Mayweather to face MMA fighter at exhibition in Japan

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Tokyo (AFP) – Newly enshrined Hall of Fame boxer Floyd Mayweather will face Japanese mixed martial arts star Mikuru Asakura at a September exhibition in Japan, organizers announced Tuesday.

The former world welterweight champion, who was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame on Sunday after retiring with an unbeaten 50-0 record, beat ‘Dangerous’ Don Moore in an exhibition in Abu Dhabi last month.

The date, location and rules for his fight against Asakura, a 29-year-old featherweight, will be announced later this month.

This will be Mayweather, 45,’s fourth exhibition and his second in Japan, after defeating kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa by TKO in just two minutes in December 2018, in a fight that was widely derided.

Mayweather called himself an “exhibition trailblazer” and promised to “put on a show” for fans when he returns in September.

“We’re going to treat him nice, we’re going to let him go three rounds, we’re going to let him try to get his shot,” Mayweather said of his opponent.

“I can’t let him land a punch, it’s all up to me, it all depends on what I want to do,” added the American, describing himself as “the puppeteer”.

Mayweather said his “legacy is already set in stone” after entering the Hall of Fame.

He retired from professional boxing in 2017 after beating UFC star Conor McGregor.

“It’s great to get into the Hall of Fame and what’s great is that I did everything on my terms,” ​​he said.

“You look at so many champions and they can barely walk, they can barely talk. It’s not cool. The name of the game is hit and don’t get hit.”

Asakura said he intended to “take this opportunity to elevate my name and my worth internationally.”

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