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Floyd Mayweather has announced he will fight undefeated kickboxing star Tenshin Nasukawa on New Year’s Eve. The fight will headline the Rizin Fighting Federation’s year-end event on December 31 in Japan.
This fight is remarkable for a variety of reasons. For starters, Mayweather, 41, hasn’t fought since scoring a 10th-round knockout against UFC star Conor McGregor in August 2017. After this fight, Mayweather announced his retirement, although he teased his return to fight Manny Pacquiao and Khabib Nurmagomedov. This fight will be the first time Mayweather has fought outside the United States since his amateur career and the first time he’s fought outside of Las Vegas since 2005.
Nasukawa will be a different opponent for Mayweather. The 20-year-old southpaw has been undefeated in 27 kickboxing fights and his four bouts in MMA since 2016. He has fought in promotions in the flyweight (125lb) and bantamweight (135lb) divisions. This immediately raises questions about his fight with Mayweather, who hasn’t fought under a 147lb weight limit since 2005.
Lots of questions not answered at that Mayweather-Nasukawa presser, such as:
Where it will air
How much it will cost
Who’s paying Floyd
Is this an “exhibition”
Those are the major ones.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 5, 2018
There has been no official word on how this fight will be judged. Rizin chairman Nobuyuki Sakakibara was quoted saying: “As far as the rule set and the weight and the rules, we still have some work cut out for us. But it will be a great fight that everybody will be so excited to see.”
In a video for The Guardian, Mayweather expresses his excitement about the upcoming fight, saying “I can do it all.”