Team New Japan’s Boltin Seeks Pro Ranks After World Championships

Oleg Boltin ranks fifth as Ishiguro battles world champ; Boltin requests a spot in NJPW

Oslo, Norway is currently the host of amateur wrestling’s World Championships, held between October 2 and 10, and while Team New Japan’s Oleg Boltin and Takashi Ishiguro have had to cope with disappointing results, big plans are being laid for their futures.

A strong start for Boltin in the 125kg freestyle ranks saw him advance through the first two rounds, before crashing out in the semifinals to Georgia’s monster athlete Geno Petriashvili. Powering through a knee injury to take part in the next day’s third place playoff, he came two points short of Mongolian Lkhagvagerel Munkhtur, ending his tournament ranked fifth. 

Kazakhstan’s Boltin had originally planned to turn pro this April by joining the Noge Dojo with the same intake that includes Ryohei Oiwa and Kosei Fujita, but with COVID restrictions leading to a cancelled flight, instead delayed his professional aspirations to be part of the World Championships, making a direct appeal to coach Yuji Nagata that he wanted to do his utmost ‘until the very end of his amateur career’.

Said Boltin ‘I had wanted to bring a gold medal with me into New Japan Pro-Wrestling, but I’m still very happy that I was able to give it my all in the world championships. I want to thank the company, and Coach Nagata for letting me compete, and I’ll be giving it my all in NJPW’.

Boltin appears to be suffering from ligament damage, but there are no tears and his knee injury is not thought to be serious.

Meanwhile, Ishiguro had a tough draw at 97kg, as he found himself opposite 2018 and 2019 World Champion and ROC Tokyo Olympic representative, the Russian Wrestling Federation’s Abdulrashid Sadulaev in the very first round. Ishiguro sought to make the most of the huge opportunity, but ultimately fell 10-1. In the third place playoffs, he wrestled Belarus’ Aleksandr Hushtyn to a competitive 5-4 defeat, nonetheless showing his power on the world stage.

Commenting on both men’s performance, Team New Japan coach Yuji Nagata stated ‘Due to COVID, I couldn’t stay with these guys and train with them as I would have liked; they had some obstacles and ultimately weren’t ahppy with their results, but they’ve both gained a lot with this experience. Boltin will be joining NJPW, while Ishiguro has his sights set on the Paris Olympics in 2024, so keep your eyes on both.’