However, if this fight happens as planned, its success and the character and stature of the fighters involved could all change this. First, the fight involves the best boxer of his generation going up against the newest sensation of the Japan boxing scene which is already a superstar in his own right and it is happening in Tenshin Nasukawa’s backyard and organized by a Japanese promotion company. This is a great coup for the Japanese combat sports scene taking away a fight that would have been staged in America or Europe.
Even at his age, and the fact that he has never competed since his August 15, 2017, 10 round fight against Conor McGregor, Mayweather remains the biggest draw in the industry. His crossover appeal and the fact that he his return to the ring has been awaited for so long means the moment he does it will be the most prominent fighting event of the year. Even he acknowledges that he may no longer have the speed and tenacity that comes with youth but he still has experience and more importantly technical skill on his side as it proved in the fight against Conor McGregor. What has further interested insiders is the fact that he and RIZIN have announced a partnership which means this fight will not be the only time the two parties collaborate, a further score for the Japanese promotion.
Another aspect of the Mayweather vs Nasukawa fight are the records and achievements of each fighter in his sport, as well as the generational gap which all make for a great storyline in the buildup to the fight as well as the post-fight narrative. Mayweather is unbeaten in all his fifty fights (50-0) and has held numerous championships across five divisions from 130lb-154lb. He has held titles from WBA, WBO and WBC and a bronze Olympic gold medal in 1996 to name but a few. He is the all-time highest grossing boxer in earnings from fights.
His opponent Tenshin Nasukawa just turned 20. He has however established his name in the history books and already has fought in over thirty matches. He also has an undefeated record of his own (31-0). He is undefeated in 27 matches in kickboxing and 4 in MMA. He has already been part of a mega fight, and his rise under RIZIN and other previous promotion have seen him billed as the hottest prospect the Japan industry has ever seen.
Still, there are a number of issues to be sorted out. This includes the contracted weight given that Tenshin has only fought in the
flyweight division to bantam. Also to be decided is the style and rules to be used whether it will be boxing, kickboxing, or MMA. The payout for both fighters has also not been divulged, but agreements should have been in place to get to this point. All parties promise to thrash out the remaining details in the coming weeks before the fight. Given the billing of the fight and the excitement in both camps, this will easily be the highlight of New Year’s Eve and history will be made.