After a whole year, Boxer Floyd Mayweather is set to fight kick-boxing with Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa at the Rizin Fighting Federation’s year-end show on New Year’s Eve in Japan.
Although the 41-year-old Mayweather did have a lucrative win over MMA fighter Conor McGregor last year, the fighter has never fought kick-boxing professionally under MMA Rules.
The shock announcement came at a Monday news conference in Tokyo, where Rizin officials introduced both Mayweather and Nasukawa, the undefeated 20-year-old kickboxing prodigy who joined the MMA promotion in 2016.
“It wasn’t easy to make this happen,” a subdued, polite Mayweather said. “But we told the people anything is possible, so now we’re here and we want to make sure that we give the people in Tokyo what they want to see: blood, sweat and tears.”
On the other hand, Tenshin Nasukawa is an accomplished kickboxer in Japan, who fights in the 126 lb weight division at featherweight. Mayweather would have a 21 lb weight advantage against Nasukawa.
“I wanted to do something different,” said the 41-year-old American, “I wanted to display my skills outside the US and be in a special fight. I want to give the people what they want – blood, sweat and tears.”
Last year, Mayeather returned to the ring to fight UFC star Conor McGregor in a fight inside a boxing ring in August 2017 where Mayweather stopped McGregor in the 10th round and won the fight.