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Antonio Inoki, Popular wrestle Dies Aged 79

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Antonio Inoki Died

Antonio Inoki Died

The popular Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki, who faced world boxing champion Muhammad Ali in a mixed martial arts match in 1976, 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 pro wrestling.

He also was the first sport personalities to enter politics. He Encouraged peace through sports and made more than 30 trips to North Korea during his time as a lawmaker in hopes of forging peace and friendship. Inoki, who was affected by a rare disease called amyloidosis, died earlier Saturday, according to the New Japan Pro-Wrestling Co, of which he was the founding president. With his trademark red scarf around from his neck, Inoki last appeared in public in August on a TV show, in a wheelchair. “As you can see, I’m pushing myself to the limit, and I’m getting power as I get to see you,” he said. While on a wrestling tour in Brazil at the age of 17, Inoki, who is recognized as the pioneer of Japanese professional wrestling, noticed him after he had achieved local popularity in shot put as a student.

Inoki made his wrestling debut in 1960, and two years later, he adopted himself the ring name Antonio Inoki. Inoki is the founder of  Japan Pro Wrestling in 1972. When he competed against Ali in a mixed martial arts battle at Tokyo’s Budokan Hall in 1976, which supporters refer to as “the fight of the century,” he shot to international stardom in the sport.

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