Japan News

New Japan Founder Antonio Inoki Hospitalised With Back Issue

Japanese wrestling luminary Antonio Inoki has revealed that he has been hospitalised due to an ongoing concern with his lower back.

Inoki, who founded New Japan Pro Wrestling in 1972, tweeted about his condition and requested support from his fanbase:

Inoki reportedly underwent surgery on his lower back in 2018 and has been using a wheelchair ever since.

Having spent two stints in Japanese politics, the WWE Hall of Famer announced his retirement from the Japanese Diet in 2019, with speculation around his health cited as the probably rationale.

Inoki, who once famously competed against Muhammad Ali in a mixed rules ‘fight’, has in recent years dedicated his time towards water plasma research – a potential treatment.

In 2019, he cited his concerns about retirement and noted his relief in the research becoming a new source of inspiration and drive.

With thanks to Tokyo Sports for the transcript.