Floyd Mayweather Jr. may be retired from boxing, but he hasn’t lost his taste for exhibition matches.
The 45-year-old Hall of Fame boxer is set to engage in another unconventional combat sports venture when he faces Japanese mixed-martial-artist Mikuru Asakura on Sept. 25 in the headline event of a RIZIN card in Japan. The match will be carried out under boxing rules.
The fight, moreover, marks the second time Mayweather has linked up with the MMA promotional group RIZIN. In 2018, he participated in a lucrative exhibition bout when he wiped out then 20-year-old kickboxing star Tenshin Nasukawa in the first round.
In a press conference held in Hawaii on Tuesday to announce the Sept. 25 card, Mayweather started off by flinging off a series of verbal jabs at his opponent through an interpreter, the MMA fighter Ren Hiramoto.
“Until you make money like I do stop talking.”
“Stop wearing dorky clothes and start wearing the TMT clothes which are much cooler than yours.”
“I know it’s just an exhibition match but with a single punch I can guarantee you that his stomach is going to swell up like an eggplant.”
“[Our punches] are as different as a jet plane and a fly, so I look forward to having a match against him.”
Mayweather also made it clear he will not be taxing himself in the gym to prepare for this fight, pointing out that he knows what to do when he is inside the ring.
“We don’t train as much when we were competing,” Mayweather said. “When we were competing we were competing against the biggest and best in the sport of boxing.
"So now we doing a little — we may train a few days and let the body rest a few days, train a few days, rest a few days. We don’t really train too much. We just travel and enjoy life. As far as boxing and competing at the highest level I did it for so long. When it’s time to go out there and do what I gotta do, I got that on lock.”
After taking questions, the fighters had a brief, but tense, altercation during their face-off, when one of Mayweather’s bodyguards shoved Asakura.
Asakura, 29, has a record of 16 wins against 3 losses (MMA). This will be the first time he has gloved up this year.
Mayweather (50-0, 27 KOs) participated in an exhibition bout earlier this spring in Dubai, when he outpointed Don Moore over eight rounds. Last year, the former five-division world champion took on YouTuber Logan Paul in an eight-round exhibition on Showtime Pay-Per-View that went the distance.