After nearly a year of teasing an MMA fight in the UFC against Conor McGregor or Khabib Nurmagomedov, Floyd Mayweather is instead pivoting to Asia where he’ll compete for RIZIN Fighting Federation instead. The Japanese promotion, run by many of the key figures responsible for PRIDE FC back in the day, made the announcement during a Monday morning press conference held by RIZIN chairman Nobuyuki Sakakibara.
Mayweather will take on undefeated 27-0 kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in what is being dubbed as a ‘Super Challenge’ bout. No clarification on whether this would be a boxing or kickboxing fight was made in the release, with RIZIN telling us to ‘stay tuned’ for news on the rules. No agreement on weight has been made at this time, either. Hmmm.
Tenshin is coming off a kickboxing win over Kyoji Horiguchi in the main event of RIZIN.13 at the end of September. Floyd Mayweather’s last fight was against UFC star Conor McGregor and earned him more than $100 million dollars.
Mayweather framed the deal as the beginning of an expansion of his businesses into Japan.
”I want to continue to build my relationship with Money Team Tokyo,” he said. “I want to continue coming over here and bringing other fighters over here so my company can continue to grow and RIZIN can continue to grow. I would love to continue to work with RIZIN because RIZIN is an unbelievable company, and my company, we’ve been making some huge fights happen in the US, but we look forward to taking the Mayweather Promotions banner and the TMT banner worldwide. And if it takes working with a great guy like this, there’s no problem.”
“We put this together very quickly but with a great deal of professionalism,” said Brett Johnson of ONE Entertainment, who Mayweather said was key in putting the deal together. “And we look forward to keeping that going for the rest of our tenure together, however many years that may be.”
“Nobody has defeated my opponent in the past, and I’d like to be the man who makes history,” Tenshin said. “My punch can change history, and I’ll show that to you so please stay tuned.”
Here’s the full press release for the fight:
TENSHIN NASUKAWA TO FACE FLOYD MAYWEATHER AT RIZIN 14
Tenshin Nasukawa (27-0, KB) has become one of the most popular fighters in Japan, and perhaps the best combat sports prospect the country has ever seen. Between both MMA and kickboxing fights, Tenshin has fought over thirty times despite turning 20 just over two months ago. The current RISE Featherweight Champion, Tenshin began to make a name for himself with wins over the likes of Amnat Ruenroeng and Wanchalong PK Saenchai in the KNOCK OUT promotion out of Thailand.
Since those wins, Nasukawa has become a massive star under the RIZIN banner. Racking up four dominant mixed martial arts wins, defeating multiple men to be crowned the 2017 RIZIN KICK Tournament Champion, and most recently outpointing fellow superstar Kyoji Horiguchi in the biggest fight the Saitama Super Arena has ever seen. Tenshinhas a rematch with Taiki Naito at RISE 129 later this month.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. (50-0, BX) has a legitimate case as the best boxer of all time, and he has the record to back it up. After winning a Bronze medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Mayweather turned pro and never looked back. Over the years he has solidified himself as the biggest fight in combat sports, earning the nickname “Money” in every sense of the word.
The legendary counter puncher has too many accolades to name. Mayweather holds numerous boxing titles under WBO, WBA,and WBC, to name a few. The five-division champion has defeated the likes of Ricky Hatton, Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto, Marcos Maidana, and Andre Berto. He has also racked up wins in some of the most financially successful pay-per-view events of all time against Oscar De La Hoya, Canelo Alvarez, Manny Pacquiao, and most recently, UFC superstar Conor McGregor.
Despite being 41-years-old, “Money” has never slowed down. And he is slated to bring his talents to Japan for the first time ever to take on the incredible phenom known as “Teppen” Tenshin. Stay tuned for future news regarding the rules the bout will be contested under, as well as other match-ups for the card.
RIZIN 14 is scheduled for December 31, 2018, live from the famed Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Source : mmamania