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Floyd Mayweather mocks Japanese culture by backing out of Tenshin Nasukawa fight – time to stop indulging this troll

  • American’s claim he was ‘misled’ into agreeing to Tokyo fight is laughable
  • Mayweather is insulting our intelligence – his attention-seeking act is tiresome
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 November, 2018, 4:53pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 November, 2018, 7:42pm

“With all due respect”, Floyd Mayweather said, he had never heard of Tenshin Nasukawa until arriving in Tokyo to announce a New Year’s Eve fight with him.

But the key word there is “respect” – and the undefeated American boxing legend showed none of it by cancelling a fight two days later.

Fair enough, not many people outside the hard core MMA and kick-boxing world would have been aware of the 20-year-old, who has made his name with Japan’s Rizin Fighting Federation.

Or “Rizen”, as Mayweather put it on Instagram – see, the social media person who presumably wrote Mayweather’s statement for him couldn’t even be bothered to Google how to correctly spell the name of the organisation.

Floyd Mayweather backs out of fight against Tenshin Nasukawa claiming he was ‘misled’

But you cannot claim to have been “completely blindsided” when you fly in to Tokyo by private jet and put on a press conference with all the bells and whistles.

You cannot give interviews to media saying you’re doing this because “it’s always been a goal of mine to go outside the US and display my talent” and to “give the people what they want”, then later claim you thought you it would be “an exhibition put on for a small group of wealthy spectators for a very large fee”.

You cannot take pictures of yourself staring down your opponent on a rooftop and then claim you thought this was “purely for entertainment purposes with no intentions of being represented as an official fight card nor televised worldwide”.

Conor McGregor mocks Floyd Mayweather vs Tenshin Nasukawa Rizin fight as ‘Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan’

You cannot play the idiot card and feign ignorance that you were suddenly “derailed by the direction this event was going” when you’re one of the shrewdest negotiators in the fight game who has amassed a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Mayweather was number one on Forbes 2018 list of highest-earning athletes, thanks largely to the reported US$275 million he made from his 2017 fight with UFC star Conor McGregor.

The former five-weight world boxing champion’s nickname is “Money” because he knows how to make it – Mayweather is one of the most brilliant businessmen and promoters around.

So whatever the reason he did a 180 degree-turn and backed out – maybe he looked up a few YouTube videos of Nasukawa’s brutal knockouts, like the rest of us – he should at least front up about it.

But instead, he came up with this garbage: “For the sake of the several fans and attendees that flew in from all parts of the world to attend this past press conference, I was hesitant to create a huge disturbance by combating what was being said and for that I am truly sorry.”

Please, don’t insult our intelligence.

Mayweather has completed his transformation from pound-for-pound king to an attention-seeking embarrassment to boxing who seems intent on keeping his name in the media limelight at any cost.

And why not? He’s making more money now than he ever did when he was on top in the ring – and he barely has to break a sweat for it.

So don’t talk about respect, Floyd. Talk about disrespect – you’re spitting in the face of fans who shell out for wildly overpriced freak shows like the McGregor fight.

You’re also making a mockery of Japanese fighting culture – the traditional New Year’s Eve shows have deep roots in Japan, and attracted gigantic television audiences in their heyday.

Japan’s MMA legend Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, who died of cancer aged 41 two months ago, drew more than 34 million viewers when he fought kick-boxing star Masato on December 31, 2004.

What a great honour and tribute to Yamamoto’s life it would have been to create something with similar hype between Mayweather and Nasukawa.

But you can hardly compare Mayweather to Yamamoto, whose legacy will be his unwavering bravery in fighting anyone who was put before him, no matter how much bigger they were.

His career highlight came at the 2005 Hero’s New Year’s Eve event, when Yamamoto – a natural bantamweight – won the lightweight title at the culmination of a tournament that saw him finish Royler Gracie, Caoul Uno and Genki Sudo, who were all at least 11 kilos heavier than him.

A large part of Mayweather’s legacy, on the other hand, will be ducking Manny Pacquiao for years before taking US$100 million to beat him in a boring fight when the Filipino was past his prime and had lost his explosive punching power.

Mayweather is an undeniably classy boxer who has the art of the “sweet science” – that is, not getting hit in the face – down to a tee.

But he has showed little class this week to Japan and the sports of mixed martial arts and kick-boxing.

His management team conveniently turned off the comments section on his lengthy, rambling Instagram post – presumably he was taking a shellacking from angry fans – but hopefully he has to face the music next time he tries to pull one of these stunts.

“I am a retired boxer that earns an unprecedented amount of money, globally, for appearances, speaking engagements and occasional small exhibitions,” Mayweather signed off on his social media.

Please keep it that way, because your act is getting tiresome.