Floyd Mayweather will make a remarkable return to action in Japan on New Year's Eve when he takes on kickboxer and mixed martial artist Tenshin Nasukawa.
The 41-year-old unbeaten American, who captured world titles in five different weight divisions and was considered the best pound-for-pound boxer in the sport, out-boxed Irish mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor in his last fight in August 2017.
Mayweather (50-0 in boxing) posted a photo in Rizin MMA gloves with the date of the fight.
Believe it or not this is actually happening, with Mayweather joining Nasukawa at a press conference in Toyko yesterday to confirm the fight, though at this stage the rule-set for the match-up has yet to be established, though it's hard to believe it would be under anything other than boxing rules. Although he did have a lucrative win over MMA fighter Conor McGregor previous year.More news: Battles rock Yemen port city as UN warns of 'living hell'
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Speaking at the press conference, Mayweather praised his proposed opponent and provided a glimpse into why he took the bout. This presented itself, I spoke with my team, I got with Rizin and we put it together.
"I think my shortest answer to that is the fact that now we are aligned to achieve something together and that is hitting a new challenge, taking a step forward to whatever wonderful thing that we can create together", Sakakibara said. "I wanted to display my skills outside the USA and be in a special fight".
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. Then, McGregor was a UFC superstar and Mayweather was also a retired boxer.
"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. I'm a little surprised myself. "So please stay tuned".