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Mayweather to enjoy huge height advantage over 5’4” Tenshin Nasukawa

Floyd Mayweather Jr

By Mike Smith: Floyd Mayweather Jr., 5’8″, is going to be enjoying a huge four inch height and 20+ lb weight advantage over the 5’4″ Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in their fight on December 31 in Japan. Although the rules of the fight haven’t yet been announced, Nasukawa’s indifference about them seems to suggest that the fight will be conducted under the rules of boxing.

This would be the shortest opponent of Mayweather’s career. His previous shortest opponent was 5’5″ journeyman Jesus Chavez, who Mayweather stopped in the 5th round in 1997.

Whatever small chance that the 20-year-old kickboxer/MMA fighter Nasukawa has of winning the fight will go out the window if he agrees to fight Mayweather in a boxing match. It’s hard to imagine Mayweather and the organizers of the fight trying to sell such an unfair product to the masses. When you’ve got a guy with a monstrous advantage in size, reach, experience, power and knowledge of the sport of boxing like Mayweather going against a green fighter like Nasukawa, even the most gullible of fans are surely going to stay away from this ugly albatross of a fight. Even if this is a fight fought under the rules of kickboxing, it’s still going to be a mismatch. Many kickboxing fights are dominated by the fighters with the superior pugilistic skills, and that would be Mayweather. He’s not going to let a tiny fighter like the 5’4″ 126 lb Nasukawa hang around for more than one or two rounds without trying to get him out of there. The last thing Mayweather will want to deal with is getting kicked in the head or kneed by Sasukawa all night long.

Sasukawa isn’t a phenom in his own sport, even though he’s still unbeaten. He hasn’t been around the sport long enough to accumulate enough victories to show whether he’s got the ability to beat the best. Nasukawa fights in the Rizen Fighting Federation. His best wins of his 4-year kickboxing career have come against former IBF flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng and former UFC fighter Kyoji Horiguchi. As you would guess, Sasukawa has never fought a boxing match in his life.

The way that Mayweather made the sudden announcement of his fight against Sasukawa last Monday at a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, it came as a complete surprise to the boxing and MMA fans. It was thought that Mayweather would try and fight a notable MMA fighter like Khabib Nurmagomedov or Conor McGregor. The last thing the fans thought was for Mayweather to setup a fight against a little known kickboxer in Japan.

The fans are wondering why of all the athletes for Mayweather to fight, he would chose a tiny 5’4″, 126 lb kickboxer to fight. Mayweather could have simply waited until 2019 to fight a rematch against Manny Pacquiao in a boxing match, and that would have been enough for the fans. In choosing Sasukawa to fight, it gives the impression that Mayweather is having to dig deep to find MMA fighters that will fight him. UFC president Dana White said recently that if Mayweather wants to fight UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, he would need to come to the octagon to fight him. Since Mayweather is likely never going to do that, it effectively ended any talk of him and Khabib ever fighting unless White has a change of heart. Who knows? Perhaps he might some day after Khabib starts losing in the octagon and his career is in need of adrenalin.

Mayweather has been out of action for 14 months since his 10th round knockout win over Conor McGregor in August 2017. It’s clear that Mayweather needs to get back inside the ring soon for him to keep his popularity at a high enough level for the boxing and MMA public to continue to want to see his mismatches against fighters with no background in boxing. Since Mayweather isn’t interested in returning to boxing against the top fighters, he’s no longer the top fighter in that sport. Saul Canelo Alvarez is now #1 in North America in terms of popularity. If Mayweather wants to unseat him, he’s going to need to start fighting boxers once again rather than selecting kickboxers and MMA fighters to beat up.

There’s still no word about who is paying Mayweather for his fight with Sasukawa for the December 31 fight. All we know is someone is willing to pay Mayweather, and it’s quite possible that he’ll be getting his asking price of $100 million. That’s an incredible amount for a fight against a guy that is an unknown outside of Japan. If the organizers for the December 31 fight are depending on revenue to come from PPV in the United States, they might end up sadly disappointed when the money fails to pour in for the fight. Mayweather burned a lot of bridges with boxing and MMA fans with his listless mismatch against Conor McGregor last year. That was a fight in which Mayweather, 5’8″, was giving up an inch in height and eight pounds in weight againt the 5’9″ 155 lb McGregor. Mayweather had no problems beating the bigger southpaw McGregor in that fight. Just imagine what it’s going to be like for Mayweather to fight the 5’4″ Nasugawa in a boxing match. It won’t be a fair fight.

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