In a shocking out-of-the-blue announcement, Rizin have revealed that boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr will fight kickboxer turned MMA fighter Tenshin Nasukawa at Rizin's New Years Eve event in Japan on December 31st.
While the fight was made official for Rizin 14 at the Super Saitama Arena, the rules and regulations for the bout have not been announced. The match has been called a "Super Challenge", and many details (including the rules, weight limit, number of rounds, and what kind of gloves the fighters will wear) are now unknown.
Mayweather is widely regarded as the greatest boxer of his generation but seemingly retired after taking his ideal professional record to 50-0 by defeating UFC star Conor McGregor in August past year.
Mayweather, who stopped McGregor in the 10th round a year ago after coming out of retirement for a $275 million pay day, had been flirting with the idea of a rematch with the Irishman or facing fearsome Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Floyd Mayweather of the US speaks during a press conference in Tokyo, Monday, Nov. 5.
This appeared far from an obvious match-up, but Mayweather's motivations in taking this bout with Nasukawa were fairly clear as he discussed the fight on Monday, highlighting the opportunity to promote his brand in Asia.
"He's young, fast, [has] youth, undefeated like myself, and what the people want is excitement and that's why I chose Japan", Mayweather said.
The 20-year-old with a bleached-blond quiff called it an "easy decision" to accept the offer to face Mayweather in Saitama, north of Tokyo.
I am not really sure what to expect, what about you?
He also vowed to end Mayweather's long string of victories.
"Honestly it was surprise offer but I accepted without hesitation", said Nasukawa.
"It's the biggest moment in my life and I want to be the man who changes history. So please stay tuned".