Mayweather ‘blindsided’ by kickboxer bout
Floyd Mayweather has announced that he never agreed to face Tenshin Nasukawa in an official bout, adding he had “never heard” of the Japanese kickboxer until this week.
The former five-weight boxing world champion was said to have agreed to face Nasukawa in Japan on 31 December.
Mayweather, 41, says he had only been asked to compete in a non-televised event for “wealthy spectators”.
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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. 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.
“Once I arrived to the press conference, my team and I were completely derailed,” said Mayweather.
“We should have put a stop to it immediately.
“I can assure you that I too was completely blindsided by the arrangements that were being made without my consent nor approval. I was hesitant to create a huge disturbance by combating what was being said and for that I am truly sorry.”
Aliens, anime and amazing knockouts – who is Nasukawa?
The unbeaten American extended his record to 50 wins in August of 2017 with victory over UFC star Conor McGregor in a bout which earned him a reported $300m (£228m).
It was unclear under what rules a one-off bout with Nasukawa, 20, would take place. Nasukawa holds a record of 27-0 in kickboxing and a 4-0 in Mixed Martial Arts.
Mayweather continued: “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.
“I was asked to participate in a nine-minute exhibition of three rounds with an opponent selected by the Rizen Fighting Federation.”
In an extensive Instagram post detailing his version of events, Mayweather did not make clear if the exhibition contest will still go ahead.