On New 12 months’s Eve in 2018, Floyd Mayweather turned as much as a distinct type of occasion.
The 50-Zero boxing icon, now 44 years previous, celebrated the event by dancing throughout the canvas on which he’d simply deposited Tenshin Nasukawa thrice earlier than the teen’s nook jumped in to name a halt to this ridiculous contest.
Mayweather had flown to Tokyo after being provided $9million by Japanese MMA promotion RIZIN for a three-round exhibition towards the 20-year-old kickboxer.
Their concept was to have the unbeaten prospect massively develop his world profile by sharing the ring with one of the crucial recognisable faces on the planet.
It didn’t fairly go as deliberate.
The announcement got here fully out of the blue on a Monday morning in November, with the remainder of the boxing world surprised as they woke as much as the information.
Particulars slowly trickled out because it emerged that Mayweather, whose earlier bout towards Conor McGregor was fought at 154lbs, could be going through a featherweight in Nasukawa who’d final competed at 128lbs.
Nevertheless, simply two days later there was an issue.
After flying house from the announcement press convention in Japan, Mayweather put out an Instagram submit declaring the competition was cancelled.
He claimed to have been fully blindsided by organisers who agreed a low-profile exhibition, however then introduced an enormous occasion in an enviornment full of hundreds of individuals.
RIZIN responded with an announcement of their very own, saying they had been making an attempt to salvage the combat with additional talks and, in a shock twist, they managed to take action.
With their star again on board, the occasion was formally re-confirmed with boxing guidelines totally introduced and a weird trailer launched.
American veteran Kenny Bayless, who’d refereed a number of Mayweather fights, was even introduced in to officiate.
The American, who saved himself in respectable situation, determined no particular coaching camp was wanted for this bout.
He didn’t even take the occasion severely sufficient to reach in Japan prematurely and acclimatise to the native time zone.
Fortunately although, he had an answer for this – he made the occasion occur on Mayweather time.
The day of the combat got here and there was concern throughout the undercard as stories started to emerge stating that Mayweather had not but turned up.
Because the previous fights wore on and the principle occasion drew nearer, this fear grew to become an increasing number of critical till ultimately, two hours later, Mayweather arrived.
The 41-year-old then hosted an impromptu Instagram Stay stream of himself getting his palms wrapped in his dressing room, whereas the sell-out crowd of 37,000 all waited of their seats.
“I’m simply an previous man, I ain’t in form, physique ain’t in form, I’m simply an previous man making an attempt to make it,” Mayweather informed his followers.
He appeared to deal with your complete occasion as a joke, simply because he may.
Ultimately Floyd was able to go and Nasukawa entered the Saitama Tremendous Area to a hero’s welcome.
The Japanese crowd vociferously cheered on the person they optimistically hoped was about to turn out to be a brand new nationwide icon.
Mayweather was rapped out by his son Koraun, with the pair brashly dancing all the best way to the ring.
Each fighters had been bizarrely given a bouquet of flowers throughout an prolonged sequence of introductions earlier than, lastly, mercifully, the primary bell rang.
Floyd started by toying along with his opponent, throwing jokey punches that weren’t even jabs.
The 41-year-old took up a mock stance, waved his left arm and made comical noises taunting Nasukawa.
Tenshin was clearly outsized, however remained critical and started to throw punches within the route of Mayweather.
The American parried these efforts, smiled and started laughing at his opponent earlier than swiftly switching gears.
Throughout the subsequent two minutes, Floyd floored Nasukawa thrice and ended the competition.
The primary knockdown got here by way of a left hook to the temple which seemingly scrambled Nasukawa’s senses and despatched him sprawling to the ground.
He made it again to his toes and fought on, making an attempt in useless to have an effect on Mayweather.
The 20-year-old was quickly put down once more by advantage of a ferocious proper uppercut.
At ringside, those that had invested $9million into Floyd’s purse with the purpose of utilizing him to construct Nasukawa’s profile started to grasp they’d made fairly a giant mistake.
To his credit score, the bewildered teen arose as soon as extra, however was understandably no match for Floyd’s velocity, timing and accuracy.
Nasukawa hit the canvas for a 3rd time – from one other left hook – and was subsequently pulled out by his nook.
You would hear a pin drop within the enviornment as 37,000 surprised followers, who’d waited a number of further hours on New 12 months’s Eve for this bout, witnessed their nationwide hope demolished in three brutal minutes.
Nasukawa was seen crying on digicam and Mayweather started his victory dance.
The humiliation was full.
“It was all about leisure, we had enjoyable,” Mayweather said in his post-fight interview.
“This don’t go on my report, this don’t go on Tenshin’s report, Tenshin remains to be undefeated, I’m nonetheless undefeated, I’m nonetheless retired.
“I did this simply to entertain the followers in Japan. They needed this to occur over right here in Japan, so I stated, ‘Why not?’”
Though the Mayweather combat didn’t pan out as meant for his status, Nasukawa’s public profile did rise considerably regardless.
He has since returned to kickboxing and received all six of his contests, rebuilding his profession in 2019.
As for Mayweather, he continues to tease extra potential exhibitions and has made noises a few rematch with Conor McGregor, whereas he’s considered near moving into the ring to combat Logan Paul, however his legit combating profession is full and rightly so.
He has nothing left to show.