MMA fighter Daron Cruickshank said Floyd Mayweather would be making a smart decision if he decided to opt out of a showdown with Tenshin Nasukawa, whom he considers "the Michael Jordan of kickboxing."
Mayweather and Nasukawa are set for a meeting on December 31, although there have been some doubts about whether or not the bout will go ahead.
Cruickshank, who is scheduled to be on the same card, told TMZ he rates Nasukawa highly, and that while Mayweather would be dominant in the sweet science, the unbeaten boxer would struggle to cope with him in a kickboxing bout.
"He's like the Michael Jordan, over there, of kickboxing," he said of the 20-year-old. "...If they did a kickboxing match, I think Tenshin would win. If they did a regular kickboxing match, Tenshin would win. But, in a boxing match, I don't think he would stand a chance."
Mayweather recently told TMZ that despite hinting the fight might not go ahead, he is "gonna make it happen." When pressed on what kind of combat they would engage in, he said it'd be a "little boxing exhibition" with "no kicking"; the 41-year-old also said it'd be a nine-minute contest.
Per MMA journalist Luke Thomas, Mayweather has previously hinted the fight wouldn't be a behind-closed-doors showpiece too:
Per the Associated Press (h/t ABC News), the head of the Rizin Fighting Federation, Nobuyuki Sakakibara, also said the clash would be three rounds and the contest would not be registered on the professional record of either competitor.
The Japanese has won all four of his MMA showdowns so far and has a record of 28 wins from 28 fights in kickboxing. In his previous bout, he beat Taiki Naito inside two minutes, culminating in this emphatic finish:
Mayweather has been a lot less active, with his previous bout against professional boxing debutant and MMA star Conor McGregor in August 2017. The man known as Money was unsurprisingly dominant and won via a stoppage in the 10th round.
Cruickshank, who has previously fought in the UFC, is a veteran of the sport at 33, with 21 wins, 10 losses and one no-contest on his professional MMA record. At Rizin 13 in September he beat Diego Brandao in the second round with a flying-knee knockout.