News ID: 236735
Published: 0329 GMT January 01, 2019

Mayweather floors kickboxer Nasukawa three times to win exhibition

Mayweather floors kickboxer Nasukawa three times to win exhibition
Floyd Mayweather (L) knocks down Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in an exhibition bout at the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo, Japan, on December 31, 2018.

Floyd Mayweather needed just 140 seconds to beat Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in an exhibition boxing bout worth a reported $9 million.

Former five-weight world champion Mayweather, 41, was smiling during the short-lived contest in Tokyo as he floored the 20-year-old three times, BBC Sport reported.

The fight, scheduled for three three-minute rounds, ended with Nasukawa in tears as his team threw in the towel.

Despite his latest comeback, Mayweather said afterward he was "still retired".

"It was all about entertainment – we had a lot of fun," said the American, who beat UFC's Conor McGregor in a boxing match in August 2017. "They wanted this to happen in Japan, so I said 'why not?'"

The fight was delayed by several hours, with rumors circulating on social media that Mayweather might not show up, and that organizers were struggling to locate him.

Both fighters were undefeated coming into the widely criticized contest, in which Mayweather had a 4kg (9lb) weight advantage.

And after beating Nasukawa, Mayweather insisted, "I'm still undefeated; Tenshin is still undefeated. Tenshin is a true champion and a hell of a fighter."

Addressing the Japanese fighter, he added, "Hold your head up high.

"I want the fans around the world to support Tenshin, he's a great guy and a great champion."

The rules were very strictly defined with kickboxer Nasukawa reportedly facing a $5m fine if he aimed a kick at his older opponent.

There were no judges, with only a knockout or technical knockout considered a victory.

Before the fight, former light-welterweight world champion Amir Khan said the bout was a "joke" and was "hurting boxing".

Mayweather also came out of retirement last year to beat McGregor in the Irishman's first ever boxing match.

That fight was also criticized as a mismatch prior to one of the richest contests in boxing history, but afterward BBC Radio 5 live boxing commentator Mike Costello said McGregor had "proved the doubters wrong".


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