CONFIRMED: Floyd Mayweather Will Fight RIZIN Sensation Tenshin Nasukawa at RIZIN 14 on New Year’s Eve…
Well, well, well… this came out of absolutely nowhere. Floyd Mayweather is coming out of retirement and set to fight a mixed martial artist, but not who you might expect. He’s set to take on RIZIN’s up-and-coming kickboxing superstar Tenshin Nasukawa in the main event of RIZIN 14 on New Year’s Eve, in the Saitama Super Arena, Tokyo, Japan.
This is quite simply a piece of stunning news. For those less familiar with Asian martial arts, RIZIN is the biggest promotion in Japan and the second-biggest in Asia after ONE Championship. Both parties have agreed to fight, although the rules have yet to be finalized in what is being called a ‘Super Challenge’ bout.
Mayweather hasn’t fought since beating Conor McGregor in 2017. He’s been linked to fights against Manny Pacquaio and Khabib Nurmagamedov, but we can confirm that this RIZIN story is real and you can see a picture of him below, from his Instagram, wearing the promotion’s gloves.
Tenshin Nasukawa is only 20 years old but is already on the fast track to becoming an international fighting superstar. We’ve got some footage of him kickboxing with MMA stalwart Kyoji Horiguchi below, and it’s clear that he’s a rare talent. He’s unbeaten in kickboxing with a record of 27-0 and is 4-0 in MMA.
It’s unclear what rules the pair will be fighting under. You can bet that Mayweather won’t have agreed to let the Japanese fighter split kick him in the head, so there will probably be some sort of modified boxing rules, with MMA gloves and increased use of the clinch. You can bet that other promotions will be watching this with huge interest.
— Yodsanan (@_Yodsanan) September 30, 2018
RIZIN getting Floyd Mayweather to fight for them is a massive deal. Clearly, they’ve just thrown unimaginable amounts of money at the Las Vegas-based fighter. This clash is set to take place in Tokyo, Japan. Let’s put this into perspective: Mayweather hasn’t fought outside of Nevada since 2005.
Earlier this year ONE had a WBC Super Flyweight Championship fight as their main event in Bangkok. When you see how MMA promotions have begun to trade fighters, it’s clear that we’ve reached a new evolution of combat sports. RIZIN signing Mayweather is definitely a massive coup for them though.
This is totally unexpected because earlier this year Mayweather had said that he was in negotiations to fight Manny Pacquaio in a rematch, early next year. That looks like it’s gone out of the window now – and good riddance. Meanwhile, Khabib Nurmagamedov has been looking for a massive payday against the man they call ‘Money’ but the UFC has been reluctant to get any deal done.
RIZIN have shown no such inhibitions. They’ve gone down the PRIDE route of making a crazy match-up and we’re totally ok with it. Mayweather is over twice the age of his opponent – he turns 42 in February, so it will be fascinating to see how well he copes against one of the most exciting young strikers on the planet.