Floyd Mayweather Pulls Off First Round Victory Against Tenshin Nasukawa

Floyd “Money” Mayweather made very quick work of undefeated kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa on New Year’s Eve in a exhibition boxing bout. The scheduled three round contest ended in just one round after Mayweather scored three knockdowns on Nasukawa. The fight headlined RIZIN 14, as part of a yearly tradition to put on a New Year’s Eve event at Saitama Super Arena in Japan. Nasukawa is one of the promotion’s biggest stars, fighting nine times in the promotion before.

Mayweather was the one chasing Nasukawa throughout the fight, but in the first minute he fought relaxed. The American boxer was smiling at times while not throwing a ton of punches. After a minute Mayweather scored his first knockdown. Tenshin got up but seemed worried, as he looked to his corner before the fight resumed. Tenshin really started to get shot around the ring by Mayweather’s punches. A right hook made Nasukawa’s head snap back into the ropes for the second knockdown. A final left hook from Mayweather had Nasukawa tripping on the ropes, with his corner ending the bout.

Confident throughout, Floyd Mayweather did a celebratory dance after the bell. Prior to the fight Mayweather claimed on Instagram that he cashed out at 9 million dollars for his performance. The bout was first announced in early November, with Floyd claiming days afterwards that he would not perform on the show. Sometime in-between then and now he worked things out with the promotion and agreed to fight once again.

The fight headlined a card that had 12 MMA fights below it. In those fights were two championship bouts, with Kyoji Horiguchi winning the inaugural Bantamweight Championship against Darrion Caldwell, and Kanna Asakura dropping her Atomweight belt to Ayaka Hamasaki.

RIZIN 14 Preview

With their traditional New Year’s Eve event this year, RIZIN is putting a focus on the North American market. There are three main ways that they are doing this: by having lots of recent UFC fighters in action, by having a collaboration fight with Bellator Champion Darrion Caldwell, and by giving young kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa fight in an exhibition boxing match against Floyd Mayweather. The initial promotion of this event had a bump in the road, as after an initial press conference, Mayweather took to Instagram to say that he was mislead and that he has backed out of the bout. Since then things have seemingly been worked out between the boxer and the promoter Nobuyuki Sakakibara, since the fight is back on.

The official ruleset will be pure boxing, with no scorecards after the scheduled three rounds. The fight will also not affect anyone’s professional records. Nasukawa, the undefeated kickboxer, showed up in Nevada for on open workout at Mayweather’s gym earlier this month. This will be the second fight in a row for Tenshin where he is fighting a crossover bout. In September he battle RIZIN’s MMA star Kyoji Horiguchi in a kickboxing match. Nasukawa trained in Nevada leading up to this fight with boxer Jorge Linares.

There are two championship bouts on this card, with the biggest one being between Darrion Caldwell and Kyoji Horiguchi. Caldwell is a champion in Bellator, but won’t be defending his belt. Instead, he will face Horiguchi for the inaugural RIZIN Bantamweight Championship. The fight is expected to be only the start of a collaboration between the two promotions. Horiguchi has been undefeated in MMA since joining RIZIN. Putting that together with his final UFC fights, he is currently on a 10 fight win streak.

The biggest women’s fight on the card is Kanna Asakura defending her RIZIN Atomweight Championship against Ayaka Hamasaki. Hamasaki is 2-0 after making the move from Invicta to RIZIN. Asakura’s first title fight was against RENA, who she also defeated once before. Hamasaki’s last win was against Mina Kurobe, who was at the time the DEEP Jewels Atomweight Champion. The story going into that RIZIN 13 fight was it was two champions (Kurobe had her DEEP JEWELS belt and Hamasaki was a former Invicta champion) fighting, with the winner challenging Asakura.

After Norifumi “KID” Yamamoto unfortunately passed away in September, three Krazy Bee fighters were booked on this show. One of the fighters was Yusuke Yachi, who was highlighted on RIZIN’s web-docuseries “RIZIN Confessions.” On the show it was shown that Yachi is on a road to redemption. Before fighting in RIZIN he spent time in Shooto and Pancrase. From 2016 to 2018 Yachi was on a tear, getting five wins with three of them being first round stoppages. His momentum was halted at RIZIN 12 when he lost to Luis Gustavo. Part of his loss came because of his long hair getting in his eyes during the fight. On the web series he teased that he might go bald for NYE. He is set to face Johnny Case, who had a short stint in PFL after being released from the UFC.

Norifumi’s sister, Miyuu Yamamoto is also in action. The wrestler only delved into MMA in 2016, currently holding an even record of 3-3. She is set to face Mika Nagano, who is a veteran of the DEEP JEWELS promotion, making her RIZIN debut. Her son, Erson Yamamoto is scheduled to make his return to MMA after a round one loss to Manel Kape back in 2017. He looks to break even with his pro MMA record when he challenges Kazuyuki Miyata. Miyata is also coming off a long layoff, with his last fight being in 2016, defeating Andy Souwer in the first round of a Bushido Rules fight.

