Floyd Mayweather Jr. just can’t stop competing despite retiring from professional boxing in Aug. 2017.
The legendary boxer’s time on the sideline didn’t last long, returning to the ring one year later for his first exhibition match. To the surprise of practically everyone in the combat sports community, Mayweather collaborated with mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, RIZIN Fighting Federation, to make the match happen.
Having had two more matches since then, Mayweather is now set to return to the RIZIN ring for a showdown with perennial Featherweight contender and Japanese superstar, Mikuru Asakura, on Sept. 25, 2022, at Super RIZIN in Saitama, Japan.
Calling Mayweather’s first bout against Tenshin Nasukawa on New Year’s Eve 2018 was RIZIN English play-by-play commentator, Joe Ferraro, who found himself in disbelief by the match’s end. Prepared to witness greatness once again, “Showdown” sees a likely different match playing out.
“The Asakura fight with Floyd, that’s a different dynamic,” Ferraro told MMA Mania on BROADENED HORIZIN. “It’s a different setup. In my opinion, I think Mikuru is going to be far more patient. He’ll try and see what he can do, if he can someway, somehow, figure out the 50-0 world champ or legend of boxing. Where’s the weakness? It can be found and anyone’s got a shot. I think either one of the Asakura brothers can figure anybody out.
“[With them] you just never know, these are killers,” he continued. “These two brothers are killers. They’re from the streets, they’ve honed their skills. As long as he just doesn’t get trapped in the moment of, ‘Oh my god, I’m fighting Mayweather,’ as opposed to, ‘Yes, I’m fighting Mayweather, let’s do this,’ you know what, he can pull it off, man. You just never ever know. Floyd might be 50-0, but that 0’s gotta go.”
Unlike Nasukawa, a 126 pound competitor, Asakura will physically provide a larger problem for Mayweather at 145 pounds. Regardless, it will still be Asakura’s first boxing match just like his fellow countryman.
Mayweather, 45, looked as sharp as he possibly could have against Nasukawa in his first RIZIN appearance. Following up his 10th round technical knockout of Conor McGregor to get win No. 50 in his illustrious career, Mayweather finished the youthful kickboxing prodigy in a mere two minutes and 20 seconds.
“Talking to Floyd afterward, he told Frank [Trigg] and I, he’s like, ‘It was an exhibition fight. He decided to pick up the pace. I gotta do what I gotta do,’” Ferraro said. “And I was just like, how great are you? How great — like Anderson Silva in his prime — just slow motion to these guys. They’ve seen it so many times. What Floyd did to Tenshin was just ... what?! It was crazy, it was nuts.”
Watch the full episode in the video embedded above or you can listen on Spotify.