. In North Korea, he also staged a professional wrestling match.

Inoki developed a personal relationship with North Korea over time and returned there frequently to assist Japan in resolving the long-standing issue of former kidnappings of Japanese people by the North.

He stopped competing in wrestling in 1998, but he continued to work in politics until 2019.

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