Floyd Mayweather to face MMA fighter in Japan exhibition

Newly enshrined Hall of Fame boxer Floyd Mayweather will fight Japanese mixed martial arts star Mikuru Asakura in a September exhibition in Japan, organisers said Tuesday.

The former welterweight world 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, venue and rules of his fight against 29-year-old featherweight Asakura will be announced later this month.

It will be the 45-year-old Mayweather’s fourth exhibition and his second in Japan, after beating kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa by TKO in just two minutes in December 2018, in a bout that was widely ridiculed.

Mayweather called himself the “pioneer of exhibitions” 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 land his shot,” Mayweather said of his opponent.

“I may not let him land one punch, it’s all up to me, it’s all on what I want to do,” the American added, describing himself as “the puppet-master”.

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 go into the Hall of Fame and the great thing about it is I did everything on my terms,” he said.

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

Asakura said he intends to “use this opportunity to raise my name and my value internationally”.

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