Lahore: The Sports Board Punjab after successfully holding the Punjab Youth Festival, Punjab National Youth Festival and Punjab International Sports Festival is now holding the International Sports and Peace Wrestling Festival to mark the 60 years of sporting relations between Pakistan and Japan.
As part of the festivity well-known wrestler Antonio Inoki around 10 professional wrestlers from Japan and other parts of the world will be visiting Pakistan at the end of the current month and collide with each other in a free style wrestling at Lahore.
The SBP with the help of Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif and in collaboration with the founder of Japanese pro wrestling, Antonio Inoki is marking Pakistan’s 60 years of sports ties with Japan. It was in 1976 when Antonio Inoki visited Pakistan 36 years ago in 1976 for a honourary fight with Pakistan’s well-known Akram Pahlwan, commonly known as Aki Pahlwan, and the fight took place at Karachi’s National Stadium. But the sports relations between Pakistan and Japan are now of 60 years bound and to mark that six decades of relations, the SBP and Inoki have come up with a hope to do a sports event in Pakistan in this memorial year.
Inoki hope the bound between the two countries will strengthen and bring the people of the two countries closer.
“We hope that this event can help build a stronger relationship and friendship between the two nations,” said Antonio Inoki in a message on Wednesday.
Usman Anwar, director general SBP, informed that there will be pro wrestling, Kickboxing and a friendly demonstration.
“Around 10 fighters will lock horns in about two and half hours activity and is likely to be broadcast live in Pakistan and Japan,” informed the organisers of the event.
“Pro wrestling is a competitive sports that consists of fighters with stand up skills, throws, and various mixed martial arts background but is there also to show to the spectators the fight. This entertainment sport is performed all over the world but is considered very popular and has a great history especially in United States, Japan, and Mexico,” said an organiser.
“The founder of Japanese pro wrestling is Rikidozan and his students are Antonio Inoki and Giant Baba. These two have carried on the torch of the popularity of the Japanese pro wrestling industry,” he added.
Inoki’s name became well known all over the world after his fight against Muhammad Ali. Then the legendary wrestler of Pakistan made an offer to challenge him for a match in Pakistan. This legendary wrestler’s name of Pakistan is Akram Pahalwan who had the history of his family being mix martial arts fighter, the Bholu Brothers and was a descendant of Great Gama. The match with Ali was also broadcasted in Pakistan in which it drew a TV ratings viewerships of over 80% and now the activity SBP is to hold will also have maximum viewership.