Floyd Mayweather has revealed that he is aligning with the Rizin Fighting Federation, a Japanese mixed martial arts company, and will fight kickboxing star Tenshin Nasukawa at the organization’s year-end show on New Year’s Eve in Japan.
The shock announcement came at a Monday news conference in Tokyo, where Rizin officials introduced both Mayweather and Nasukawa, the undefeated 20-year-old kickboxing prodigy who joined the MMA promotion in 2016.
“It wasn’t easy to make this happen,” a subdued, polite Mayweather said. “But we told the people anything is possible, so now we’re here and we want to make sure that we give the people in Tokyo what they want to see: blood, sweat and tears.”
Nasukawa, a southpaw who is unbeaten in 27 kickboxing fights and four MMA bouts, has won titles across several promotions in the flyweight (125lb) and bantamweight (135lb) divisions, which raises an obvious question about the contracted weight for December’s fight: Mayweather hasn’t fought below the 147lb limit since his 2005 meeting with Arturo Gatti.