This one comes as a surprise, while the departure of names like Badr Hari, Tyrone Spong and Gokhan Saki are not a surprise, with them the writing was on the wall for quite a while. Kyotaro is the latest name to come up on a short list of K-1 Heavyweights who have decided to move on to another combat sport, this time Boxing. Boxing is experiencing an upswing of popularity in Japan over the past few years and it is hard to argue against it being the healthiest of the combat sports there.
News came out over the last few hours that K-1 Heavyweight Champion Kyotaro has decided to leave Kickboxing for Boxing and has returned his K-1 Heavyweight Championship. It is not surprising to see Kyotaro looking to compete elsewhere, as he has tried his hand at professional wrestling this year, much like Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima, but not seen the same level of success. Outside of his interesting hair choices, Kyotaro does not have the same charisma that a Nagashima has, and while that is not valued over all in Japanese professional wrestling, the popularity of wrestlers like Keiji Mutoh, Masahiro Chono, Shin'ya Hashimoto, Kenta Kobashi and Toshiaki Kawada speaks against that point.