Combat Press reported on Nov. 5 that 50-0 boxing legend Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. would step into the Rizin Fighting Federation ring on Dec. 31. However, the fight is now off.
Rizin had announced at a press conference that Mayweather would be taking on Japanese kickboxing prodigy Tenshin Nasukawa in a bout with a still undetermined ruleset at Rizin 14. Mayweather has now issued a statement this was never going to be the case.
Read the statement in its entirety below.
“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 regards 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 (sic) Fighting Federation.’
“What I was originally informed of by Brent Johnson of ‘One Entertainment’ (this is not to be confused with ONE Championship) 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.”
Mayweather’s last bout, a boxing match in August of last year, saw him defeat the UFC’s Conor McGregor. The spectacle was the Irishman’s professional boxing debut, which he lost by TKO in the 10th round when referee Robert Byrd called off the fight.
Some had wondered if an MMA bout in the UFC would be next. McGregor eventually returned to the UFC while Mayweather re-entered retirement. Rizin has not responded to the falling out at this time.