Floyd Mayweather, Rizin FF announce fight vs. Tenshin Nasukawa for Dec. 31 in Japan

Rizin FF announced Sunday night that Floyd Mayweather will return to the ring on New Year’s Eve to fight undefeated kickboxing sensation Tenshin Nasukawa.

Mayweather (50-0 boxing) attended a press conference in Japan alongside Nasukawa (27-0 kickboxing) and Rizin FF President Nobuyuki Sakakibara to announce the fight for Rizin FF 14, which takes place Dec. 31 at Saitama Super Arena.

The rules of the bout have yet to be determined, but Mayweather said those details will be finalized in the coming days.

“It’s always been a goal of mine to go outside the U.S. and go into another arena and display my talent as a professional, because I did it as an amateur,” Mayweather said. “Now it’s different as a professional. It’s great. I want to say congratulations to Tenshin and Rizin and just everybody for backing this event.”

Mayweather has not competed since August 2017 when he defeated former UFC champion Conor McGregor in a boxing match. Mayweather said he would retire following the bout and would not be lured back. He most recently has stoked the flames of possibly fighting current UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Mayweather will turn 42 in February, but he said he’s looking forward to working with Rizin FF and fighting a dangerous opponent in 20-year-old Nasukawa, who is undefeated in kickboxing competition and most recently defeated Kyoji Horiguchi.

“I think that he’s young, very strong, very fast, and he’s undefeated,” Mayweather said. “It’s obvious he’s doing something right to be where he’s at. So I’m proud of him.”

Broadcast plans for the Mayweather vs. Nasukawa in North America are unknown at this time. Showtime officials did not respond to MMAjunkie’s request for comment.

When asked when Rizin FF will finalize the details of the Mayweather vs. Nasukawa fight, Sakakibara could not give an immediate answer.

“As far as the rule set and the weight and the rules, we still have some work cut out for us,” Sakakibara said. “But it will be a great fight that everybody will be so excited to see. I’m so happy that Mr. Nasukawa accepted this offer in a flash.”

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