Mayweather to stage 'entertainment' spectacle in Japan

Jose Verdugo
Diciembre 7, 2018

Mayweather appeared at a press conference in Tokyo, where he talked about the challenge of taking on a young kickboxing champion.

Floyd Mayweather has announced he will go head-to-head with Japanese kickboxing star Tenshin Nasukawa after all - but only in a nine-minute New Year's Eve exhibition.

The nine-minute exhibition in Japan will have no official victor or loser if it goes the distance, and Mayweather said at his training base in Las Vegas he was looking forward to the event as a chance to sample "something different".

Mayweather confirmed the fight would be purely an exhibition bout, for entertainment purposes, rather than as a legitimate sporting encounter, and the ruleset has been adjusted accordingly.

The bout will take place at the Saitama Super Arena as part of the Rizin 14 event on New Year's Eve, and Mayweather said he planned on putting on a show for the Japanese fans. "Nine minutes of entertainment".

Besides three-minute rounds, the exhibition will take place at 67kg (147 pounds), feature "straight boxing rules" and eight-ounce boxing gloves. "I'm in the entertainment business".

"This will be full contact competition but the bout is not going on boxing or MMA records", a Mayweather spokesperson.

Nasukawa, also in Vegas Thursday, said he hopes his countrymen will get behind the show.

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A few days later, Mayweather issued a statement after returning to the U.S. that he was "blindsided" by Japanese officials and never meant to have an actual fight with Nasukawa.

'There's never been a Japanese fighter to face Floyd Mayweather in the ring, ' Nasukawa said. I'd like to make a big impression'. "I want to get the whole fight community, the whole country of Japan and the entire world involved in this fight".

Thursday's press event came nearly a month after 41-year-old retired welterweight champ Mayweather (50-0, 27 KOs) announced he had scrapped plans to stage a fight with Nasukawa, indicating he had been duped into agreeing to a contest.

"First and foremost, I want it to be clear that I, Floyd Mayweather, never agreed to an official bout with Tenshin Nasukawa, " Mayweather said, going on to describe himself as a retired boxer who earned money making appearances and putting on exhibitions for what he said were large sums of money.

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There was no mention Thursday of a U.S. broadcaster, an undercard, or how much money Mayweather would receive for the spectacle.

Mayweather remained unbeaten in 50 fights in his last bout when he stopped UFC champion Conor McGregor in a boxing match in August 2017.

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