It has been greater than three years since Floyd Mayweather accepted an invite to a novel form of New 12 months’s Eve social gathering.
The 50-0 boxing icon, marked the event by dancing throughout the canvas on which he’d simply deposited highly-rated kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa 3 times earlier than the teen’s nook jumped in to name a cease to this ridiculous, but extraordinarily profitable, contest.
Mayweather didn’t must take the struggle seriouslyMayweather had flown to Tokyo after being provided $9million by Japanese MMA promotion RIZIN for a three-round exhibition in opposition to the 20-year-old rising star.
Their thought was to have the unbeaten prospect massively develop his world profile by sharing the ring with one of the vital recognisable faces on the planet.
It didn’t fairly go as deliberate.
The announcement got here fully out of the blue on a Monday morning in November, with the remainder of the boxing world surprised as they woke as much as the information.
Particulars slowly trickled out because it emerged that Mayweather, whose earlier bout in opposition to Conor McGregor was fought at 154lbs, can be dealing with a featherweight in Nasukawa who’d final competed at 128lbs.
Nevertheless, simply two days later there was an issue.
After flying residence from the announcement press convention in Japan, Mayweather put out an Instagram publish declaring the competition was cancelled.
He claimed to have been fully blindsided by organisers who agreed a low-profile exhibition, however then introduced a large occasion in an area stuffed with 1000’s of individuals.
RIZIN responded with an announcement of their very own, saying they have been attempting to salvage the struggle with additional talks and, in a shock twist, they managed to take action.
With their star again on board, the occasion was formally re-confirmed with boxing guidelines absolutely introduced and a weird trailer launched.
American veteran Kenny Bayless, who’d refereed a number of Mayweather fights, was even introduced in to officiate.
The American, who stored himself in respectable situation, determined no particular coaching camp was wanted for this bout.
He didn’t even take the occasion severely sufficient to reach in Japan prematurely and acclimatise to the native time zone.
Fortunately although, he had an answer for this – he made the occasion occur on Mayweather time.
The day of the struggle got here and there was concern throughout the undercard as reviews started to emerge stating that Mayweather had not but turned up.
Because the previous fights wore on and the principle occasion drew nearer, this fear grew to become an increasing number of critical till ultimately, two hours later, Mayweather arrived.
The 41-year-old then hosted an impromptu Instagram Reside stream of himself getting his palms wrapped in his dressing room, whereas the sell-out crowd of 37,000 all waited of their seats.
“I’m simply an outdated man, I ain’t in form, physique ain’t in form, I’m simply an outdated man attempting to make it,” Mayweather instructed his followers.
He appeared to deal with the whole occasion as a joke, simply because he may.
Ultimately Floyd was able to go and Nasukawa entered the Saitama Tremendous Area to a hero’s welcome.
The Japanese crowd vociferously cheered on the person they optimistically hoped was about to turn into a brand new nationwide icon.
Mayweather was rapped out by his son Koraun, with the pair brashly dancing all the best way to the ring.
Each fighters have been bizarrely given a bouquet of flowers throughout an prolonged sequence of introductions earlier than, lastly, mercifully, the primary bell rang.
The American started by toying along with his opponent, throwing jokey punches that weren’t even jabs.
He took up a mock stance, waved his left arm and made comical noises taunting Nasukawa.
The hometown hero was clearly outsized, however remained critical and commenced to throw punches within the path of Mayweather.
Mayweather parried these efforts, smiled and commenced laughing at his opponent earlier than swiftly switching gears.
Throughout the subsequent two minutes, he floored Nasukawa 3 times and ended the competition.
The primary knockdown got here through a left hook to the temple which seemingly scrambled Nasukawa’s senses and despatched him sprawling to the ground.
He made it again to his toes and fought on, attempting in useless to have an effect on Mayweather.
The 20-year-old was quickly put down once more by advantage of a ferocious proper uppercut.
At ringside, those that had invested $9million into the legend’s purse with the goal of utilizing him to construct Nasukawa’s profile started to understand they’d made fairly an enormous mistake.
To his credit score, the bewildered teen arose as soon as extra, however was understandably no match for Mayweather’s velocity, timing and accuracy.
Nasukawa hit the canvas for a 3rd time – from one other left hook – and was subsequently pulled out by his nook.
You possibly can hear a pin drop within the area as 37,000 surprised followers, who’d waited a number of extra hours on New 12 months’s Eve for this bout, witnessed their nationwide hope demolished in three brutal minutes.
Nasukawa was seen crying on digicam and Mayweather started his victory dance.
The humiliation was full.
“It was all about leisure, we had enjoyable,” Mayweather acknowledged in his post-fight interview.
“This don’t go on my report, this don’t go on Tenshin’s report, Tenshin continues to be undefeated, I’m nonetheless undefeated, I’m nonetheless retired.
“I did this simply to entertain the followers in Japan. They wished this to occur over right here in Japan, so I mentioned, ‘Why not?’”
Though the Mayweather struggle didn’t pan out as supposed for his fame, Nasukawa’s public profile did rise considerably regardless.
He has since returned to kickboxing and gained all of his contests, rebuilding his profession in 2019 and 2020.
As for Mayweather, he has continued on the trail for exhibitions and final yr, stepped into the ring to struggle Logan Paul and can subsequent enter the ring on high of a heli-pad in entrance of an unique crowd at Dubai’s Burj-Al Arab lodge. There he’ll tackle former sparring associate Don Moore the place tickets are mentioned to value £100,000.
However his legit combating profession is full and rightly so.
He has nothing left to show.