Floyd Mayweather Says He 'Never Agreed' to Tenshin Nasukawa Fight in IG Post

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 7, 2018

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 05: Floyd Mayweather Jr. attends a basketball game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center on November 05, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

Floyd Mayweather Jr. took to Instagram on Wednesday to address his announced Rizin Fighting Federation bout with kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa.

In his statement, Mayweather said he never agreed to fight Nasukawa, and he added that organizers changed direction without his consent:

"Now that I am back on U.S. soil after a long and disappointing trip to Tokyo, I now have the time to address you, my fans and the media in regards to the upcoming event on December 31st that was recently announced. First and foremost, I want it to be clear that I, Floyd Mayweather, never agreed to an official bout with Tenshin Nasukawa. In fact (with all due respect) I have never heard of him until this recent trip to Japan. Ultimately, I was asked to participate in a 9 minute exhibition of 3 rounds with an opponent selected by the 'Rizen Fighting Federation'. What I was originally informed of by Brent Johnson of 'One Entertainment' was that this was to be an exhibition put on for a small group of wealthy spectators for a very large fee. This exhibition was previously arranged as a 'Special Bout' purely for entertainment purposes with no intentions of being represented as an official fight card nor televised worldwide. Once I arrived to the press conference, my team and I were completely derailed by the new direction this event was going and we should have put a stop to it immediately. I want to sincerely apologize to my fans for the very misleading information that was announced during this press conference and I can assure you that I too was completely blindsided by the arrangements that were being made without my consent nor approval. For the sake of the several fans and attendees that flew in from all parts of the world to attend this past press conference, I was hesitant to create a huge disturbance by combating what was being said and for that I am truly sorry. I am a retired boxer that earns an unprecedented amount of money, globally, for appearances, speaking engagements and occasional small exhibitions."

According to ESPN.com's Dan Rafael, Rizin announced Monday that Mayweather and Nasukawa would clash at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, on Dec. 31.

Other details such as rules, weight class, fight purse and viewing information were not released.

Mayweather spoke about the fight at Monday's press conference and expressed excitement over tackling a new challenge in his combat sports career, 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."

On Wednesday, Mayweather said that while he had agreed to take part in an exhibition, he did not agree to participate in an official fight. He also noted he was told the fight would take place in front of "a small group of wealthy spectators," and that there were no plans for the bout to be internationally televised.

The 41-year-old Mayweather retired from boxing after he beat UFC star Conor McGregor by 10th-round knockout last year to improve his career record to 50-0.

Nasukawa, 20, is a perfect 27-0 as a professional kickboxer. He went 105-5-1 as an amateur, and he boasts a career mixed martial arts record of 4-0.

Mayweather has yet to announce if he intends to go through with the fight in the wake of his latest statement.