This might come as a shock to a lot of readers, but not a shock to others, but there have been rumors in Japan that Sadaharu Tanikawa is still somehow involved in K-1. We've spoken with Doug Kaplan, head of K-1 Global, and he confirmed with us -- multiple times -- that both Tanikawa and Ishii were no longer involved in the K-1 business. That being said, I've still been receiving emails from journalists, fans and people within the industry in Japan stating that they do not believe Tanikawa is gone. It turns out that even though Tanikawa publicly announced his resignation from being involved in K-1, he is still attempting to influence -- and possibly hurt -- K-1 from within.
Simon Rutz, through It's Showtime Japan, issued a statement to the Japanese media about this over the weekend and we've got it here for you.
IT'S SHOWTIME Japan and K-1 Global
With great astonishment I read the messages I received from Japan, stating that Japanese fighters are being threatened by Mr. Tanikawa and a certain other gentleman. These men tell the fighters that if they fight for IT'S SHOWTIME, they will never fight for K-1.
As everybody knows, IT'S SHOWTIME has a very close relation with the new company K-1 Global of Mr. Kim, and we do everything in our power to let K-1 rise back to the level where they once were. One of the ways we support K-1 is by making our fighters available for K-1.
It are exactly those fighters that fight on IT'S SHOWTIME events or are under our management that have huge possibilities to fight for K-1 as well.
Mr. Tanikawa has gone way out of line by saying these things to the fighters, and the president of K-1 has made sure Mr. Tanikawa is no longer in active service.
Mr. Tanikawa no longer has any influence in the Japanese kickboxing world and his role is finished.
Two months ago, Mr. Tanikawa introduced 2 Japanese fighters to Mr. Kim for the K-1 event in Madrid, on May 27.
At first, this was no problem to me, until I found out last Wednesday that Mr. Tanikawa had chosen these fighters to let other fighters think he still has influence in the new K-1 Global.
However, this isn't true in any way and the future will reveal this. I don't personally know the certain other gentleman who tries to do such maneuvering after Mr. Tanikawa, but also this gentleman doesn't have any power to decide who will fight in K-1 and who won't.
In the meanwhile, I have discussed this matter with Mr. Kim of K-1 Global, and it will be exactly the Japanese fighters that will fight on IT'S SHOWTIME events, that will also get the chance in K-1.
I hope this clears things up. Don't forget, on September 17, 2012, it's showtime in Japan!