Last Wednesday, former five division world champion Floyd Mayweather scrapped a planned fight with Japanese kickboxing superstar Tenshin Nasukawa, 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 MMA promotional company Rizin, who are the organizers of the proposed bout, which was scheduled to take place on 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 fighter said he had travelled to Japan to take part in a press conference to announce 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 apologize 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 last Monday in which he vowed to give "blood, sweat and tears" in the fight.
In fact, most of Mayweather's pre-withdrawal statements - with respect to the event - are contradictory with his claims of being blindsided.
"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 told reporters at the press conference, framing the fight as an expansion of his businesses to the Far East.
BoxingScene.com has first reported last Tuesday, that Mayweather-Nasukawa was going to be an exhibition, likely for no more than three rounds, and fought under traditional boxing rules. The only twist would have likely seen the two fighters use MMA-style gloves.
Rizin issued a statement on the matter, with the organization hoping to work out the issues with Mayweather in order to get the fight back on track.
“At a press conference held on November 5, 2018, we at RIZIN announced that the RIZIN 14 fight card at the Saitama Super Arena on December 31, 2018, would be headlined by Floyd Mayweather vs. Tenshin Nasukawa. However, shortly after this announcement, Mr. Mayweather himself made an announcement through social media. This message seemed to be insisting that the match had been canceled, and we sincerely apologize for this confusion," the company stated in Japanese and translated to English by mmasucka.com.
“RIZIN Chairman, Nobuyuki Sakakibara, is currently holding discussions towards carrying out the match based on the original contract between our promotion and Mr. Mayweather. This based on the basic agreement we initially did have with Mr. Mayweather. We hope to have a clearer announcement next week.
“In truth, we would like to make a clearer announcement now. Unfortunately, as of writing, we are not in the position to report our current negotiating situation to you all. Thus, this statement will concern our ongoing developments. Sadly, we are afraid to inform you all that we will be needing more time. Again, we sincerely apologize for the confusion and concern this has been causing.”
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 record.
However, Mayweather has repeatedly hinted at coming out of retirement since that fight, most recently teasing a possible rematch against Manny Pacquiao.