Floyd Mayweather vs. Tenshin Nasukawa rules still unstated
By Jeff Aranow: Floyd Mayweather Jr. will be coming out of retirement next month on December 31 to fight a 20-year-old Japanese featherweight Tenshin Nasukawa in a fight with unstated rules at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
The stadium seats 37,000, and it’s expected to be sold out by fight time. A win for Nasukawa over Mayweather would make a star out of the young fighter. It’s unknown if this is an exhibition fight or if it’s even a real fight period. A lot of fans believe this will be a theatrical fight with a predetermined winner.
Mayweather’s match against Nasukawa was announced last Sunday in a news conference in Tokyo, Japana. The press conference was streamed on Youtube. The rules for Mayweather-Nasukawa event fight have still yet to be announced.
The fans don’t know the following questions:
– weight limit
– number of rounds
– rules of the fight
– Who broadcasts the fight
– type of gloves worn by fighters
It’s believed that the Mayweather-Nasukawa fight will take place with MMA gloves, but the fact that there’s still announcement on that suggests that it’s going to be a hybrid type of fight. Mayweather has no training on kicking, so it’s highly unlikely that Nasukawa will be allowed to kick him. It’s unknown who will pay Mayweather for the fight, and whether it’ll be streamed or televised in the U.S on PPV. Presumably, you would have to believe that the Mayweather-Nasukawa fight will be PPV in the States, as Mayweather is going to find it difficult to get the big money he’s been accustomed to getting if his fight with the little known Japanese kickboxer Nasukawa isn’t televised on PPV in the U.S.
Mayweather deciding to fight a kickboxer that most American fans have never heard of before suggests that there’s desparation on his part. With the rumors of Mayweather being financially broke and badly in need of money are circulating around. Mayweather taking on a little known kickboxer like Nasukawa will certainly feed into the belief that a lot of fans have that Floyd has spent through his fortune that he made from his last fight against Conor McGregor after just one year.
This is a HUGE step down for Mayweather from the fights that he’s been talking about wanting to do recently against Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGreogor. UFC president Dana White is said to be blocking the Mayweather-Khabib fight from taking place inside the boxing ring. White is open to Mayweather fighting Khabib in an MMA fight under the rules of that sport, but it doesn’t look like that’s an acceptable fight for Floyd.
“As far as the weight class and the rules, we’ll talk about that,” Mayweather said via ESPN.com said Mayweather. “We’ll get that situated within the next couple of weeks. This particular bout is a special bout as far as we’re giving the people something they’ve never seen before. The world has never seen Mayweather compete live in Tokyo. Throughout the years, I’ve seen a lot of fans from Japan come to Las Vegas and come to the U.S., but me and my team said let’s do something different. Let’s go over to Japan,” Mayweather Jr. said.
It sounds like its going to be a real rush job by Mayweather in getting this fight put together and packaged for the U.S boxing and MMA fans to likely be asked to purchase on PPV. Of course, there’s always the chance that Mayweather might give his fight away to the fans for free. That’s very unlikely to happen though. Mayweather has been PPV for years, and with the way he’s been spending money in recent years, it’s not believable that he would participate in a fight on December 31 in Japan without him trying to sell it to the American public. Whether the fans will purchase this farce is the big question. It involves the worst kind of opponent one can imagine. The fights that Mayweather has put together in the past where against guys that were at least known to the hardcore boxing and MMA fans. With Mayweather choosing to go to Japan to fight the little known Nasukawa, not even the hardcore fans have heard of this guy.
“It’s all about me going out there and displaying my skills against another skillful fighter,” Mayweather said in trying to justify his pick of Nasukawa as his opponent instead of a well known fighter that the boxing and MMA fans in the U.S would be interested in seeing him fight. “So we both want to go out there and display our skills and give people excitement. I just want to entertain…that’s what we want to do for the people,” Mayweather said.
The fans want to see Mayweather fight the talented boxers and/or MMA fighters. Nasukwa likely would be destroyed in a boxing ring or the octagon if he had to fight someone good like Leo Santa Cruz, Oscar Valdez or Carl Frampton at 126. Likewise, Nasukawa would probably be way over his head if he were to fight in the UFC against other 126 lb fighters.
Last year, Mayweather (50-0, 27 KOs) made a comeback to boxing in stopping UFC fighter Conor McGregor n the 10th round to pick up his 50th win of his career. The Nevada State Athletic Commission sanctioned as a pro fight despite McGregor never having boxed before during his career in combat sports. Mayweather-McGregor brought in 4.4 million PPV buys, making it the second all-time highest pay-per-view events in history. The criticism the fight received from fans was huge due to the match being less than entertaining. Not only was the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight boring, but the undercard was poor as well, appearing to be thrown together without much thought about giving the the paying fans their money’s worth. The Mayweather-McGregor fight brought in huge money for the fighters, but it was a disappointment for the fans. The fans wanted to see blood, drama and guts. What they got instead was a slow-motion sparring match.
Mayweather spoke recently about wanting to fight a rematch against Manny Pacquiao in December. That fight may still happen, but not in December. Pacquiao, 39, will be defending his WBA ‘regular’ welterweight title against Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner in early 2019 in January in a fight on Showtime PPV.
With only eight weeks to go before the Mayweather vs. Nasukawa fight, the two fighters are going to need to start promoting their fight like mad if they want to attract interest from the U.S boxing and MMA fan. Most fans have never heard of Nasukawa, and they’re probably not going to be eager to see Mayweather beat up someone so much smaller and younger than him if the fight is conducted under the rules of boxing.
This won’t be the first time that Nasukawa has fought a boxer during his short career. In 2017, Nasukawa defeated former International Boxing Federation flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng by a 4th round knockout in a kickboxing match. Nasukawa stopped Ruenroeng with a left to the body in the 4th round. Never the less, it’s highly unlikely that Nasukawa would have stood a chance against the 38-year-old Ruenroeng if the fight had taken place under the rules of boxing.
This will be one of the rare times in Mayweather’s career in which he’s not fighting in Las Vegas.
Mayweather was highly complimentary of his opponent Nasukawa during the press conference, remarking on how he’s doing things right with his career based on his unbeaten record. Mayweather will need to continue to compliment Nasukawa in the coming weeks if he wants to get the American fans to show interest in seeing their fight on December 31. It’s a bad night to ask American boxing and MMA fans to stay at home to watch a fight. It would be helpful if Mayweather had selected a popular fighter like Canelo or Golovkin to fight instead of Nasukaw.