Undefeated boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Monday said he will come out of retirement to fight kickboxing wunderkind Tenshin Nasukawa, on December 31 in a mixed martial arts showdown in Saitama, Japan.
Mayweather last fought on August 26, 2017, against Conor McGregor. Mayweather defeated McGregor with a 10th round TKO to move to 50-0 in professional boxing matches, surpassing Hall of Famer Rocky Marciano who previously held the record at 49–0.
“I want to give the people what they want — blood, sweat and tears,” Mayweather told a news conference in Tokyo.
“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).
“I want to continue to build my relationship with Money Team Tokyo. We’ve been making some huge fights happen in the US, but we look forward to taking the Mayweather promotions banner and the TMT banner worldwide.”
This news comes as a massive surprise, as the 41-year-old unbeaten American has recently been linked to bouts with UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, and a rematch with his long-time rival Manny Pacquiao.
The former five-weight world champion Mayweather is 50-0 in his boxing career but has never fought professionally under MMA rules, he is yet to reveal his decision whether the fight would be a pure boxing bout or some other mixture of martial arts.
The 20-year-old Nasukawa, speaking at a news conference alongside Mayweather, called it “probably the biggest event of my life so far.”
He also vowed to end Mayweather’s long string of victories.
“Nobody has defeated my opponent in the past, and I would like to be the man who makes history,” Nasukawa said, speaking through an interpreter.
“My punch can change history. And I will show that to you. So please stay tuned.”