‘Blind­sided’ Floyd calls off bout with kick­boxer

Sport360 - - European Tables And Fixtures - By David Cooper @Sport360 ✉ ed­i­to­rial@sport360.com

Box­ing su­per­star Floyd May­weather on Wed­nes­day scrapped a planned fight with a Ja­panese kick­boxer, claim­ing he had been duped into agree­ing to the con­test.

In a lengthy state­ment posted on so­cial me­dia, May­weather said he had been “blind­sided” by or­gan­is­ers of the pro­posed bout against Ten­shin Na­sukawa, set for New Year’s Eve in Saitama.

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

The 41-year-old re­tired wel­ter­weight cham­pion said he trav­elled to Ja­pan last week to par­tic­i­pate in a pri­vate bout against Na­sukawa 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 nor tele­vised world­wide,” May­weather wrote.

Soon af­ter ar­riv­ing at a press con­fer­ence in Tokyo on Mon­day, May­weather said he and his team “were com­pletely de­railed by the new di­rec­tion this event was go­ing.”

“We should have put a stop to it im­me­di­ately,” May­weather wrote.

“I want to sin­cerely apol­o­gise to my fans for the very mislead­ing in­for­ma­tion that was an­nounced dur­ing this press con­fer­ence.

“I can as­sure you that I too was com­pletely blind­sided by the ar­range­ments that were be­ing made with­out my con­sent or ap­proval.”

May­weather’s with­drawal from the con­test fol­lowed his ap­pear­ance at a press event in Tokyo on Mon­day in which he vowed to give “blood, sweat and tears” in the fight.

“It’s al­ways been a goal of mine to go out­side out of the US and dis­play my tal­ent. The world has never seen May­weather com­pete live in (Ja­pan),” May­weather had said, fram­ing the fight as an ex­pan­sion of his busi­nesses to the Far East.

May­weather has not fought since his money-spin­ning box­ing show­down with mixed mar­tial arts star Conor McGre­gor in Las Ve­gas in 2017. May­weather re­turned to re­tire­ment fol­low­ing that bout with a per­fect 50-0 un­beaten record.

How­ever the Amer­i­can has re­peat­edly hinted at com­ing out of re­tire­ment since that fight, most re­cently teas­ing a pos­si­ble re­match against Manny Pac­quiao.

Na­sukawa, 20, mean­while, had told re­porters on Mon­day it had been an “easy de­ci­sion” to agree to fight May­weather.

Back­track­ing: Floyd May­weather.

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