Shingo Yokoyama wins Intercontinental title fight in Greece


Yesterday, Saturday, Sven Fortenbacher from Reutlingen, Germany, competed in Volos (Greece) against the reigning world champion in the Shidokan Triathlon Shingo Yokoyama (Japan). A hotly anticipated fight, met here but world champion of 2018 (Sven Fortenbacher) against the world champion of 2019 (Shingo Yokoyama) in a direct showdown.

Yokoyama announced before the fight that this will be his last competition as a professional. The 37-year-old is active in politics in Japan from this year and will become a father for the third time later this year. Circumstances that make another career as a professional fighter impossible. So it should be his farewell fight for the Intercontinental title in Shidokan Triathlon against the German.

Yokoyama vs. Fortenbacher

Yokoyama started the fight as usual very aggressively, but quickly encountered considerable resistance from Fortenbacher, who found his way into the fight surprisingly quickly in the Japanese's parade discipline, karate in the first round. After a short time, it was the German who put enormous pressure on Yokoyama and set the better accents for large parts of the first round in full-contact karate. The judges scored this round a draw, so the fight went to the next phase.

In the second round, the kickboxing, Yokoyama turned up the heat again. Although it was he who now determined the pace more, but Fortenbacher kept up at all times skillfully and was dangerous with some attacks the Japanese. Yokoyama knew that if the fight went into the third round (grappling), he would probably be outclassed by Fortenbacher. He mobilized all his forces and went at a murderous pace with hard attacks. After the second round, the judges surprisingly gave the fight to the Japanese, bypassing a third round, and Yokoyama was declared the winner of the encounter.

How close this decision must have been was shown by the gesture of Grandmaster Soeno (Japan), who entered the mat after the fight and raised the hands of both fighters in the air. An overjoyed Shingo Yokoyama accepted the champion's belt and a large trophy and crowned with this victory the end of an almost 20-year unprecedented career in full-contact karate, kickboxing (finalist in the K-1 World Max Japan) and Shidokan Triathlon.

Sven Fortenbacher, on the other hand, suffered a bitter defeat by a hair's breadth, but managed to convince all his doubters that the 2018 world title was not a "fluke". The 29-year-old professional fighter from the German Top Team HQ in Reutlingen is definitely also currently among the absolute world leaders and has been able to truly make a name for itself internationally with this legendary battle against the superstar from Japan.

Next up for the Reutlingen native is the All Japan Shidokan Open in October in Japan and he is already considered one of the favorites for the title at this tournament. Let's keep our fingers crossed for him in the future and look forward to the fights that Fortenbacher will complete in the near future.

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