I was beaten to a pulp and showed my embarrassment. But I think the fight was a turning point in my life.
Sosuke Takaoka said with a mixed expression of frustration and a sense of accomplishment after his match at the “KYOKEN 21” martial arts event held in Osaka on June 12.
In his debut as a fighter at the age of 40, he took a down against a YouTube star 15 years younger than him and won an impressive decision. To encourage his debut as a fighter, congratulatory flowers arrived in the aisle from his old friends Hayato Ichihara (35) and Shun Oguri (39).
Takaoka said that he even spoke with them on the phone. He revealed his feelings toward them to this magazine.
Hayato contacted me until the last minute and we exchanged heated words. Even though we were apart, I felt as if Hayato was by my side. That was the biggest support of all. Shun contacted me for the first time in a long time to see if I was feeling vulnerable in any way. He told me to be magnanimous, saying, “He’s working on a big stage, a big drama. He’s fighting the fight, too.”
When Takaoka walked down the aisle after the match, he bowed to each and every fan and accepted every photo opportunity.
He said, “My attitude toward my fans hasn’t changed. I hope I can encourage people by telling them that even someone like me, who has made a lot of mistakes, can rise to the occasion.”
His earnest attitude must have struck a chord with the fans.
From the July 8, 2022 issue of FRIDAY
Photo by： Kei Kato