Nice work if you can get it…
Floyd Mayweather insured himself a happy new year, or the beginning of it, anyway, as he finished off Tenshin Nasukawa in one round during their New Years Eve exhibition match on a RIZIN card in Japan.
Down went Tenshin three times as his much larger foe basically did what he wanted with the skinny kickboxer.
Mayweather, who turns 42 in February, had the mood of someone engaging in a jovial sparring session. He grinned and was in a relaxed posture to start, though one did note that no, his timing wasn’t A grade. It didn’t need to be, as Tenshin’s chin was not sturdy enough to handle Floyd’s launches.
A left hook caused the first knockdown. It was a slow, sweeping hook and the left-hander, who looked a tiny bit worried with his posture and body language, got right back up. Tenshin fans who had designs on their guy sprining an upset for the ages felt a surge of woe. A right hand, a bit of a hook, sent Tenshin, age 20, to the mat again. Ref Kenny Bayless administered a count and the action continued. A right hand to the top of the head sent the loser down again; he was clearly discombobumlated. That was all she wrote, as the bell rang to end the fight, though there were 48 seconds or so left on the clock.
It was all over but for the cashing of the check. The winner was to gross $9 million, a pay cut from what he’s used to, and probably the reason why he didn’t carry Tenshin, and looked to end it right quick.
All in all, it was what it was. A novelty attraction for fans in Japan, a sweet risk-free payday for Mayweather, a rough lesson and presumably solid payday for the kickboxer, and a footnote in Floyd’s fighting career.