Floyd Mayweather To Fight Japan’s Kickboxing Sensation On New Year’s Eve
Floyd Mayweather has disclosed his intention to fight kickboxing star Tenshin Nasukawa in Japan on New Year’s Eve after signing a deal with a Japanese mixed martial arts company – Rizin Fighting Federation.
The surprising announcement was made today, November 5, at a news conference in Tokyo, where Rizin officials introduced both Mayweather and Nasukawa, the undefeated 20-year-old kickboxing prodigy who joined the MMA promotion in 2016.
“It wasn’t easy to make this happen,” a subdued, polite Mayweather said.
“But we told the people anything is possible, so now we’re here and we want to make sure that we give the people in Tokyo what they want to see: blood, sweat and tears.”
Mayweather said the weight class and rules for the fight would be discussed “within the next couple of weeks”.
According to promoters, the fight between Mayweather and Nasukawa will headline the Rizin 14 card to be staged on 31 December at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Mayweather, who turns 42 in February, captured world championships in five divisions from 130lb through 154lb, but has not fought since a 10th-round knockout of UFC star Conor McGregor under boxing rules in August 2017.
He announced his retirement after the McGregor fight with a 50-0 record as a professional, but has teased since comeback fights against old nemesis Manny Pacquiao and UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Nasukawa, a southpaw who is unbeaten in 27 kickboxing fights and four MMA bouts, has won titles across several promotions in the flyweight (125lb) and bantamweight (135lb) divisions, which raises an obvious question about the contracted weight for December’s fight: Mayweather hasn’t fought below the 147lb limit since his 2005 meeting with Arturo Gatti.