Big dogs such as Manny Pacquiao and Khabib Nurmagomedov may have been itching to get a shot at boxing legend Floyd Mayweather next, but he's chosen to go with relatively unknown Japanese fighter Tenshin Nasukawa.
'All that I can think about right now is to become the victor of a big fight that not only all Japanese fans want to see, but all global fans want to see, ' he said to Bleacher Report.
Nasukawa, for his part, is relishing the chance to fight with Mayweather, admitting his surprise when he was offered the opportunity.
"I spoke with my team and with RIZIN and we put it together".
"I have fought in the United States for all 50 of my fights". When it's all said and done, it's all about me going out there displaying my skills against another skilful fighter. Like Mayweather, he boasts a 100 per cent career record with 27 wins from 27 kickboxing fights (21 knockouts) and four wins so far in his MMA career.More news: Daniel Cormier Offers His Thoughts On Brock Lesnar’s Promo Skills
It is unclear at this stage whether the reported fight will be contested under boxing, kickboxing or MMA rules, although Mayweather posted a photo to social media of himself wearing a pair of MMA gloves. Mayweather is 5-foot-8 and was 149 pounds when he last fought against Conor McGergor in 2017. "I look forward to taking this world wide".
And he faces a potentially risky prospect in heralded kickboxer Nasukawa, who warned he has a punch that will "change history".
It may simply be that he is trying to maintain the crossover audience he created with McGregor and that the Rizin bout will simply be boxing in a cage, rather than a ring. Nobody has defeated my opponent in the past and I'd like to be the man who makes history. "The world has never seen Mayweather compete live in (Japan)", he added, promoting the cross-code bout as an expansion of his businesses to the Far East.
The match-up appears to be the brainchild of Rizin promoter Nobuyuki Sakakibara, the former Pride Fighting Championships chief. "I will show that to you, so please stay tuned". "I don't care what the rules are".
"It's really all about the skills, it's not about the weight". "I just want to entertain". "It is a special bout".