Dan RafaelESPN Senior WriterClose
- 2013 BWAA Nat Fleischer Award winner for excellence in boxing journalism
- ESPN.com boxing author since 2005
- Five years at USA As of late
Floyd Mayweather will indeed return to the ring on Fresh one year’s Eve in Japan, however this could be simplest an exhibition.
Mayweather and Eastern kickboxing star Tenshin Nasukawa will meet in a three-spherical match beneath straight boxing rules at the 37,000-seat Saitama Prefecture Gargantuan Enviornment in Saitama, Japan — a few half of-hour drive from Tokyo — the warring parties announced all over a media availability Thursday at the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas.
The battle will bewitch region at a contract weight of 147 kilos, the welterweight division restrict, with boxing-traditional three-minute rounds. The warring parties will assign on Eight-ounce Rizin-ticket boxing gloves.
Since the battle is an exhibition, no matter occurs will no longer rely upon either fighter’s legit file. No judges shall be employed, so if it goes the gap no rankings shall be rendered.
The announcement became an about-face from staunch about a weeks ago.
In early November, the Rizin Combating Federation, a Eastern promotional firm based in 2015 that puts on MMA and kickboxing events, announced the battle at an justify news conference in Tokyo, with both warring parties in attendance.
Rizin officers and the warring parties had been gentle on facts of the battle, on the opposite hand, and two days later, after Mayweather returned to the United States, he wrote on social media that he had never agreed to the bout — though he participated within the news conference and spoke regarding the match at length.
But Rizin officers had been confident they could set the battle together, and Thursday they made it legit and offered the specifics, though how much cash Mayweather will accomplish became no longer disclosed. The officers furthermore didn’t reveal an American broadcaster.
“Here is a gargantuan formula for me to lunge within the market and affords of us some entertainment,” Mayweather talked about. “Or no longer it’s an exhibition match, on the opposite hand it’s giving me a wide gamble to achieve one thing assorted. I enjoy competing in opposition to warring parties from all walks of existence esteem in my beginner days. Or no longer it’s all about entertainment. 9 minutes of entertainment. Or no longer it’d be astonishing.
“I’m within the entertainment industrial. That is what I lunge within the market to achieve. I enjoy to achieve this. I’m working out to assign on a show for 3 rounds. I am going to lunge within the market, get fun and accomplish what I attain. I’m playing existence, and I am going to fetch pleasure from this journey.”
Mayweather (50-Zero, 27 KOs), forty one, of Las Vegas, came out of a two-yr retirement in August 2017 and knocked out UFC celeb Conor McGregor within the Tenth spherical of a hugely hyped boxing match in what grew to turn out to be the 2d-top grossing match in wrestle-sports actions historic past, at the support of simplest Mayweather’s 2015 victory over Manny Pacquiao.
In September, Mayweather talked about he planned to achieve support out of retirement again and announced he would face Pacquiao in a rematch in December. Though Mayweather tranquil has talked about he plans to battle Pacquiao again, it wouldn’t occur unless no longer no longer up to the summer season, with Pacquiao scheduled to protect his secondary welterweight belt in opposition to Adrien Broner on Jan. 19 in Las Vegas.
Within the interval in-between, Mayweather will discontinue considerably active with the odd battle in opposition to the 20-yr-inclined Nasukawa, who is 27-Zero with 21 knockouts in kickboxing and 4-Zero with two knockouts in MMA combating primarily as a featherweight and junior featherweight. He will switch up in weight to battle Mayweather, a five-division world champion who spent years dominating the welterweight division.
Nasukawa, who became visiting Las Vegas for the first time for Thursday’s media gathering, talked about he became angry for the battle even supposing he can’t use his extremely fantastic kicks.
“The battle is awfully shut and I’m coaching exhausting on every day basis to face Mayweather and leave a label,” he talked about thru an interpreter. “Here is a gargantuan alternative and we’re entirely chuffed to bewitch it. I am going to assign all the issues within the market and show my strengths. I deem that I’m the quicker fighter. I am going to use my weapons in opposition to him. There would possibly be never been a Eastern fighter to face Floyd Mayweather within the ring. As an athlete, right here’s one thing that is a gargantuan honor and a no longer easy task. I could well esteem to waste a immense influence.
“I desire to fetch your total battle group, your total nation of Japan and your total world eager on this battle. I am going to lunge in there believing in myself and ready to illustrate myself.”
Exhibition or no longer, the battle shall be Mayweather’s first originate air of Las Vegas since he knocked out Sharmba Mitchell within the sixth spherical in November 2005 at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon.