Three days after his news conference in Japan announcing a return to fighting on Dec. 31 with the MMA promotion Rizin Fighting Federation, Floyd Mayweather appeared to call off the bout in a lengthy Instagram post Wednesday.
Although the true nature of the New Year's Eve return set for the Saitama Super Arena against 20-year-old featherweight kickboxing phenom Tenshin Nasukawa was never publicly disclosed -- including whether it was boxing or MMA, along with any of the rules -- Mayweather (50-0, 27 KOs) revealed he and his team were "completely derailed" and "blindsided by the arrangements."
Mayweather, 41, said he had never heard of Nasukawa before his recent trip to Japan and never agreed to an official bout. Instead, he said he was asked to participate in a three-round exhibition "for a small group of wealthy spectators for a very large fee" and that the fight was "purely for entertainment purposes with no intentions of being represented as an official fight card nor televised worldwide."
Things began to turn in the wrong direction, according to Mayweather, once he arrived at the press conference, where he admits "we should have put a stop to it immediately." He went on to apologize to his fans for the "very misleading information" and closed by saying he's "a retired boxer that earns an unprecedented amount of money, globally, for appearances, speaking engagements and occasional small exhibitions."
Mayweather's post seemed to confirm the notion that he's no longer seeking competitive fights against elite opponents as a boxer. It also likely puts to an end any talk that Mayweather would ever consider a move to MMA, even though it has been him who has largely pushed this narrative at times regarding him fighting in the UFC.
After running into Manny Pacquiao in September during a music conference in Tokyo,, four years after their long-awaited first meeting set a new pay-per-view record of 4.6 million buys. Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) recently signed with Mayweather adviser Al Haymon and is expected to return against Adrien Broner in a January PPV bout to set up the Mayweather fight.
Pacquiao, who will turn 40 in December, tweeted out his own reaction to Mayweather's news.
🤔😳— Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) November 7, 2018
Mayweather returned to the ring in August 2017 following a two-year layoff to defeat UFC star Conor McGregor. In the days following McGregor's UFC 229 loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov in October, both Mayweather and the Russian lightweight champion began to stir rumors online that a boxing match between them could be in the works although UFC president Dana White said publicly it would have to be an MMA fight inside the Octagon.