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Martial arts

Floyd Mayweather vs Tenshin Nasukawa fight could be back on but Oscar De La Hoya says ‘Money’ just wants attention

  • Rizin Fighting Federation in discussions with Mayweather to resurrect bout
  • De La Hoya tells old rival ‘just stick to boxing’ instead of flirting with MMA
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 November, 2018, 12:23pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 November, 2018, 12:23pm

Floyd Mayweather’s fight against Japanese kick-boxer Tenshin Nasukawa on New Year’s Eve could be back on.

The fight – scheduled to take place in Saitama, near Tokyo – was announced last week but the retired boxer performed a sharp U-turn, saying he had been “misled” and had not agreed to an official bout with the 20-year-old Japanese sensation.

But Rizin Fighting Federation, the Japanese MMA organisation hoping to put on the fight, said they plan on holding further talks with 41-year-old Mayweather.

“Shortly after this announcement [of the fight], Mr Mayweather made an announcement on social media, insisting that the match had been cancelled, and we sincerely apologise for the confusion,” a Rizin statement said.

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“Rizin chairman Nobuyuki Sakakibara is currently holding discussions towards carrying out the match based on the original contract between our promotion and Mr Mayweather based on the basic agreement we initially did have.”

Mayweather said he was initially told the fight would be a private exhibition in front of a group of wealthy investors, with three three-minute rounds of boxing.

He then claimed he and his team were “blindsided” by the “development of negotiations”.

“In truth, we would look to make a clear announcement now but unfortunately as of the time of writing, we are not in a position to report our current negotiating position,” Rizin’s statement said.

“Sadly we are afraid to inform you all that we will be needing more time. Again we sincerely apologise for the confusion and concern this has been causing.”

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

Mayweather was heavily criticised by fans for his abrupt change of heart last week, and fellow boxing great Oscar De La Hoya weighed in on Monday.

“I think he just wants attention,” De La Hoya told MMAjunkie. “That’s all it is, and Floyd is a fighter who should just stick to boxing.

“I don’t think he’ll ever step into the cage. Making up these special rules, it’s ridiculous. If you want to get involved and be in the MMA world, then do it.

“Don’t set the rules. I just think he should stick to boxing. That’s what he knows best. But he can’t help himself.

“If he ever fights Khabib [Nurmagomedov, the UFC lightweight champion] inside the octagon, come on, we all know what’s going to happen. That fight’s going to end in one minute ... or 30 seconds.”

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De La Hoya also said Mayweather took advantage of UFC star Conor McGregor for their mega-money boxing bout last August.

“Floyd is a fighter who knows how to pick and choose his opponents at the right time for his benefit,” he said.

“When he fought Conor McGregor, the reason why I was hugely against it is because it was unfair to Conor. It was totally unfair to Conor McGregor.

“I mean, Conor is not a boxer. He’s not a boxer fighting 12 rounds, and it was totally unfair, but these are the things that Floyd does to his advantage.”