Floyd Mayweather surprised the boxing and MMA community earlier this week when it was announced that he had agreed to fight in RIZIN on December 31 at the famous Saitama Super Arena.
Mayweather signed a contract to fight 20 year kickboxing sensation Tenshin Nasukawa but the rules for the fight were never released.
Just three days later, Mayweather surprised the combat sports community yet again by announcing that he will not fight in Japan.
Mayweather released a lengthy statement on Instagram stating that he had never really agreed to get into an official MMA fight as media reports suggested and instead what he thought he was entering into with RIZIN was an exhibition match consisting of 3 x 3 minute rounds that would be for wealthy investors as they would be paying out huge sums of money to watch the match.
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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.
In a statement, Mayweather said
Once I arrived to the press conference, my team and I were completely derailed. We should have put a stop to it immediately. I can assure you that I too was completely blindsided by the arrangements that were being made without my consent nor approval. I was hesitant to create a huge disturbance by combating what was being said and for that I am truly sorry.
Mayweather is the highest paid boxer in the world who has made millions because he is not only a great boxer but also an astute businessman; therefore it makes it difficult for one to believe that he was played so badly by the Japanese promotion.
What Did Chael Sonnen Say?
Chael Sonnen is a decorated MMA fighter who fought for the UFC and now fights for Bellator. He is known as the best thrash talker in the game and is also an ESPN analyst. Sonnen does a lot of YouTube clips breaking down the latest news in combat sports. He had an interesting viewpoint with regards to Mayweather’s fight in Japan.
Sonnen said that when a young athlete starts their career in just about any sport, they start playing or fighting at small promotions against unknown opponents. They then break into the big league, enjoy their share of fame and fortune and then as their career comes to an end, they once again start fighting unknown opponents at smaller promotions.
Sonnen’s comments were specifically directed at Floyd Mayweather and he state the obvious in that Mayweather was at the end of his career and his latest move to fight in Japan was just poor business sense. Less than 24 hours later, Mayweather backed out of his proposed fight….coincidence?