Conor McGregor mocks Floyd Mayweather’s knockout of Tenshin Nasukawa at Rizin 14
- UFC star takes shot at boxer’s pay cheque for ‘exhibition’ fight
- Mayweather US$9 million richer after 139-second win
You got the feeling Conor McGregor wouldn’t stay quiet for long after Floyd Mayweather’s farcical first-round knockout win over Tenshin Nasukawa on New Year’s Eve.
The undefeated American boxer knocked the 20-year-old Japanese kick-boxer down three times at the Rizin 14 show in Saitama, near Tokyo, on Monday night.
Nasukawa, who weighed in 4kg lighter than 41-year-old Mayweather, is 4-0 in mixed martial arts fights and 27-0 in kick-boxing but was utterly outclassed with the rules kept to boxing for the three-round “exhibition” fight.
Mayweather picked up US$9 million for just 139 seconds of work, which prompted mockery from his old rival.
— Benjamin Harris (@HarrisCBenjamin) December 31, 2018
“That 9 million won’t keep you on top of my list for long, kid,” tweeted McGregor, referencing Forbes magazine’s highest-paid athletes list, with a picture promoting his personal whiskey brand, Proper Twelve.
Mayweather topped Forbes’ most-recent list in 2018, ahead of football superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, with McGregor in fourth.
The fight was Mayweather’s first since a 10th-round TKO victory over former two-weight UFC champion McGregor in August 2017.
“Champ, champ with all due respect I don’t think you want that smoke again,” responded Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather’s promotional company, on Twitter.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 1, 2019
Not one to let others have the last word, McGregor shot back again.
“I’m the one with the flamethrower, Leonard,” he wrote. “Call me Elon. Your guys got nothing but girl collection. And there they call him John.”
Mayweather was also criticised by Manny Pacquiao for taking on the Nasukawa fight.
“Here is an early New Year’s resolution. To continue to only fight experienced opponents who are my size or bigger,” tweeted the Filipino, who lost a unanimous decision to Mayweather in 2015 in the richest fight in history.
Users on social media also tore into Mayweather but “Money” defended himself after the fight.
“It was all about entertainment – we had a lot of fun,” Mayweather said. “They wanted this to happen in Japan, so I said ‘why not?’
“I’m still undefeated. Tenshin is still undefeated. Tenshin is a true champion and a hell of a fighter.
“I want the fans around the world to support Tenshin, he’s a great guy and a great champion.”
McGregor himself has not fought since a fourth-round submission defeat by UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in October.
The bout was marred by a post-fight brawl between the two stars’ teams in Las Vegas, which could see the Irishman and the Russian sanctioned, but UFC president Dana White suggested a rematch is on the cards for 2019.
“A lot of people want to see that fight, but we haven’t gone before the Nevada State Athletic Commission, that’s got to happen and when it does we can figure how this plays out,” White told TMZ.
“Is [UFC featherweight champion] Max [Holloway] moving to 155? Tony Ferguson is in the mix, so we’ve got to see how it plays out.
“I do [think the fight will happen in 2019], the guys are going to have to win ... it depends how long the suspensions are. but as long as everything goes right this fight should happen.”