Floyd Mayweather is still winning boxing matches even though he is not on his official professional record.
Legendary boxer, Japanese MMA fighter and YouTuber Mikuru Asakura is late in the second round of Sunday’s Rizin Fighting Federation card in Saitama, Japan. This will be Mayweather’s second exhibition bout this year and his second since retiring from pro fighting in Japan.
Mayweather will reportedly earn $20 million for the three-round fight. Mayweather’s old rival Manny Pacquiao was ringside.
“I want to thank the entire country of Japan,” Mayweather said afterward. “Unbelievable country, unbelievable people. Fun, unbelievable turnout. Great competitive applause here.”
After an uneventful first round in which Asakura landed some body shots, he had some success in the second round, connecting with Mayweather’s head several times with lefts and rights from his southpaw stance.
But Mayweather, one of the greatest boxers of all time and the highest paid fighter of all time, is back with a strong shot of his own. Before the finish, he landed hard to the body and then set up Asakura for a big right at the bell in the second round, which finally ended the momentum.
Asakura was slowly getting up, and referee Kenny Bayless waved the fight off after the second minute before the boxers headed to the corner.
“Thanks for having me,” Mayweather told the crowd. “I’ll be back.”
Mayweather, 45, acknowledged Pacquiao’s involvement in his post-fight speech, calling him a “future” world champion. Pacquiao, 43, addressed fans before and after the exhibition.
Before the fight, Pacquiao said Asakura, 30, traveled to the Philippines to seek advice on how to fight Mayweather. Pacquiao added that they were there to support Asian combat sports. Afterward, Pacquiao said twice that he hoped to be invited back, leading commentators to speculate that there might be something brewing with Rizzi, Mayweather and Pacquiao.
“I hope this is not my last invitation to see a good fight, a good exhibition,” Pacquiao said.
Before the bout, the man who was supposed to bring Mayweather flowers – a tradition in combat sports in Japan – threw the bouquet onto the canvas instead of handing it to Mayweather.
Mayweather came to the ring wearing a jersey with the number 50, representing his 50-0 record.
In the year In December 2019, Mayweather defeated Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in the first round after three knockouts. Nasukawa competes at around 120 pounds. Asakura was very close to Mayweather’s weight, maybe a little bigger, on Saturday, although there was no official contract weight.
Mayweather’s bodyguard Ray “Jizzy Mac” Sadeghi was beaten by 135-pound kickboxer Cuzzy in a boxing match in an undercard bout with Mayweather vs. Asakura headlining. There was no balance, but Sadeghi was much bigger than Cuzzi in the ring.
Mayweather had an exhibition against Don Moore in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in May, and Mayweather has said he will take part in another similar bout in the Middle East before the end of the year, although an opponent has not been named.