Floyd Mayweather shoots down ‘misleading’ news of Tenshin Nasukawa fight

Floyd Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather’s supposed return to action has been called off before it ever really became official.

The legendary boxer took to Instagram on Wednesday to explain that the recent announcement that he would be fighting for Rizin Fighting Federation on Dec. 31 against kickboxing star Tenshin Nasukawa was actually all a big misunderstanding.

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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 regards 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.

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“First and foremost, I want it to be clear that I, Floyd Mayweather, never agreed to an official bout with Tenshin Nasukawa,” Mayweather wrote. “In fact (with all due respect) I have never heard of him until this recent trip to Japan.”

Mayweather went on to say that as far as he knew, the offer on the table was for a nine-minute, three-round exhibition bout against an opponent selected by Rizin (not specifically Nasukawa). He adds that he thought this exhibition would be for “a small group of wealthy spectators for a very large fee” and that he did not intend to compete in any official capacity on a live, broadcasted event.

This news comes just three days after Mayweather appeared in Tokyo alongside Rizin officials, including promoter Nobuyuki Sakakibara, at a press conference where it was announced that Mayweather would be fighting Nasukawa, an unbeaten 20-year-old kickboxer and mixed martial artist, at Rizin 14. The exact rule set of the bout was not discussed at the time.

The crossover bout generated an immediate reaction from Mayweather’s one-time boxing rival Conor McGregor, who shared his thoughts on the matchup, which prompted a swift reply from Nasukawa.

All of that chatter appears to be just that now, chatter, and a cloud of doubt now hangs over any future dealings between Mayweather and Rizin.

See Mayweather’s full statement and apology below:

“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 regards 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 nine-minute exhibition of three rounds with an opponent selected by the “Rizin 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.

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