Antonio Inoki died, the wrestling legend was 79 years old

According to the Japanese broadcaster NHK, he died of a heart problem

Antonio Inoki, wrestling legend, died. The Japanese athlete was 79 years old. According to the Japanese broadcaster NHK, Inoki died of a heart problem. Born in Yokohama, Inoki made the history of Japanese and international wrestling. He was the absolute protagonist of the discipline between the 70s and 80s, founding New Japan Pro Wrestling and marking an era characterized by figures such as Hulk Hogan and Andre The Giant. Inoki, also honored with the inclusion of his character in the cartoon The Tiger Man, was the face of wrestling in the years in which the discipline became known also in Italy, with the first ‘catch’ matches broadcast on TV locals. After a career in wrestling, Inoki turned to politics and also won a seat in Parliament in 1989 at the end of the Sports and Peace Party. Around the same time, he flew to Iraq to negotiate the release of some Japanese hostages. Over the years, he has built relationships with North Korea, personally committing himself to Japanese citizens sanctioned or detained by Pyongyang.