Pakistan wrestling fraternity pays rich tribute to Inoki

Our Correspondent
Sunday, Oct 02, 2022

KARACHI: Pakistan’s wrestling community on Saturday paid glowing tributes to the legendary wrestler Antonio Inoki who died in Tokyo due to cardiac failure.

Pakistan Wrestling Federation (PWF) chairman Syed Aqil Shah said that he was an ambassador of humanity.

“He was so kind and a great ambassador of humanity. He was my good friend,” Shah told ‘The News’.

“When he came with his wrestlers to Peshawar a few years ago Qayyum Stadium was jampacked and we entertained him properly. When he left he also thanked me for the hospitality. He was so kind. I offer huge condolences to his family on his sad demise,” said Shah, also a former sports minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Meanwhile Pakistan’s premier wrestler Mohammad Inam said he was his role model. “Its sad news. He was such a great man and wrestler and was my role model,” Inam told ‘The News’.

“We will also hold a condolence meeting in our arena and will pray for his soul as he also had embraced Islam,” Inam said. Inoki’s Islamic name was Mohammad Hussain.

A few years ago he visited Lahore and also offered Fateha at the tomb of his former rival Jhara Pehalwan. He also took Jhara’s nephew Haroon Abid to Japan and met all the expenses of his training.

“He was a legendary pehalwan, having contested against Jhara. He was a great legend and had inspired Pakistan’s wrestling a lot. Jhara-Inoki fight is still remembered by the people,” said Inam, who has to his credit five world beach wrestling titles.

“I also have learnt a lot while watching his training videos. His frequent visits to Pakistan reflect that he loved Pakistan,” Inam said.

Meanwhile PWF vice-president Arshad Sattar said he was a great wrestler and a great human being.

“He was a great legend of the game and his personality was also inspiring,” Arshad told ‘The News’.

“His death has saddened us a lot. May Allah rest his soul in eternal peace. I also on behalf of PWF condole with his family,” Arshad said.

Inoki also fought Akram Pehalwan of Pakistan, who is uncle of Jhara pehalwan.