August 28th will mark the second It's Showtime Japan event, this time a co-promotion with the Fujiwara Festival. However, its biggest impact on the kickboxing world will be Hisanori Maeda's retirement ceremony. Maeda was the 20th AJKF Featherweight Champion and has faced nearly every notable name at 60-63kg in Japan. During his time in AJKF, he faced Naoki Ishikawa, Masahiro Yamamoto, Genki Yamamoto, Hiromasa Masuda, Haruaki Otsuki, Kanongsuk and Ryuji Kajiwara. Though he was unsuccessful against many of them, he managed to go 2-1-1 against Naoki Ishikawa, with their final encounter being a draw for the AJKF Super Featherweight Championship at the last AJKF show.
After AJKF disbanded, he entered the 2009 Krush Lightweight tournament, defeating Fire Harada by knockout in the opening round of the tournament, but losing to Genki Yamamoto in the quarterfinals. He went on to defeat Daisuke Uematsu in a super fight at the finals of the Krush tournament. However, he finished out his career going 1-4 in 2010, losing to TURBΦ and Rashata in that stretch.
Maeda is just one of the many AJKF fighters who has struggled to find success in the post-AJKF Japanese scene and his retirement signifies another step in this changing of the guard in the Japanese scene which has seen many K-1 Koshien fighters find success in both K-1 and Krush. AJKF fighters may have a resurgence in the near future, but Hisanori Maeda will not be one of them.