THE most interesting question heading into a farcical ‘boxing exhibition match’ between Floyd Mayweather and Tenshin Nasukawa is this: Will Nasukawa, the kickboxer, be able to resist the urge to kick Mayweather, the boxer, during the three pointless rounds they spend in each other’s company on December 31 at Rizin 14?
On, off, on, off, we now know it’s on, set to take place at Japan’s Saitama Super Area, but we also know there will be a number of special stipulations enforced to tip the balance in Mayweather’s favour. There will, for instance, be no kicking, despite the fact he will compete against a kickboxer, and the rounds will last three minutes, and the result won’t appear on either man’s professional record. It’s every bit as worthless as it sounds.
“It’s all about entertainment. Nine minutes of entertainment. It’s going to be amazing,” said Mayweather, last seen beating Conor McGregor, a mixed martial artist, in August 2017. “I’m in the entertainment business. That’s what I go out there to do. I love to do this. I’m working out to put on a show for three rounds.”
To prepare himself for the hands-only affair, Nasukawa has done a few rounds with former world champion Jorge Linares and spent time training in Las Vegas. He has also had to swallow the rule changes and the on-off nature of the fight. It’s no wonder he sounds a little irked by it all.
“He says such provocative stuff I feel like kicking him,” the 20-year-old said during a demonstration workout on Tuesday in Tokyo (via Associated Press).
While we wouldn’t want to condone violent, hate-filled outbursts, nor anyone breaking the rules…
The good thing about Dillian Whyte and Jarrell Miller stoking up a potential grudge match is that it takes not one but both of them out of the running to face Anthony Joshua in the first quarter of next year.
That’s not to say Joshua vs. Whyte or Joshua vs. Miller are bad match-ups, of course, but Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder is the one we all want to see – failing that, Joshua vs. Tyson Fury – and any roadblock preventing it at this stage needs to be looked upon as a nuisance.
Interestingly, days from fighting Dereck Chisora in a rematch of their 2016 epic, Whyte has come out and responded to Miller’s constant goading of him, and with both in the running for an April date with Joshua, there seems to be a sprint to get there first.
“As long as [Miller] stays away from me, we are cool,” Whyte told Sky Sports. “If he gets in my face and insults me, then something serious will happen. That I can guarantee.
“I haven’t got bad blood towards him. But he has said things. If it’s on, it’s on. If he disrespects me, I will hurt him badly.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn will surely go with either Whyte (providing he beats Chisora) or Miller for Joshua’s next outing. But that doesn’t mean we won’t see Whyte and Miller switching verbal blows for actual blows at some point in 2019.
“Jarrell has said things to Dillian that didn’t go down well at all,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “[Their relationship] isn’t pleasant.”
Saying a relationship isn’t pleasant is another way of saying a rivalry between two fighters might one day be lucrative.