Antonio Inoki discusses how he’s doing health-wise, comments on Shinjiro Otani’s injury

Inoki shares that he's continuing to push forward health-wise and also weighed in on Shinjiro Otani's injury

Photo Courtesy: Tokyo Sports

Inoki provides an update on his health.

For the past several years, Antonio Inoki has been in and out of hospitals. He was diagnosed with systemic transthyretin amyloidosis, which impairs blood circulation throughout the body.

What Inoki had been dealing with was spotlighted during a special that aired on cable television in Japan. In a new interview with Tokyo Sports, Inoki told the publication that he cannot fake how he’s been doing health-wise.

As you can see, I can’t fake it… I’ve almost died about four times, to the surprise of even the doctors, but I’m still alive.

The interviewer added that Inoki appears to be doing well physically. In the past, when he said he was doing fine, that was just a ‘selling point’ so there would not be any more reasons to worry about him.

That ‘you look fine’ was the selling point. I can’t transmit my energy unless I’m really healthy, so I take care of myself every day. Hospitalization? I’ve been in and out of the hospital for about three years now (laughs).

Antonio Inoki’s history with Shinjiro Otani dates back to when Otani was a child. He weighed in on Otani’s cervical spinal cord injury and wishes he could pass along words such as ‘get well soon’, but knows the injury is more severe than those words can live up to.

I heard the details a couple of days ago. I can’t say, ‘Accidents like this can’t be helped,’ but I guess a wrestler’s neck is the most important thing. I used to bridge with hundreds of kilograms of weights, and I was probably the heaviest man in the world. Conversely, wrestling is sometimes seen as a very lenient sport, but on the other hand, it has its own harsh side. I’ve been sent to the hospital several times in my nearly 60 years, and there are many bad places…

I can’t say sweet words. I can’t say anything sweet, like, ‘Please get well soon.’ I heard that he is very seriously injured. Cervical vertebrae are scary, you know. Even though I exercise my neck, it still depends on the angle at which I catch myself…

On June 4th, Pro Wrestling ZERO1 is hosting a Shinjiro Otani benefit show featuring talents from NOAH and NJPW. Proceeds from the event are going to Otani’s medical expenses.

About Andrew Thompson 7809 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.