Mayweather’s exhibition fight against Nasukawa won’t count against his record
By Allan Fox: Floyd Mayweather Jr. won’t need to worry about his perfect 50-0 record being tarnished in his 3-round exhibition bout against Japanese kick-boxer Tenshin Nasukawa on December 31 at the Saitama Prefecture Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The fight won’t count against Mayweather’s record. The exhibition won’t have any judges or scoring of the three rounds.
It’s going to be like a sparring match. If Mayweather treats the fight with Nasukawa like he did his last contest against UFC star Conor McGregor, then you can expect him to stay in 1st gear most of the time.
This will be a match that will be taking place under the rules of boxing. It’s unclear why the organizers of the exhibition bothered with setting the event in the first pace. Nasukawa doesn’t belong in a ring with any boxer, least of all Mayweather. The only thing that Nasukawa can get out of the fight, besides a payday, is some attention from fans outside of his home country of Japan.
In Mayweather’s last fight, he picked up his 50th win of his pro career when he defeated MMA fighter Conor McGregor by a 10th round stoppage in August 2017. The Nevada State Athletic Comision shockingly sanctioned the Mayweather-McGregor fight as a pro fight despite McGregor making his debut inside a boxing ring. McGregor went into the Mayweather fight with an 0-0 record, and the Nevada Commission still sanctioned the mismatch as a pro fight. It was one of the easiest ways a fighter could think of in breaking Rocky Marciano’s record of 49-0.
Mayweather will reportedly be receiving between $4 million and $10 million for the exhibition fight against the 22-year-old Nasukawa. This is on top of the $2 million Mayweather is said to have received for showing up for the news conference to announce the fight with the Japanese fighter.
The Mayweather vs. Nasukawa exhibition match will take place at 147 lbs, at welterweight, with the rounds last 3 minutes. The glove size will be 8 ounce boxing gloves.
“This is a great way for me to go out there and give people some entertainment,” Mayweather said. “It’s an exhibition match, but it’s giving me a chance to do something different. I love competing against fighters from all walks of life like in my amateur days. It’s all about entertainment. Nine minutes of entertainment. It’s going to be amazing.”
It’s not likely to be anywhere near amazing watching Mayweather toy with a 22-year-old MMA fighter, who is much smaller than him, and who has no background in boxing. It’s going to be amazingly bad to watch unless Mayweather carries the Japanese fighter for the full three minutes. It would be much more preferable to see Mayweather fight an exhibition bout against someone like Gennady Golovkin, Saul Canelo Alvarez, Jermell Charlo, Jarrett Hurd, Errol Spence Jr. or Jermall Charlo. That would be fun to watch. It’s too bad Mayweather doesn’t want to fight any of them.
Rizin Fighting Federation announced the Mayweather vs. Nasukawa fight last November for December 31. Soon after, Mayweather said the fight was off. This news made a lot of boxing fans happy, given that they thought that Mayweather was taking the sport of boxing into the dumps by digging up yet another MMA fighter for him to beat him into the squared circle. When Mayweather retired from the sport in 2016, the last thing fans expected was that he would come back and begin fighting MMA fighters. The fans thought that if Mayweather did return to the ring, he would face boxers, preferably the best at 147 or 154. The way that Mayweather is picking MMA fighters to beat in front of casual fans, it looks bad. Of course, some fighters from the past took exhibition bouts when they got old.
The great Jack Johnson finished his career with two exhibition bouts in 1945 at age 67 before dying in a car accident in 1946. One would hope that Mayweather isn’t still taking exhibition bouts when he’s that age. Muhammad Ali was involved in an exhibition bout against Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki on June 26, 1976. Ali was only 34 at the time, but he wasn’t a young 34. The fight, which was on closed circuit, was viewed negatively by boxing fans due to Inoki spending most of the contest on his back on the canvas, kicking at Ali’s legs. It was painful to watch. Ali being kicked in the legs, and not able to land anything due to the Japanese fighter staying on his back for 15 rounds. It looked like a farce. The fans thought they were going to see a fight, but instead was an odd match.
It’s too bad that Mayweather doesn’t want to bow out his career by fighting boxers the way normal fighters do. Some believe that Mayweather’s ego is too big for him to fight top fighters and risk having his perfect 50-0 record tarnished. So instead of fighting guys that could potentially beat him, Mayweather is now facing MMA guys for easy paydays. The question is how much will the MMA and boxing public put up with paying to see Mayweather fight guys that have no chance of beating him? The Mayweather wanted to fight UFC star Khabib Nurmagomedov, but the president of the UFC, Dana White, made it clear that the only way Mayweather was going to get a fight against his star is if he did it in the octagon. Mayweather has no interest in fighting Khabib under the rules of the UFC.