Originally, the RIZIN promotion out of Japan had announced a fight between Mayweather and Nasukawa for their New Year’s Eve show from Saitama. Few details were shared regarding the fight or its rules at that time. A few days later Mayweather said that he was caught off guard by the press conference he was in attendance for and that he never agreed to a fight with Nasukawa. He said that he had agreed to a private exhibition for some rich businessmen.
Now Mayweather is saying that “It’s gonna be a little boxing exhibition.” He shared that the bout will be a nine-minute exhibition with “No kicking at all.”
What this suggests is that we will get a three-round boxing match, likely as a mid-card highlight of RIZIN’s New Year’s Eve event. By taking the fight as an exhibition, Mayweather doesn’t have to put his undefeated professional boxing record at risk.
Mayweather shared his rationale for taking the fight with TMZ:
“Just because I’m retired from boxing, people don’t think that I can still go out. I still make appearances worldwide and still make a ton of money. It’s not like I’m 60 or 70 years old.”
This fight puts Mayweather in the position where if he loses, no big deal, he’s retired and it was a relatively low-profile exhibition in Japan. If he wins, he may feel confident to re-enter the boxing ring at a higher level. Perhaps a rematch with Manny Pacquiao or Canelo Alvarez sometime in 2019. A rematch with Conor McGregor can never be ruled out either.