Floyd Mayweather Japan Update: Boxer Says Rizin Exhibition Match Will Be 'Nine Minutes of Entertainment'

Floyd Mayweather Jr. confirmed that he will return to the ring for his scheduled New Year's Eve fight for Rizin Fighting Federation, a Japanese MMA promotion, but reiterated that the bout will be a "nine-minute exhibition."

"This is a great way for me to go out there and give people some entertainment," Mayweather said during media availability at the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas on Thursday. "It's an exhibition match, but it's giving me a chance to do something different. I love competing against fighters from all walks of life like in my amateur days. It's all about entertainment. Nine minutes of entertainment. It's going to be amazing.

Mayweather, 41, will face Japanese kickboxing star Tenshin Nasukawa under strictly boxing rules for the three-round bout at Saitama Prefecture Super Arena in Saitama, Japan on Dec. 31.

Last month, Mayweather claimed that he was "completely blindesided" by the initial announcement of the fight and hinted that he was backing out of the pay-per-view.

"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," Mayweather wrote. "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."

Nine days later, he revealed that the match was back on, but claimed it was going to be the "highest-paid exhibition ever."

"We're gonna make it happen,” Mayweather was quoted as saying by TMZ Sports.

"Rules? It's gonna be a little boxing exhibition. No kicking [...] I'm moving around with the guy for nine minutes, and of course it's gonna be the highest-paid exhibition ever.

"It's a no-brainer. Just because I'm retired from boxing. I still make appearances worldwide and make a ton of money."

Mayweather teased the announcement of the fight on Instagram with a photo featuring himself wearing Rizin gloves that included the caption "December 31st 2018 #Tokyo," hours before his official press conference with the promotion on Nov. 5.

"It wasn't easy to make this happen," Mayweather said, "but we told the people anything is possible, so now we're here and we wanna make sure that we give the people in Tokyo what they wanna see -- blood, sweat and tears."

Nasukawa, who a 27–0 record as a kickboxer and is 4–0 in MMA bouts, noted the magnitude of sharing the octagon with arguably the most recognizable name in combat sports during the press conference.

“I would probably say that this is my biggest event in life, so far,” Nasukawa said, via a Japanese translator. “And I’m very happy that this is going to materialize.”

“Nobody has defeated my opponent in the past,” he added, referencing Mayweather’s 50–0 pro boxing record. “And I would like to be the man who makes history. My punch can change the history and I will show that to you, so please stay tuned.”

Mayweather hasn't participated in a fight since the heavily-hyped crossover boxing match against UFC champion Conor McGregor in August 2017, which resulted in a 10th-round TKO victory. He has since teased the possibility of competing in MMA on social media.

Nasukawa defeated bantamweight star and former UFC flyweight contender Kyoji Horiguchi during a three-round kickboxing match at Rizin 13 in September.

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