Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. has denied that he agreed to fight Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in a televised bout on New Year’s Eve, saying that he and his team had been misled as to the conditions of the fight.
In a post on Instagram, the undefeated (50-0) fighter said that he had “never agreed to an official bout” with Nasukawa, and had in fact been approached about a short exhibition match for a “small group of wealthy spectators.”
Mayweather said he and his team had been “completely derailed by the new direction” of the event, as presented at a press event on Monday, after signing with Japanese promoters RIZIN Fighting Federation.
He said that he regrets not correcting the record at the time.
“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,” Mayweather said.
However, the boxer spoke to CNN in Tokyo after the fight was announced, and at the time he appeared to be on board with the plans, although he said he “didn’t like to call this a fight — I like to call this a special event.”
Mayweather told CNN Talk Asia’s Anna Coren that it had “always been” one of his goals “to go outside the US and compete as a professional in what I love to do.”
At the time he said that the rules for the bout would be decided “within the next couple of weeks,” but said he was “pretty sure it’s going to be, you know, hand to hand combat, boxing, because I’m the A-side,” meaning that his preference would be prioritized.
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