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RIZIN announces Floyd Mayweather bout, pushes wild claim it’s vs ‘Japan’s most famous MMA fighter’

Floyd Mayweather is set to make a return — and more money — in Japan.

Floyd Mayweather may have been officially retired for about five years now, but the boxing legend has still been actively making money by competing in exhibitions. His next match is set, and it will be a return to Japan in another partnership with RIZIN.

As officially announced Tuesday in Japan, the 45-year-old Mayweather will face 29-year-old MMA fighter Mikuru Asakura in an exhibition boxing match this September. According to RIZIN head Nobuyuki Sakakibara, more specific details will be revealed on a later date, but they did release a trailer and had both men appear in a press conference.

It’s worth noting how the “Japan’s most famous MMA fighter” label on the trailer is complete hyperbole, as he’s not even the most famous fighter in his family, let alone the entire sport. Mikuru is a talented MMA fighter with a 16-3 record, but it’s his brother Kai Asakura that’s a more known commodity being a former RIZIN champion.

“My legacy is already engraved in stone, like I said before, but it’s still great to go around the world and entertain people from all walks of life,” Mayweather said on the press conference. “I’m pretty sure he’s going to come out and give his best like any and every guy but I’ve seen every style.”

Like everyone Mayweather is facing in these exhibitions nowadays, Mikuru is likely to be outgunned and overmatched, but at least they’ll be closer in size since he cuts to 145 lbs. Mayweather’s first exhibition with RIZIN in 2018 was against kickboxing superstar Tenshin Nasukawa, who was several divisions smaller.

Mayweather demands a very high price tag for these exhibitions, so it’s unclear how RIZIN will ever make back the money from those two bouts. This news also comes shortly after the Tenshin vs Takeru kickboxing megafight lost its major TV deal, likely due to Sakakibara being in another scandal involving alleged Yakuza ties.

Mayweather is fresh off an exhibition with Don Moore last May in Abu Dhabi, and previously faced Logan Paul in 2021.