Yuji Nagata Introduces Oleg Boltin in Ryogoku!

125kg Kazakh amateur standout formally introduced to NJPW audience

Before Declaration of Power kicked off in Ryogoku Sumo Hall on October 10, Yuji Nagata made a special introduction to the crowd. NJPW’s amateur team, Team New Japan standout Oleg Boltin stood in the cerulean blue for the very first time, and is set to make huge strides in the months to come. 

The 29 year old Boltin has been wrestling in his home country of Kazakhstan since the age of 11, and  joined Bushiroad’s amateur team in 2017, before the team was renamed Team New Japan. He is a seven time All Japanese winner, and won the All Asia tournament in April 2021, which put him solidly on the Olympic track. 

In his home country, Boltin suffered a knee injury during the World Championships, but still wrestled through to an impressive fifth place, showing a true NJPW pro-wrestler’s fighting sprit. Introducing Boltin, Nagata listed his multiple achievements and stated that he will now change his focus to the pro ranks. The newly turned pro declared his goal of being a future IWGP World Heavyweight Champion.  

Backstage, Nagata continued his comments about the imposing Boltin, stating that ‘anyone can tell by looking at him, I’d want him in the ring as soon as possible.’

‘Pro-wrestlers always need a certain degree of specific ability, but in my experience there tends to be a foundation that amateur wrestlers tend to have,’ Nagata remarked, adding that Boltin had been training in fundamentals every day while learning new moves and taking more pro-wrestling styled bumps.

Nagata suggested some caution about Boltin jumping the traditional Young Lion queue, but suggested that he ‘could face a top class wrestler right off the bat. The thing is that this is a tough world. I’m interested to see how far he goes, but he has to get started for that to happen.’

Bolton for his part expressed a desire to be as ‘strong and famous as possible’, setting the Rock and Brock Lesnar as templates for himself (somewhat to Nagata’s laughing chagrin). Nagata backed up Boltin’s sentiment that his New Japan amateur teammate Ishiguro would continue to fly the flag in the amateur realm, while backing Boltin’s professional quest.

‘The name has changed, but the amateur team has been a part of NJPW for the last decade. Boltin is our second pro and the first turned out very well… attitude notwithstanding.’ Nagata was glowing with regard to Boltin’s attitude by contrast, and praised his Japanese, only adding that he needed to brush up on his English.

The target of being NJPW’s first Kazakh global star set, Boltin ended the interview with a simple ‘understood,’ but his mission will begin in earnest with his imminent debut match.