Not just for kicks: Mayweather to fight kickboxer in Japan on New Year's Eve

Sports | 6 Nov 2018

Floyd Mayweather Jr will come out of retirement to fight a Japanese kickboxer half his age, Tenshin Nasukawa, on New Year's Eve in Saitama.

The 41-year-old unbeaten American boxer, who captured world titles in five different weight divisions, outboxed Irish mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor in his last fight in August 2017. That victory improved his boxing record to a perfect 50-0 but the format or rules for his meeting with Nasukawa were not specified by the Japanese mixed martial arts promoters Rizin.

Mayweather posted a teaser photo on Instagram at the weekend, showing him wearing kickboxing gloves.

"I want to give the people what they want," Mayweather said in Tokyo.

"It's always been a goal of mine to go outside out of the US and display my talent," he added, promoting the cross-code bout as an expansion of his businesses to Asia.

Nasukawa boasts a 27-0 record but has never competed as a professional boxer. The 20-year-old called it an "easy decision" to accept the offer to face Mayweather.

"It was a surprise offer but I accepted without hesitation," said Nasukawa. "I don't care what the rules are. I want to be the man who changes history. I'll do that with these fists, with one punch - just watch."

Mayweather insisted Nasukawa would be no pushover. "He's young and he's undefeated so he's doing something right," he said. "This kid is an unbelievable talent. He's very special, he's fast, he's strong ... and he's going to bring a lot of excitement."

He added: "This particular bout is special as far as giving people something they've never seen before.

"I'm not really worried about the weight class or rules - it's about me displaying my skills against another skilful fighter."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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