On the card there are three fights where RIZIN is feeding fighters to the promotions talent. These three bouts are an attempt to put RENA, Gabi Garcia and Shinju Nozawa-Auclair into the spotlight. In RENA’s case, her fight is a way to bounce back from the two losses she received from Kanna Asakura in her last two RIZIN fights. She is matched up against Samantha Jean-Francois, who has a professional record of 3-5-0. Nozawa-Auclair is clearly being built up as a star in the promotion since her mother, Naoko Nozawa is a well known Japanese comedian. In her first two RIZIN bouts she got first round Armbar victories, with one of the wins avenging her only amateur MMA loss. She fights Justyna Zofia Haba. Haba hasn’t had a professional MMA fight, and had her one amateur win back in 2014. Now longtime RIZIN fighter Gabi Garcia returns after a Road FC win back in the Spring. She fights Barbara Nepomuceno, a kickboxer making her MMA debut.

Former UFC fighter Damien Brown will be welcomed into the promotion by Daron Cruickshank. Also a former UFC competitor, Cruickshank has made himself known in RIZIN as a fighter who doesn’t rely on scorecards to win the bout. Currently on a four fight winning streak, Cruickshank has a 6-2 record in the promotion, all via stoppage. Brown’s run in UFC ended after he lost three fights in a row, exiting the promotion with a 2-4 record.

In a similar situation, former UFC Flyweight Ulka Sasaki will make his RIZIN debut against young fighter Manel Kape. Kape is currently bouncing back from two losses in a row, as he put on a dominant performance against Yusaku Nakamura at RIZIN 13. At age 25 he seems like a young prospect for the promotion. Sasaki had a 50/50 sort of run in the UFC, with his last fight being just last month against Alexandre Pantoja at Fight Night 140.

The fight between Nobumitsu Osawa and Tofik Masaev will be a battle of the newcomers. Osawa has been a fighter for the Shooto promotion for all of his career, and comes into RIZIN on a three fight win streak. Masaev is a fighter with an impressive 13-3 record, which has been collected from fights in China, Turkey and Azerbaijan, among other places.

For a couple of years now, Yuki Motoya has went back and forth between RIZIN and his main promotion DEEP. Currently on a four fight win streak, including one of them being at RIZIN 12, he will face Justin Scoggins. Scoggins is, like many people on this card, a former UFC fighter coming into the promotion. He had a three fight losing streak in the UFC, with one of those losses coming from the previously mentioned Ulka Sasaki.

Back in 2015 Jiri Prochazka joined RIZIN. Since then he has been a regular for the promotion, only losing one of his nine fights. He is currently on a six fight winning streak and is set to battle Brandon Halsey, who competed in PFL Season 1.

The prequel to the evening’s events, “RIZIN Heisei’s Last Yarennoka!,” kicks off in the late evening on the west. The headliner for that show is veteran fighters Tatsuya Kawajiri and Satoru Kitaoka. In Japan the show will be televised on Fuji TV, and in the rest of the world it can be seen via purchase on FITE TV. The 14 fight show is one that will be the main focus of the MMA world before we all say goodbye to 2018, and welcome the new year.

Floyd Mayweather Claims He Never Agreed To Fight Tenshin Nasukawa

Days after a press conference in Japan, Floyd Mayweather has claimed that he never agreed to fight on RIZIN’s New Year’s Eve card against Tenshin Nasukawa. On Instagram on Wednesday Mayweather made a lengthy Instagram post where he detailed his side of the story. The full statement reads:

“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 regard 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 Fighting Federation”. 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. Once I arrived to the press conference, my team and I were completely derailed by the new direction this event was going and we should have put a stop to it immediately. I want to sincerely apologize to my fans for the very misleading information that was announced during this press conference and 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. I am a retired boxer that earns an unprecedented amount of money, globally, for appearances, speaking engagements and occasional small exhibitions.”

Mayweather’s post on Instagram earlier this week of him wearing a RIZIN MMA and Kickboxing glove has since been deleted. RIZIN, Brent Johnson and Tenshin Nasukawa have yet to put out a statement on the matter.

The mentioned fight put on for a small amount of wealthy spectators is something that has been offered to a boxer before. Heavyweight Tyson Fury mentioned on the “JRE MMA Show” that he was offered a fight on a cruise ship from someone “who wanted to make this a fight exclusive for him and his buddies.”

The ball is in RIZIN’s court at this point as to what they do with their New Year’s Eve show.

Floyd Mayweather and Tenshin Nasukawa To Battle On Rizin’s New Year’s Eve Card

RIZIN’s annual New Year’s Eve just became bigger than ever before. It was announced late Monday at noon in Japan (Sunday night in the west) that undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather will face undefeated kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa. The exact ruleset hasn’t been made clear as of yet, but at the press conference, which both fighters were present at, Mayweather said that it will be announced in the “coming weeks.”

In mid-September articles said that Mayweather expressed interest in fighting in Japan in what would be a tune-up fight before fighting Manny Pacquiao in a sequel matchup. Less than an hour before the press conference had went live, Mayweather teased his partnership with RIZIN by posting an Instagram photo where he wore a RIZIN MMA glove in his left hand and their kickboxing/boxing glove in the other hand.

Both fighters’ last appearances were in crossover events, with Mayweather participating in the highly lucrative boxing bout with MMA star Conor McGregor. In RIZIN’s promotion Tenshin recently battled MMA star in his own right, Kyoji Horiguchi in a kickboxing bout at RIZIN 13.

RIZIN 14 is scheduled to take place on New Year’s Eve at Saitama Super Arena, the unofficial home for RIZIN events. The rest of the card is set to be announced later this week.