After backing out of the fight that would mark his much-anticipated comeback, Floyd Mayweather Jr. scrambled to delete all references to Tenshin Nasukawa as he denied ever agreeing to the matchup slated to take place against the kickboxer in Japan later this year, according to Business Insider.
The boxing legend has been teasing a comeback for several weeks, hinting that he would be interested in challenging the UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov as well as teasing a comeback fight against his former opponent Manny Pacquiao.
However, the most likely Mayweather comeback was expected to take place on Dec. 31 against Nasukawa in Tokyo. The boxer had posted photos to his Instagram account wearing Rizin mixed martial arts gloves and praising his opponent, according to the report. But those references are no more.
On Wednesday, Mayweather took to his Instagram to deny he had ever agreed to the fight, adding that he had never even heard of Nasukawa until his recent trip to Japan to discuss what he thought was a promotional exhibition. The post comes just a few days after Mayweather confirmed his comeback during a press conference in Tokyo on Sunday, during which it was announced that he would fight kickboxer Nasukawa at Rizin 14, according to a different Business Insider report.
In the post, Mayweather explained he had recently returned to the U.S. from Tokyo, contending he had been “blindsided” by the promoters of the event. The 41-year-old boxer went on to say he thought he had agreed to appear in a nine-minute exhibition of three rounds with an opponent that the Rizen Fighting Federation was to select.
“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,” he wrote on Instagram. “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.”
After posting his lengthy message, Mayweather then deleted all posts he had made referencing the fight, including the image of him in Rizin gloves, as per the Business Insider report.
The 20-year-old he was set to face, Nasukawa, also posted details of the fight on his Instagram, including a photo of himself and Mayweather.
“I’ll absolutely win. Cuz I born to change the world with this fist. Who’s gonna fight together with me as Team Tenshin? See you at RIZIN,” the kickboxer captioned the snap.