Floyd Mayweather Jr. likes the idea of boxing fighters from other combat sports lately. The New Year’s Eve bout at Rizin 14 with Tenshin Nasukawa surprised a lot of fans when it was announced, then it was called off by Mayweather only to be put back on again as an exhibition according to Mayweather. However, the way Nasukawa seems to address the match-up it looks like either he is taking this more seriously then Mayweather, or the word “exhibition” means something entirely different in Japan.
It was not long ago Mayweather said the fight was back on, saying he was just going to “move around with the guy”, when speaking to TMZ. However, a small press conference with the two competitors was held at Mayweather’s gym to further promote what Chairman Nobuyuki Sakakibara called a “showdown”.
The rules will be “straight boxing rules” with RIZIN eight-ounce gloves. The bout is set for three, three-minute rounds.
There is no arguing that combat sports is entertainment for those that do not compete, and Mayweather considers himself an entertainer. “It’s all about entertainment. Nine minutes of entertainment. It’s going to be amazing,” Mayweather said. He added that, “I love competing against fighters from all walks of life like in my amateur days.”
“I’m going to go out there, have fun and do what I do. I’m enjoying life and I’m going to enjoy this experience.” –Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Nasukawa seems to be taking their match a little more seriously.
He said that he is, “training hard every day to face Mayweather and leave a mark.” He also said that he wants to, “get the whole fight community, the whole country of Japan and the entire world involved in this fight. I’m going to go in there believing in myself and ready to prove myself.” That seems a little more serious than one would look at an exhibition.
After the press conference Nasukawa posted the following on social media:
I also don’t want to fight a regular fight.
I just want to make sure that I ruin his first NYE experience in Tokyo.
This fight won’t be kept in the books, but it will be kept in everybody’s memory.
I will fight representing Japan. Everybody please root for me.#Cygames#rizin14 pic.twitter.com/dyNIYHGsc0
— 那須川 天心 (@TeppenTenshin) December 7, 2018
“I just want to make sure that I ruin his first NYE experience in Tokyo.” -Tenshin Nasukawa
Someone seems to be taking this more seriously on New Year’s Eve. Is the potential of what could happen enough to get you to tune in?
Edward holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Bachelor’s degree in Communications. Along with over 20 years martial arts experience, he co-hosts The Coast-2-Coast Combat Hour, and also writes for Sherdog while maintaining his own site, The Blogboard Jungle. You can follow him on Twitter @Carbazel