Floyd Mayweather Jr. will continue his exhibition tour.
The newly Hall of Fame-enshrined former five-division champion and pound-for-pound king has confirmed his next exhibition fight, which will come against mixed martial artist Mikuru Asakura. The event will take place as part of a Rizin Fighting Federation show this September in Japan on RIZIN Fight Pass, as confirmed during a press conference held Monday evening in Las Vegas.
“I’m very happy to be sitting in between these two athletes for this event which will be Floyd Mayweather’s second with RIZIN,” Nobuyuki Sakakibara, CEO of Rizin, stated during the announcement presser at M Resort Spa & Casino in Las Vegas. “Floyd Mayweather was supposed to fight in an exhibition in Japan earlier in the year with an organization called Mega. However, due to the pandemic it has been postponed and RIZIN has taken over the contract for Floyd Mayweather’s next fight in Japan.”
The event will mark the second exhibition bout of the year for Mayweather and fourth overall since retiring from boxing in 2017 with a perfect record of 50-0 (27KOs) and world titles at 130, 135, 140, 147 and 154 pounds. His incredible body of work was honored over the weekend, where Mayweather was inducted into the Hall of Fame during a three-class ceremony.
Barely a day later, it’s on to the next adventure.
“I got to where I got to by working extremely hard,” Mayweather noted. “I’m always focused. I’m always pushing to be the best. It’s still a great feeling to travel the world, do these exhibition fights and entertain people from all walks of life. I’ve seen every style. My job is just to go out there, have fun and be my best.”
While Mayweather drove home the point of having fun and providing entertainment, his opponent took a more serious—and brief—approach.
“I’m an MMA fighter but I’m going to use this opportunity and I’m going to use him to raise my name and my value internationally,” noted Asakura. “I will win this fight.”
Tokyo’s Asakura is a noted star in his homeland, both as a former two-division RINGS (Fighting Network Rings) champion and since joining Rizin in 2018. The ten-year pro campaigns at 145 pounds and will enjoy a slight natural size advantage over Mayweather, unlike the American legend’s Rizin debut when he demolished undersized 126-pounder Tenshin Nasukawa inside of a round during the 2018 New Year’s Eve Rizin 33 event In Saitama, Japan.
The fight with Nasukawa was the first of three exhibitions enjoyed by Mayweather so far since his August 2017 tenth-round knockout of Conor McGregor in his final sanctioned pro fight. Mayweather has since faced Logan Paul in a June 2021 Showtime Pay-Per-View headliner that generated a reported 1,000,000 buys, and former sparring partner 'Dangerous' Don Moore this past May 21 in Abu Dhabi.
All three were taken with the intention of enjoying life after boxing, which is the same mindset that the 45-year-old will carry into this event.
“September we’re gonna have fun and entertain people,” insisted Mayweather. “I’m Floyd Mayweather to him. He’s just another opponent to me.”
Further details of the event—including the exact date, location and rules of the main event—will be revealed later in the month.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox