Deontay Wilder: Floyd Mayweather Would Ruin Legacy with Tenshin Nasukawa Loss

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2018

Floyd Mayweather Jr. poses on the scale during a weigh-in Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, in Las Vegas for his Saturday boxing bout against Conor McGregor. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

Floyd Mayweather Jr. is set to face kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in Japan on Dec. 31, but not everyone thinks that's the best move for the retired boxing legend.

Deontay Wilder recently made it clear he believes a loss to Nasukawa could have a damaging impact on Mayweather's legacy.

"People only remember the last thing you done," Wilder told TMZ Sports. "Just imagine me, I've knocked out 39 guys; this is gonna be my 40th one. Let's just say this is my last fight ever, and I just go the rounds or I lose, they won't fully remember all my knockouts. That's why in boxing we must retire at the right time when we're on top."                 

According to ESPN.com's Dan Rafael, details of the fight against Nasukawa—including specific rules, weight class and number of rounds—were not released. Mayweather discussed the matchup, per Rafael:

"As far as the weight class and the rules, we'll talk about that. 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.

"As far as the weight class, we're not really worried about that. It's all about me going out there and displaying my skills against another skillful fighter. So we both want to go out there and display our skills and give people excitement. I just want to entertain. I will speak with my team and I will let my team get with Rizin and I'm pretty sure they'll come up with a great idea, but it's all about entertainment and that's what we want to do for the people."

Mayweather also recently posted an Instagram teaser of himself wearing gloves from Rizin, the fight company involved in promoting the bout.

From a boxing standpoint, there's nothing left for him to prove. But Wilder—who's set for a boxing match with Tyson Fury in December—believes a loss could overshadow Mayweather's dominant run.

Then again, Mayweather's place in boxing history is set in stone. The 41-year-old is 50-0 and defeated the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao and Conor McGregor. Last year, Money became the third athlete and first fighter to top $1 billion in career earnings.

There's no question that Mayweather is one of the best boxers of all time. And while a loss to Nasukawa could affect his legacy to some degree, a win would end any discussion.