Under the “This makes no sense, but of course this is happening” file, Floyd Mayweather says he never agreed to an official bout with Tenshin Nasukawa.
Mayweather attended a press conference Sunday night announcing that he would be facing Nasukawa in a bout scheduled for RIZIN’s New Year’s Eve show in Saitama, Japan. Few details were given regarding rules, but the bout was clearly scheduled for the show. Mayweather spoke highly of his opponent’s credentials and was excited about fighting for the promotion.
“It’s always been a goal of mine to go outside the U.S. and go into another arena and display my talent as a professional, because I did it as an amateur,” Mayweather said at the press event. “Now it’s different as a professional. It’s great. I want to say congratulations to Tenshin and Rizin and just everybody for backing this event.”
Since then Mayweather has changed his tune. He is now saying that he never agreed to an official bout and that he was caught off guard by the announcement. In a lengthy Instagram post, Mayweather says that he agreed to an “exhibition put on for a small group of wealthy spectators for a very large fee.” He also said that the “special bout” was to be “purely for entertainment purposes.”
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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 regard 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.
Clearly Mayweather’s statements earlier in the week compared with today don’t line up. We do know that negotiations were ongoing regarding the rules of the fight and this may be Mayweather employing some leverage in those negotiations. Some are saying that Mayweather was unaware of Nasukawa’s credentials as a fighter and is now backing off. One would hope someone of Mayweather’s calibre would research a potential opponent before making any sort of agreement.
One thing that’s for certain, is that there is still almost two months until Dec. 31, so expect a roller coaster as this fight nears.