Floyd Mayweather will return from a short-lived retirement to face Tenshin Nasukawa under the Rizin Fighting Federation banner on New Year’s Eve.
The matchup was announced during a press conference on Sunday evening. The rules of the bout were not initially clear, however. Both Mayweather and Nasukawa appeared at the press conference, and Rizin chairman Nobuyuki Sakakibara announced that the rule set and weight have yet to be determined.
"First we had to convince Mr. Mayweather to come to the ring on the Rizin ring on Dec. 31. As you know Mr. Mayweather is undefeated. But all his fights have been in the U.S. He has had a wish to fight outside the U.S….” Sakakibara said. "We're happy we've convinced him to come to Japan for this history making event. In the second phase once we knew Mr. Mayweather would be in the Rizin ring on New Year’s Eve, we thought of the appropriate opponent and there was only one: Tenshin [Nasukawa].
“Regarding rules and weight we have more work cut out for us, but we feel this will be a great fight so many people will be excited to see. We’re so happy Mr. Nasukawa accepted in a flash.”
This is not a photoshop. pic.twitter.com/pKjgWQm9kl— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 5, 2018
DEAR GOD pic.twitter.com/yFpVpa4rgl— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) November 5, 2018
Mayweather retired for a second time in August 2017 after defeating former UFC champion Conor McGregor in a boxing match to run his career mark to 50-0. It is widely believed that Mayweather is taking the fight vs. Nasukawa as a tuneup for a rematch with Manny Pacquiao down the road.
“I just want to entertain,” Mayweather said at the press conference. “I will speak with my team and let my team get with Rizin. I’m sure they’ll come up with a great idea.” Nasukawa, 20, is 27-0 as a professional kickboxer, with 21 victories coming via knockout. He recently appeared at Rizin 13, where he defeated Kyoji Horiguchi in a kickboxing clash. Nasukawa also owns a 4-0 mark in MMA but has not competed in professional boxing.