May­weather to stage “en­ter­tain­ment” spec­ta­cle in Japan

The Freeman - - SPORTS -

Boxer Floyd May­weather says his New Year's Eve bout with Ja­panese kick­boxer Ten­shin Na­sukawa will be "all about the en­ter­tain­ment".

The nine-minute ex­hi­bi­tion in Japan will have no of­fi­cial win­ner or loser if it goes the dis­tance, and May­weather said at a press avail­abil­ity at his train­ing base in Las Ve­gas on­that he was look­ing for­ward to the event as a chance to sam­ple "some­thing dif­fer­ent".

The con­test will take place at the Saitama Pre­fec­ture Su­per Arena in Saitama, Japan, May­weather said.

Saitama is 16 kilo­me­tres (10 miles) north of Tokyo.

May­weather added that there and won't be any judges present and the bout would not count on the com­bat­ants' of­fi­cial fight records.

"It is all about the en­ter­tain­ment," May­weather said. "Nine min­utes of en­ter­tain­ment .... I'm in the en­ter­tain­ment busi­ness."

Be­sides three-minute rounds, the ex­hi­bi­tion will take place at 67kg (147 pounds), fea­ture "straight box­ing rules" and eightounce box­ing gloves.

"This will be full con­tact com­pe­ti­tion but the bout is not go­ing on box­ing or MMA records," a May­weather spokesper­son said in a news re­lease.

Na­sukawa, also in Ve­gas, said he hopes his coun­try­men will get be­hind the show.

"There has never been a Ja­panese fighter to face Floyd May­weather in the ring. I would like to make a big im­pres­sion," said the 20-year-old, who is 27-0 with 21 KOs as a feath­er­weight kick­boxer.

"I want to get the whole fight com­mu­nity, the whole coun­try of Japan and the en­tire world in­volved in this fight.

Thurs­day's press event came al­most a month af­ter 41-yearold re­tired wel­ter­weight champ May­weather (50-0, 27 KOs) an­nounced he had scrapped plans to stage a fight with Na­sukawa, in­di­cat­ing he had been duped into agree­ing to a con­test.

"I want it to be clear that I, Floyd May­weather, never agreed to an of­fi­cial bout with Ten­shin Na­sukawa," May­weather wrote on In­sta­gram.

But on Novem­ber 15, the CEO of mixed mar­tial arts pro­moter RIZIN said a "mis­un­der­stand­ing" with May­weather had been ironed out and the fight was on.

At that time, May­weather de­scribed the match to TMZ Sports as "a lit­tle box­ing ex­hi­bi­tion" with no kick­ing in­volved.

There was no men­tion Thurs­day of a US broad­caster, an un­der­card, or how much money May­weather would re­ceive for the spec­ta­cle.

May­weather came out of a two-year re­tire­ment in 2017 and knocked out mixed mar­tial arts fighter Conor McGre­gor in the 10th round of a su­per-hyped box­ing match.

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