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Notes From Japan: Kimbo Slice To Pro Wrestle, FEG On Road To Death Says Tanikawa (Update)

Kimbo Slice is going to take a bit of a detour before he makes that pro boxing debut Gary Shaw promised for the new year. We all knew Kimbo would end up Japan at some point, but most of us expected him to fight in DREAM or K-1. Not so. Instead, he’s following in Josh Barnett’s footsteps and taking a little side work in IGF, Japan’s pro wrestling league.

I’m not going to pretend like I know anything about Japanese pro wrestling, but he’s apparently wrestling in an 8-man tournament that includes Barnett. His “opponent,” if that’s what you call him, is a pot-smoking sumo wrestler named Shinichi “Wakakirin” Suzukawa who was scheduled to “fight” Bob Sapp at Dynamite!! 2010 until Sapp backed out at the last minute.

Before Kimbo heads to Japan though, he might want to have a chat with Mark Coleman. Coleman found out the hard way last year that Wakakirin likes to make changes to the script mid-match. As Phil Baroni described, Wakakirin was supposed to tap out to a head lock, but refused and went on to rough up an exhausted Coleman. As we all know, Kimbo doesn’t do well with last-minute changes.

In other news from Japan, FEG’s future doesn’t seem to be getting any brighter. Things have been quiet since Dynamite!! as the organization attempts to “restructure,” but a recent quote from FEG president Sadaharu Tanikawa isn’t exactly gleaming with hope and promise.

“The current course is that FEG will die. There are probably staff members that will leave as well. The event name will be left but the promotion will change. If the current structure remains as it is it will be impossible to continue. If many investments from companies overseas do not come in we can’t survive.”

Well, at least he’s honest. Usually when a company is on the brink of death, all the executives act like everything is unicorns and rainbows. Not Tanikawa, he straight up says his company is headed for the crapper. I guess business really is conducted differently in Japan.

Image via SportsNavi

Update: Looks like Japanese pro wrestling is less of a side job and more of a career change. $kala tells Ariel Helwani that Kimbo Slice is already done with boxing.

“[Slice left the boxing training camp] due to some various injuries and to go film The Scorpion King. Upon his return, he didn’t show me any interest in boxing, so we just decided for right now to put it to the side,” Shaw said.

Shaw said he hasn’t talked to Slice since October. He was surprised to hear of Slice’s new gig, but added, “I think Kimbo Slice’s days as a fighter are close to an end.”

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