FLOYD Mayweather Jr's recent bout fascinated the audience from the moment it was announced against one of the most famous MMA stars of all time.
Mayweather's next adversary will send most of his fans on a Google search.
On New Year's Eve, 41-year-old Mayweather will retire from retirement and fight – a game with vague rules – Japanese striker Tenshin Nasukawa, also unbeaten in the ring, holding a 27-0 kick-boxing record and 4-0 in MMA.
The two will compete at an event for the Rizin Fighting Federation – a Japanese MMA graduation founded in 2015.
"When this was offered to me, I accepted immediately and without delay," Nasukawa said through a translator. "I would probably say that this is my biggest event in life so far and I am very happy that this will happen.
"I'm a little surprised myself. No one has defeated my opponent in the past, and I want to be the man who writes history. My blow can change the story. I'll show you, so stay tuned. "
Nasukawa, 20, has significant hurdles to overcome, beyond experience. Mayweather (50-0) is 1.73m tall. Nasukawa is 1.65 m. Mayweather fought 68 kg against UFC superstar Conor McGregor. Nasukawa, a south paw, currently holds the ricin-belt at featherweight 57 kg.
There is a 21 year age difference between Mayweather and Nasukawa. At yesterday's press conference in Tokyo, they made very different numbers. The Japanese fighter with dyed blond hair wore a shirt and a jacket with buttons, while "Money" appeared in a tracksuit.
Mayweather's clothes caught the attention of McGregor, who made fun of his former enemy on Instagram. The Irishman compared the strange couple to the actors Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan, the stars of the film series Rush hour,
"Is this a tracksuit or a sauna suit, Floyd, haha wtf," McGregor wrote. "Is it hot in Tokyo or what does it look like? This climate change is no joke for me, hahah.
"What's going on here? Who is this little guy next to you? That's crazy s ***. Like something out Rush Hour 5 or so. Chris Tucker and Jackie fuck Chan in this b *** h.
"F *** ing brilliant. Crazy little girl, you are Floyd. Fair f *** s for you buddy. No lie. Fit."
Nasukawa started kickboxing in sixth grade and reportedly set an amateur record of 99: 5: 1. In February 2017, the former IBF flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng was eliminated.
"I'm not exactly into the rules with or without kicks," Nasukawa said about the upcoming fight with Mayweather. "Boxing rules that I do not mind. My opponent looks bigger than he actually is, but I think I could beat him. "
According to the Bleacher Report, Nasukawa already showed something special in the kickboxing world at the age of 13 and was allegedly having 15 professionals.
"You could see the signs of a young star early on … he made boys," said Warroom Steven Wright, MMA and kickboxing coach, to Bleacher Report. "He could beat you with clean kickboxing results or take something he saw in a movie and do it perfectly against an opponent."
The Independent reports that after training in Thailand, Nasukawa is also highly qualified in Muay Thai and has 23 knock-out goals under his 27-0 pro-kickboxing record. The young gun is also 4-0 in his professional career and is one of the marketable faces in the stable of ricin.
In May of this year, Nasukawa took a vicious move known as "rolling thunder" to bring Yusaku Nakamura to the ground and tie it flush with the inner leg.
While the initial kick did not end the fight, Nasukawa made the final strike in the second round when he hit his opponent with a left hand, which forced the referee to step in and break off.
Read: Nasukawa stunned with wild beat
The demolition works were praised from all corners of the MMA world.
Nasukawa, however, is not fearless.
"Ghosts are damn crazy," he told mixedmartialarts.com in March of last year.
"There is definitely life outside the earth," Nasukawa said. "I think they were here before us."
Mayweather said that the "weight class and rules" will be finalized in the next few weeks and refuse to confirm whether the fight is under boxing or MMA rules. The undefeated American in 50 fights has never fought outside of the US, which made his bizarre career even more amazing.
Rizin boss Nobuyuki Sakakibara said the MMA graduation was thrilled to have convinced Mayweather to attend the "historic event".
"First, we had to convince Mr. Mayweather to come to the ring on Rizin Ring on December 31," he said. "As you know, Mayweather is undefeated. But all his battles took place in the USA. He wanted to fight outside the United States.
"We are happy that we convinced him to come to Japan for this historical event. When we knew in the second phase that Mr. Mayweather would be in the ricin ring on New Year's Eve, we thought of the right opponent and there was only one: Tenshin. "
– with Howie Kussoy, New York Post