Floyd Mayweather vows never to fight MMA, will box Tenshin in NYE exhibition

After weeks of theatrics, details were announced for Floyd Mayweather’s fight with Japanese kickboxer  Tenshin Nasukawa. (Getty)

Drama over Floyd Mayweather’s New Year’s Eve bout with Japanese kickboxing star Tenshin Nasukawa has been settled.

The two will box at 147 pounds. It will go for three three-minute rounds. And it will be an exhibition that won’t count on either fighter’s record. There will be no judges and no scorecard if the fight goes the distance.

The two fighters announced the news Thursday night in Las Vegas for the fight that will take place at the 37,000-seat Saitama Prefecture Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, just outside of Tokyo.

Mayweather shuns MMA, kickboxing

Mayweather explained the reasoning behind keeping it a boxing match while seemingly putting to rest any idea of his ever stepping into an MMA cage.

“Everything is always on my terms,” Mayweather said, via MMA Junkie. “I’m the A-side always. I’m not going to fight in an MMA ring. If I do fight in a MMA ring, boxing only. Everything is my rules, it’s my way.”

So that appears to be that. Sorry, MMA fans hoping to see Mayweather get his mouth shut on UFC terms by Khabib Nurmagomedov or Conor McGregor.

More money for Mayweather if Tenshin kicks

Mayweather went on to say that if Tenshin’s kickboxing instincts kick in on Dec. 31, it will mean more cash in his pocket.

“I worked hard to put myself in the position that I call all the shots, simple and plain,” Mayweather said. “He may be a kickboxer, but he’s got to abide by my rules, simple and plain. And if he raises his feet, it’s in the contract, I get some more money.”

Mayweather’s defensive stance at the news conference was the latest turn in a bizarre fight promotion that started with a surprise November fight announcement from Japan that provided more questions than answers.

Strange saga for an exhibition

The fighters announced at the news conference that there would be a fight, but did not go into what the terms or the rules of the fight would be.

“As far as the weight class and the rules, we’ll get that situated in the next few weeks,” Mayweather said on Nov. 4. 

Fight was off?

Three days later, Mayweather appeared to back out of the fight, writing on social media that he “never agreed” to fight Tenshin.

“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,” Mayweather wrote.

“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.'”

Now the fight is back on, albeit an exhibition. And Mayweather’s theatrics appear to have been just that — theatrics.

Neither the payouts for either fighter nor details of an American broadcast were announced on Thursday.

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