Tokyo, Japan: Undefeated American boxer, Floyd Mayweather has defeated his opponent, 20-year-old Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in an exhibition bout which took place today in Tokyo, Japan.
The 41-year-old dropped his Japanese opponent three times in the opening round of what was planned for a three-round fight. Mayweather knocked him out in just two minutes to win the clash.
Floyd Mayweather came out of retirement briefly to score a lucrative victory in an exhibition boxing match in Japan over kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa that will do more for his bank balance than it did for the reputation of combat sports.
The 20-year-old, who is unbeaten in professional kickboxing and mixed martial arts, was sent crashing to the canvas three times in the first round by Mayweather, leading the Japanese fighter’s corner to throw in the towel.
The fight topped the bill for the prestigious New Year’s Eve event promoted by Rizin, one of Asia’s fast-growing mixed martial arts organisations, at the Saitama Super Arena, and though it has drawn international attention, it was little more than a shrewd branding move for all concerned. But for Mayweather, it was about more than just entertainment – the 41-year-old American intimated on Instagram that he would be paid $9m for the exhibition, which was scheduled for three rounds.
Set at a weight limit of 147 pounds, there were no judges in attendance and it did not count toward the professional record of either fighter.
Mayweather’s August 2017 knockout victory in a boxing match against Irish mixed martial artist Conor McGregor ignited speculation that he would cross over into the world of MMA, but the Rizin bout was strictly limited to punches.
There was less than an hour left in 2018 as first Tenshin and then Mayweather made their way down the long ramp to the ring just after 11pm local time – with the American turning up late – accompanied by their entourages and with loud music booming around the arena. Prowling the ring and smiling for the cameras as the American national anthem was sung, Mayweather continued grinning after the bout began.
Although Tenshin connected with one early shot, he offered no real resistance as Mayweather used all his guile and enormous power to rip shots to the body and head at will.
“It was all about entertainment – we had fun,” Mayweather said in the ring following his win. “The fans in Japan, they wanted this to happen, so I said why not. Once again, I’m still retired, I’m still 50-0, Tenshin is a great champion.”
After the fight, Mayweather who initially pulled out of the fight due to a misunderstanding between himself and the organisers which was later resolved said: ‘We are both still undefeated, I did this to entertain the fans in Japan, they wanted this to happen and I said why not, Tenshin is still a great champion, I am still retired.
‘Tenshin hold your head up high, I want the fans to support him, he’s a great guy, a great fighter and great champion.
‘Tokyo Japan, RIZIN is number one. Thank you.’
The undefeated champion who has won 50 of all his fights was reportedly paid $9M to take part in the exhibition bout.
EARLIER: Floyd Mayweather promises entertainment, not knockout, in Japan
Floyd Mayweather is promising entertainment when he fights Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in three rounds of exhibition boxing on New Year’s Eve, but not necessarily a knockout.
“If it happens, it happens,” Mayweather said Saturday when asked whether he was going to knock out Nasukawa.
But the American was adamant that his opponent wasn’t going to knock him out or down on Monday.
“Throughout my years at boxing, I never touched the canvas once,” Mayweather, 41, told reporters at a Tokyo hotel, brushing off the upcoming event as “just another day.”
“I can do three rounds in my sleep,” he added.
Neither kicking nor official results are part of the Rizin Fighting Federation match, but a knockout is possible under the special rules.
Mayweather had initially appeared to walk away from the fight, set for Saitama Super Arena, on the northern outskirts of Tokyo.
The Mayweather-Nasukawa bout will culminate an evening of more than a dozen fights, which will be streamed by FITE for a fee, but not in the U.S. Fuji TV is broadcasting the fights in Japan.
“It’s all about entertainment, come Dec. 31. I want to go out and have fun,” said Mayweather, appearing relaxed and gushing about how he liked Asia and his fans in the region.
Mayweather hasn’t fought since beating Conor McGregor more than a year ago for his 50th win from 50 fights.
Nobuyuki Sakakibara, the head of Rizin Fighting Federation, who travelled to the U.S. to woo Mayweather back to the fight, has said it involves the largest payout for an exhibition fight but has not given specifics.
Mayweather previously said he was already making “seven figures” just by talking about it.
Nasukawa, 20, appearing earlier in the day, said he wanted people to see his “courage, determination and challenging spirit.”
Nasukawa, despite his no-loss record in kickboxing and mixed martial arts, was previously little known outside Japan. He said he enjoyed the sudden international attention.
He acknowledged he didn’t understand what the English comments were saying on his Instagram account but added: “I love it.”