Five division world champion Floyd Mayweather took to social media to deny reports that he ever agreed to fight kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in a main event bout on December 31 in Tokyo Japan.
Mayweather, who announced his retirement in August 2017 after stopping UFC superstar Conor McGregor in ten rounds, appeared at a press conference in Tokyo on Monday – where the 41-year-old boxer, along with executives from mixed martial arts promotional company Rizin, officially announced that Mayweather would face kickboxing sensation Nasukawa in the main event of their New Year’s Eve card.
Nasukawa has never boxed and competes around the featherweight limit of 126-pounds.
The exact rules of the contest were never disclosed or the details concerning the weight – but BoxingScene.com was made to understand that their contest would be an exhibition under traditional boxing rules – and using MMA-style gloves.
According to Mayweather, he was blindsided by Rizin executives when they appeared for the press conference and the proposed “fight” was being presented in a manner that was never agreed upon.
“Now that I am back on U.S. soil after a long and disappointing trip to Tokyo, I now have the time to address you, my fans and the media in regard to the upcoming event on December 31st that was recently announced,” Mayweather stated.
“First and foremost, I want it to be clear that I, Floyd Mayweather, never agreed to an official bout with Tenshin Nasukawa. In fact (with all due respect) I have never heard of him until this recent trip to Japan. Ultimately, I was asked to participate in a 9 minute exhibition of 3 rounds with an opponent selected by the ‘Rizen Fighting Federation.’
“What I was originally informed of by Brent Johnson of ‘One Entertainment’ was that this was to be an exhibition put on for a small group of wealthy spectators for a very large fee. This exhibition was previously arranged as a ‘Special Bout’ purely for entertainment purposes with no intentions of being represented as an official fight card nor televised worldwide.
“Once I arrived to the press conference, my team and I were completely derailed by the new direction this event was going and we should have put a stop to it immediately. I want to sincerely apologize to my fans for the very misleading information that was announced during this press conference and I can assure you that I too was completely blindsided by the arrangements that were being made without my consent nor approval.
“For the sake of the several fans and attendees that flew in from all parts of the world to attend this past press conference, I was hesitant to create a huge disturbance by combating what was being said and for that I am truly sorry. I am a retired boxer that earns an unprecedented amount of money, globally, for appearances, speaking engagements and occasional small exhibitions.”