Boxing legend Floyd Mayweather, 45, is set to face off against Japanese MMA fighter Mikuru Asakura, 29, in an exhibition boxing match in September.
The announcement was made during a press conference on Monday, during which Japan’s Rizin Fighting Federation CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara was seated between the two athletes.
A composed Asakura in sunglasses started the introductions, stating, “I’m an MMA fighter but I’m going to use this opportunity and I’m going to use [Mayweather] to raise my name and value internationally. I will win this fight.”
Mayweather appeared even more relaxed, dressed in a black and yellow polo and red cap.
He shared that while his legacy was “already engraved in stone,” referring to his recent induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, he feels that “it’s still great to go around the world and entertain people from all walks of life.”
The bout would mark Floyd’s return to Japan after four years. In 2018, he fought Japanese kickboxing star Tenshin Nasukawa in his first exhibition boxing match since retiring from professional boxing in 2017.
During the match, Floyd knocked Nasukawa down three times in the first round, causing the Nasukawa’s corner to throw in the towel and surrender.
Floyd continued his participation in exhibition matches last June against YouTuber Logan Paul in Miami, where the fight lasted eight rounds and no official winner was declared.
The upcoming fight between Mayweather and Asakura will take place under Rizin, the Japanese mixed martial arts organization that also sponsored Floyd’s match in Japan in 2018.
The 29-year-old Asakura is a talented athlete in his own right, with an impressive featherweight MMA fighting record of 16-3, with eight career knockouts.
Although Asakura has not fought in 2022, he did win his last two fights against Kyohei Hagiwara and Yutako Saito by unanimous decision in 2021.
Despite his impressive record, Asakura is thought to be the heavy underdog against Floyd, who retired with a 50-0 professional boxing record in 2017.
The event will be broadcast on Japan’s Rizin Fight Pass.