Tenshin Nasukawa: Who is Japan's kickboxing sensation to fight Floyd Mayweather in RIZIN 14?

Tenshin Nasukawa: Who is Japan's kickboxing sensation to fight Floyd Mayweather in RIZIN 14?

Certainly not a man who takes retirement too seriously, Floyd Mayweather Jr. will return to the ring against kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa on New Year's Eve in Japan.

The former five-time world champion retired for the second time after defeating UFC star Conor McGregor in a boxing match in Las Vegas last August, extending his record to 50-0.

The American had hinted at a comeback, suggesting that he might face his old rival Manny Pacquiao or Khabib Nurmagomedov, the reigning lightweight champion of the UFC.

Instead, he announced on November 5 in Tokyo that his opponent will be 20-year-old Nasukawa, who competes in the RIZIN Fighting Federation.

Here, Newsweek Take a look at Japan's hottest fight miracle.

How good is Nasukawa?

The Southpaw is unbeaten in 27 professional kickboxing matches and four MMA matches. His first foray into MMA was in 2016, when he signed for RIZIN, the promoter of the upcoming Mayweather fight.

Nasukawa has won flyweight and bantamweight titles with weight limits of £ 125 and £ 135, respectively. Since Mayweather has not fought below the £ 147 limit since beating Arturo Gatti in 2005, it remains to be seen in which class the fight takes place on December 31st.

At 5 feet 4 inches, Nasukawa is also significantly shorter than Mayweather, which stands at 5 feet 8 inches.

A fighter from day one

Nasukawa was barely two months old when Mayweather won his first world title, but he does not lack combat experience. At the age of five, he started martial arts after his father enrolled him in a karate class and moved to the kickbox while he was still at school.

When he became professional at the age of 18, his amateur record was at a barely credible score of 99: 5. Thanks to his training and fighting in Thailand, he also developed a deep knowledge of Muay Thai.

Prestige wins under his belt

As a teenager, Nasukawa defeated former IBF boxing champion Amnat Ruenroeng and Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai champion Wanchalong PK Saenchai. While the financial details of the upcoming fight with Mayweather have not been released, the fight is likely to be the biggest of Nasukawa's career.

Aliens and phobias

Although Nasukawa has become one of Japan's hottest sports stars, he told mixedmartialarts.com last year that he is "slightly scared." In the same interview, he also stated that he could live on other planets.

"There is definitely life outside the earth," he was quoted as saying.

"I believe you [aliens] were here before us. "

Getty Images 840996298 (1) Floyd Mayweather Jr. walks to his corner as he plays Conor McGregor during their Super Welterweight Boxing match on August 26, 2017 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Christian Petersen / Getty Images

Excited about the fight against Mayweather

"I think my role as a fighter is to make sure that the fight here in Japan gathers a lot of excitement," Nasukawa said through a translator when the fight was unveiled in Tokyo.

"When I was offered this card, I accepted it immediately and without delay. No one has defeated my opponent in the past, and I want to be the man who writes history. My punch can change history, and I'll show you. "

Leave a comment

Send a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.