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Antonio Inoki

Japanese wrestler

Died when: 79 years 223 days (955 months)
Star Sign: Aquarius


Antonio Inoki

Muhammad Hussain Inoki (born Kanji Inoki (Japanese: Japanese: 猪木寛至, Hepburn: Inoki Kanji);February 20, 1943 – October 1, 2022) was a Japanese professional wrestler, martial artist, politician, and promoter of professional wrestling and mixed martial arts.

He was best known by the ring name Antonio Inoki (アントニオ猪木, Antonio Inoki), a homage to fellow professional wrestler Antonino Rocca.

Inoki was a twelve-time professional wrestling world champion, notably being the first IWGP Heavyweight Champion and the first Asian WWF Heavyweight Champion – a reign not officially recognized by WWE.

Inoki began his professional wrestling career in the 1960s for the Japan Pro Wrestling Alliance (JWA) under the tutelage of Rikidōzan.

Inoki quickly became one of the most popular stars in the history of Japanese professional wrestling.He parlayed his wrestling career into becoming one of Japan's most recognizable athletes, a reputation bolstered by his 1976 fight against world champion boxer Muhammad Ali – a fight that served as a predecessor to modern day mixed martial arts.

In 1995, with Ric Flair, Inoki headlined two shows in North Korea that drew 165,000 and 190,000 spectators, the highest attendances in professional wrestling history.

Inoki wrestled his retirement match on April 4, 1998 against Don Frye and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2010.

Inoki began his promoting career in 1972, when he founded New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW).He remained the owner of NJPW until 2005 when he sold his controlling share in the promotion to the Yuke's video game company.

In 2007, he founded the Inoki Genome Federation (IGF).In 2017, Inoki founded ISM and the following year left IGF.He was also a co-founder of the karate style Kansui-ryū (寛水流) along with Matsubayashi-ryū master Yukio Mizutani.

In 1989, while still an active wrestler, Inoki entered politics as he was elected to the Japanese House of Councillors.During his first term with the House of Councillors, Inoki successfully negotiated with Saddam Hussein for the release of Japanese hostages before the outbreak of the Gulf War.

His first tenure in the House of Councillors ended in 1995, but he was reelected in 2013.In 2019, Inoki retired from politics.

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