Three Division K-1 Champion Takeru Segawa fought the UK’s ‘British Bulldog’ Bailey Sugden for the ISKA World Lightweight title at Zenith in Paris on Saturday 24th June 2023. And to say things went awry on the fight card is an understatement.
The promoter ‘forgot to bring a bell’
British promotion Muay Thai Grand Prix put on the bout, which was a pretty big deal in the ISKA (International Sport Kickboxing Association) kickboxing world. It was the debut of the Japanese phenom on European soil. Takeru was coming off a decision loss to RIZIN star Tenshin Nasukawa in front of a huge crowd at the Tokyo Dome last fall.
He definitely made an impression, beating the reigning champ Sugden via TKO stoppage by head kick KO in the 5th round. But that’s not really the notable part about the fight card. It appears that British promotion Muay Thai Grand Prix forgot something pretty important when they packed for Paris: the bell to tell the ref when to end the rounds. Oops.
Main event unmarred but Taiga vs Karpowicz went badly wrong
Fortunately the main event seems to have been unmarred, but the undercard fighters weren’t so lucky.
This tweeter seems to have been confused about who was fighting in the messed up bout but I couldn’t resist quoting his prose:
But the confusion was wide spread with this report indicating it was Taigu who took the extra minute of damage.
Fortunately, the card headlining title fight ended within regulation time and wasn’t ruined by the mess up. But nonetheless this has to be seen as a major faux pas by the promoter and a pretty poor way to introduce a Japanese kickboxing star to a fight-hungry European audience.
Last Takeru fight left some fans frustrated too
As we reported last fall, Takeru’s last bout left some fans unhappy as well.
“Tenshin’s boxing looked sharper, and was key to him scoring a knockdown at the end of the first round. The second and third round also featured a headbutt and a trip takedown that had Tenshin wincing and complaining to the referee. Those final two stanzas were much closer, with both landing good strikes. At the end of three rounds, and with a knockdown already in the bank, it was Tenshin that scored better and was awarded with a unanimous decision.”
“It was an entertaining scrap, but for such a massive fight that took years to put on, fans were left wanting more. It’s great that it finally happened, but three short rounds just weren’t enough for a fight of this magnitude.”
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