Tenshin Nasukawa: What happened to him after Floyd Mayweather fight?

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In any contact sport, a first-round defeat with three knockdowns, even to a boxing legend such as Floyd Mayweather, would normally spell disaster for the defeated fighter.

Not so for kickboxing superstar Tenshin Nasukawa.

The Japanese MMA star has bounced back from his humbling loss to Mayweather in 2018 and is unbeaten in 11 fights since. His full kickboxing record reads 41-0, with 30 knockouts.

He is ranked #1 in the latest Combat Press world rankings at super flyweight, and until recently, also took the top spot in the pound-for-pound rankings.

Nasukawa was also awarded Fighter of the Year for 2019 by the same publication in the year following his loss to Mayweather.

Such is Nasukawa’s dominance in recent times, he is scheduled to fight three opponents in one exhibition fight this weekend at RIZIN 28 at the Tokyo Dome.

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He will fight each opponent - Koki Osaki, Hiroya Kawabe and an as yet unannounced third man – for one round each. Should any of his opponents beat him, the challenge ends there.

Nasukawa’s first fight after the New Year’s Eve bout with Mayweather was a decisive victory over the Argentine Federico Roma in the quarter-finals of the Rise 2019 World Series. Subsequent victories over Thailand’s Suakim PK Saenchaimuaythaigym and countryman Shiro saw Nasukawa add the World Series title to his list of accolades.

He is now approaching three years as the RISE featherweight world champion, albeit not without controversy. Nasukawa defeated Rodtang Jitmuangnon in questionable circumstances on a judges’ decision, in a fight that needed an extra round. His tactics – including asking the referee to stop the fight for non-existent groin shots – caused contention despite scoring the fight’s most damaging hits.

Since this fight, none of his fights have needed extra rounds and he’s scored three first-round knockouts to add to his impressive tally.

The multi-talented 22-year-old is also the current ISKA featherweight world champion. He defeated Martin Blanco on the three-knockdown rule in June 2019 for the vacant title.

His most recent fight was a rematch against Shiro at RISE Eldorado 2021 in February, again winning via unanimous decision.

Whether it’s one opponent or three, it would not be wise to bet against him in this run of form.

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