Floyd Mayweather calls off fight with Tenshin Nasukawa, says he was misled by Rizin and never agreed to an official bout

  • Floyd Mayweather said on Wednesday that his fight with Japanese MMA fighter Tenshin Nasukawa through MMA firm Rizin was off.
  • Mayweather said he was under the impression that the fight would be an exhibition bout in front of a wealthy group of spectators, not a televised, official fight.
  • Mayweather said he did not interrupt a press conference for the fight because he was caught off-guard by the questions and didn't want to create a disturbance.
  • Some in the fight world had questioned whether the fight was legitimate.

Floyd Mayweather said on his Instagram page that his fight with Japanese MMA fighter Tenshin Nasukawa is off.

The fight with the MMA firm Rizin was initially announced as Mayweather's return to combat sports after rumors circulated about whether he would compete in UFC.

The fight was scheduled to take place in Saitama, Japan, on December 31, though it was unclear if it would be boxing or MMA style rules. Nasukawa is 27-0 and considered one of the most talented kickboxers and fighters in Japan.

On Wednesday, Mayweather wrote that he was under the impression that the fight was meant to be an entertaining exhibition in front of a "small group of wealthy spectators," not an official fight.

"Ultimately, I was asked to participate in a 9 minute exhibition of 3 rounds with an opponent selected by the 'Rizen Fighting Federation [sic],'" Mayweather's Instagram read.

"What I was originally informed of by Brent Johnson of 'One Entertainment' was that this was to be an exhibition put on for a small group of wealthy spectators for a very large fee. This exhibition was previously arranged as a 'Special Bout' purely for entertainment purposes with no intentions of being represented as an official fight card nor televised worldwide."

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Undefeated WBC/WBA welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (L) of the U.S. and WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines face off during an official weigh-in at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada May 1, 2015. The boxers will fight in a welterweight unification bout at the arena on May 2. REUTERS/Steve Marcus
World Boxing Council (WBC) welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. of the U.S. is seen during a media workout at the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas, Nevada April 22, 2014. Mayweather is preparing for his fight against World Boxing Association (WBA) champion Marcos Maidana of Argentina at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 3. REUTERS/Steve Marcus (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BOXING)
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Mayweather and Nasukawa held a press conference on Monday discussing the fight which Mayweather said caught him and his team off-guard because of the details being discussed. Mayweather said they did not speak up at the press conference because they didn't want to create a disturbance.

He apologized to fans who flew to the presser.

"I can assure you that I too was completely blindsided by the arrangements that were being made without my consent nor approval. 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."

As the fight was announced, some in the fighting world expressed doubt about whether this would be a true bout. Yahoo's Kevin Iole wrote that it was unclear if it would be an actual fight or something scripted like pro-wrestling.

Some even wondered if it was just a promotion to drum up interest in Rizin.

It would have gone against Mayweather's track record to step out of his comfort zone to take on a fighter, even for a large sum of money. When Mayweather fought Manny Pacquiao in 2015, he was accused of waiting until Pacquiao was on the decline of his fighting career, rather than when Pacquiao was closer to Mayweather's equal. For his 49th fight, Mayweather took on Andre Berto, considered a weaker opponent. His most recent bout came against Conor McGregor, who had no traditional boxing experience.

Mayweather concluded his Instagram by saying, "I am a retired boxer that earns an unprecedented amount of money, globally, for appearances, speaking engagements and occasional small exhibitions."

Mayweather's announcement can be found below:

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