The MMA world kissed 2018 the year goodbye with an unlikely exhibition bout between boxing great Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Tenshin Nasukawa at RIZIN 14. The bout was scheduled to take place within three three-minute rounds under a strict boxing ruleset. Win or lose, the outcome of the exhibition would not show on the fighters’ professional records.
Prior to the bout, Nasukawa claimed that he would perform better than Conor McGregor. Instead, Nasukawa would turn in a performance that had a large percentage of social media cry “rigged!” Nasukawa would be knocked down three times in less than two minutes, prompting his corner to throw in the towel for Nasukawa to dry his impending tears with. Tenshin Nasukawa has now released his first public statement since the disappointing showing on Facebook:
“I have worked hard with a big dream in the combat world. Karate, Kickboxing, MMA and Boxing,” Nasukawa wrote. “When I first got the offer I took it in a flash. I thought this was an opportunity of a lifetime, and although there were significant differences in accomplishments and weight classes, I felt that I must not run and take on the challenge.
“The days since the fight was confirmed have been enjoyable but with concerns, and I spent the time thinking about many things. At the end of the day, I got finished, but I have no regrets. I am disappointed at myself since I thought I could have done better. But I will face the facts and will continue to take on any challenge. I learned that I didn’t work hard enough to earn this opportunity, and I will use this defeat to improve myself and move forward this year. “
Tenshin Nasukawa has a flawless kickboxing record of 28-0 with a 4-0 MMA record as a companion. He also has 111 amateur fights under his belt. At the age of 20 years old, it would be silly to define all Nasukawa is or could be off of an exhibition bout against one of the greatest boxers of all time under boxing rules. It took being in the same ring with Mayweather to enlighten Nasukawa on the difference in the level of competition:
“Despite all the things that happened leading up to the fight, I came to realize how truly great Mayweather was,” Nasukawa continued. “I was the one underestimating him. I promise to make it to that level! It may take some time for me to become the man to haul the industry on my shoulders, but please continue to support me! Everybody who work to make this fight happen, thank you very much. Mr. Mayweather, thank you very much.”
There was no comment from Nasukawa regarding the widespread accusations of a rigged bout.
What do you think of Tenshin Nasukawa’s first statement following his exhibition with Floyd Mayweather?