Floyd Mayweather vs Tenshin Nasukawa: When Money battered & humiliated kickboxer


On this day three years ago, Floyd Mayweather dusted off his boxing gloves once more to take part in a New Year’s Eve exhibition fight against Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa.

Mayweather had been contacted by Japanese fight promoter RIZIN as they hoped to grow Nasukawa’s reputation and name.

They offered the American $9million to fight three rounds with the 20-year-old rising prodigy, which the boxer originally rejected.

Mayweather claimed that he was told it would be a small fight and not the international media circus that it turned out to be, but RIZIN somehow convinced him to get back on board with the project, a decision they would come to regret.

With the Japanese/American rivalry heating things up, tensions would reach an all-time high when Mayweather didn’t arrive at the arena when scheduled.

Two hours later, he turned up and streamed his preparation on Instagram Live, during which he claimed to just be an “old man just trying to make it.”



Mayweather treating the event as a joke seemed to boost the Japanese crowd’s confidence that their fighter would win, and after the American danced badly into the ring, Nasukawa received a joyous entrance with the crowd roaring for him to win comfortably.

The start of the fight saw Mayweather laugh and make ridiculous gestures and feints towards his opponent, who was trying to knock the veteran down quickly.

After a few parries and dodges, Mayweather flicked a switch and immediately started attacking.

Within 30 seconds, Nasukawa was knocked down. A minute later and he was knocked down again. Another 30 seconds passed, and after a devastating third knockdown, Nasukawa’s corner pulled him out of the fight to avoid any further damage.

In three minutes, Japan’s national hope was left embarrassed and crying on camera whilst Mayweather decided to dance.

Nasukawa has since returned to MMA and has won all of his bouts since that fateful day whilst Mayweather has continued to enjoy retirement.

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