Floyd Mayweather Jr. unveiled plans to return to the fight game, over the weekend, with a cryptic photograph that he posted to social media after announcing the upcoming event via a press conference aired live from Tokyo.
ESPN reports that undefeated Japanese kickboxing sensation, Tenshin Nasukawa, will be Mayweather’s opponent in a December 31 showdown set to take place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. Many of the details about the bout, including the weight limit Mayweather and Nasukawa will meet at, the number of rounds they are scheduled to fight, and the rules of engagement for the matchup, remain undetermined. Neither has information been released on how the battle will be broadcast or how much each man stands to earn. But what is known at this point is that a deal has indeed been reached to make the affair official under the promotion of the Rizin Fighting Federation.
“This particular bout is a special bout as far as we’re giving the people something they’ve never seen before. The world has never seen Mayweather compete live in Tokyo,” Mayweather said while sitting several feet away from Nasukawa during their YouTube streamed presser. “Throughout the years, I’ve seen a lot of fans from Japan come to Las Vegas and come to the U.S., but me and my team said let’s do something different. Let’s go over to Japan,” he said.
Breaking: Floyd Mayweather announced on Sunday night at a Tokyo press conference that he will participate in a fight in the Rizin Fighting Federation on Dec. 31 in Japan.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 5, 2018
Promoters are still working on the specific rule set. pic.twitter.com/XcRa01cwGq
Sunday’s (November 4) announcement comes just weeks after the Inquisitr reporting on Mayweather teasing a possible follow-up to the business he did with UFC in his 2017 fight with Conor McGregor, by meeting up with Khabib Nurmagomedov this time around.
Unfortunately, it appears that Mayweather vs. Nurmagomedov will not be happening anytime soon – as the possibility of talks building between The Money Team boss and UFC president Dana White stalled shortly thereafter. However, the fact that Mayweather is choosing to go the route of competing under a mixed martial arts company’s banner does hint at the prospects that he may be open to making something happen with UFC in the future, should White make him an offer he can’t refuse. One of the only factors that would absolutely kill the chances of it ever happening is if we soon learn that Mayweather’s partnership with Rizin is a long-term or permanent one, which may not be out of the question.
Mayweather has also openly toyed with the notion of returning to the boxing ring for a re-match with a newly-affiliated Manny Pacquiao, in recent months. Earlier this year Pacquiao split from long-time promoter Bob Arum at Top Rank to sign under Al Haymon and Premier Boxing Champions. Haymon has for years been Mayweather’s silent partner in the sport, thus making Pacquiao’s recent assertion that fans can expect a Mayweather vs. Pacquiao II on Cinco de Mayo very feasible.
In looking forward to what has been set in stone, however, the world of prizefighting now turns its attention towards Mayweather, 41, putting his perfect professional record on the line against an undefeated 20-year-old in Nasukawa.