Japan’s Antonio Inoki dies at 79

TOKYO (AP) — Popular Japanese professional wrestler and lawmaker Antonio Inoki, who faced a world boxing champion Muhammad Ali in a mixed martial arts match in 1976, has died. He was 79. He made more than 30 trips to North Korea during his time as a lawmaker in hopes of forging peace and friendship. The New Japan Pro-Wrestling Co. says Inoki, who was battling an illness, died earlier Saturday. Born as Kanji Inoki in 1943 in Yokohama, just outside Tokyo, he moved to Brazil with his family when he was 13 and worked at a coffee plantation. Inoki made his pro-wrestling debut in 1960 and gave himself a ring name Antonio Inoki two years later.


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