K-1 Announces Super Bantamweight Tournament, Set to Begin at the K-1 World Max 2024 Event on July 7

May 08, 2024
The third meeting between Akihiro Kaneko & Kumura Masashi. Photo: K-1 Japan Group
Another Super Bantamweight tournament has been scheduled.

K-1 has announced a tournament in its Super Bantamweight (55 KG) division, set to begin at the K-1 World Max 2024 event on July 7th. Unlike the previous Super Bantamweight tournament, the rounds will be split up over different dates, with the second one being scheduled for September.

Divisional king Akihiro Kaneko heads the lineup. A durable and powerful fighter with increasingly sharp technique, his last outing was a wide decision victory over Masahiko Suzuki, in which Kaneko scored two knockdowns to avenge his last professional loss. A seven-fight win streak and key wins over some of the division’s elite carried him to the pound-for-pound rankings for the first time in April 2024.

Also participating in the tournament is Kaneko's chief rival, Masashi Kumura. Kumura and Kaneko have gone to war three times: Kaneko leads the series 2:1, every fight fiercely contested. Their last bout in September 2023 won the Beyond Kickboxing's Fight of the Year and required an extension round in order for the judges to declare a winner.

Also participating are Riamu and Rui Okubo. Riamu is the current Krush 55 KG champion, with two defenses; he lost by TKO to Akihiro Kaneko in February 2022. Rui has won two straight since his last loss, a majority decision to Ryunosuke Saito in June 2023.


Half of the participating fighters in the tournament are yet to be announced. In typical K-1 fashion, it's expected that the last four participants will be made up of non-Japanese fighters.