ARUZE K-1 WORLD GP 2004 FINAL
Saturday, December 04, 2004
Tokyo Dome, Japan
1st match : Super Fight Reserve Match
Jerome Le Banner vs. Hiromi Amada
winner: Jerome Le Banner by KO 2R 1:03
Judo Whiz Akiyama Goes Pro
TOKYO, October 6, 2004 -- It was announced today in a press conference at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo that Yoshihiro Akiyama, a seven-time Judo Champion, will make his professional debut in the K-1 ROMANEX ring.
Akiyama's silver-highlighted spiked hair and tanning-salon bronze complexion turned heads at the World Judo Championships last September. For traditionalists, his style bordered on irreverence. At the same event, the 29 year-old fighter's controversial "judogi" (judo jacket) drew protests from France, Mongolia and Turkey, earning him something of a bad boy reputation.
Born and based in Osaka, Akiyama stands 179cm and weighs in at 85kg, which he terms his "ideal weight." Superior leg techniques characterize his aggressive, crowd-pleasing style, which K-1 and Akiyama alike believe will translate well into the ROMANEX ring.
He may look contemporary, but today, speaking in hushed tones, Akiyama paid tribute to Judo's roots. "In the early 19th century, there was a Japanese Judo master named Mitsuyo Maeda who traveled the world promoting his art -- in Brazil, he became known as "Conde Koma" [Count Koma]," Akiyama told the more than 100 reporters and photographers present. "Now, I am becoming a professional fighter, and like Mitsuyo Maeda, I want to show the whole world what Judo is all about -- I want to be an ambassador for the spirit of Judo!"
Akiyama will debut against a yet to be announced opponent at the K-1 Dynamite event, set for the Osaka Dome this New Year's Eve.