Floyd Mayweather vs. Tenshin Nasukawa: Examining the Fight Rules and Format

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 27, 2018

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 06:  Floyd Mayweather Jr. (L) and Tenshin Nasukawa pose during a news conference at the Mayweather Boxing Club on December 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The two will meet in a three-round boxing exhibition at Saitama Prefecture Super Arena in Saitama, Japan on December 31, 2018.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

On December 31, Floyd Mayweather Jr. will dust off his gloves once again as he steps into the ring against kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in an exhibition match.

After some initial confusion regarding the bout and whether it would be an official contest, the rules and format have since been clarified.

Per ESPN's Dan Rafael, the pair will face off in an unofficial three-round contest that will otherwise adhere to standard boxing rules, and they'll don eight-ounce Rizin gloves during each three-minute round.

The fight, which will take place at welterweight147 pounds—will be held in Saitama, Japan, at the Saitama Prefecture Super Arena, a venue that holds 37,000 spectators.

As an exhibition, the fight will not count toward either's records and no judges will be present to score it, so it will be a draw if it lasts the full nine minutes. Mayweather holds a 50-0 boxing record, while Nasukawa is also unbeaten at 28-0 in kickboxing and 4-0 in mixed martial arts.

Given that format, Money is evidently feeling relaxed about fighting the 20-year-old rising star:

Mayweather last fought in 2017, when he came out of retirement to face UFC star Conor McGregor in the boxing ring in an official match.

The American has since teased a crossover to MMA, but he explained why his exhibition with Nasukawa would stick to boxing rules:

While it may be an unofficial fight, the 41-year-old would have little chance of winning if it was in a kickboxing format, so it's little wonder he's sticking to what he knows.

Nasukawa will be the one to step out of his comfort zone for their bout. He showed some impressive speed in his training:

"I'm training hard every day to face Mayweather and leave a mark," he said, per Rafael. "This is a great opportunity and we're happy to take it. I'm going to put everything out there and show my strengths. I think that I'm the faster fighter. I'm going to use my weapons against him."

Nasukawa will likely have the physical advantage given he's 21 years his opponent's junior, but there will be a sizeable skill and experience gap since he's fighting in an unfamiliar format.

However, the result will be second to entertainment on the night.  

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