THROWBACK: Was Floyd Mayweather vs Tenshin Nasukawa Exhibition Fight Fixed?

Published 05/14/2021, 3:30 PM EDT
SAITAMA, JAPAN – DECEMBER 31: Floyd Mayweather of the United States knocks down Tenshin Nasukawa of Japan xxx during the RIZIN. 14 at Saitama Super Arena on December 31, 2018 in Saitama, Japan. (Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images)


On New Year’s Eve in 2018, the boxing great, Floyd Mayweather, took on a young Japanese kickboxer, Tenshin Nasukawa, in an exhibition showdown. This was Mayweather’s first boxing exhibition, and he entered this fight as a sheer favorite. As expected, ‘Money’ won this fight by scoring a thunderous T/KO. By doing so, he put out a message loud and clear that age is just a number. But was this fight really rigged?

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Mayweather came into this fight after more than a year’s layoff from his last pro-boxing bout. He touched gloves with the biggest UFC star, Conor McGregor, beating him via a tenth-round T/KO.

Post that, he never had a thought of lacing up the boxing gloves for a professional fight. Yet, Mayweather was highly keen on booking an exhibition fight.

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That said, Mayweather’s team reached out to Tenshin Nasukawa to book a three-round exhibition encounter.

In this fight, Mayweather, who walked in with supreme confidence, was highly optimistic about winning this clash. As a result, he read the young gun in just the initial seconds of the fight and knew what he had to do. As the fight began, ‘Pretty Boy’ made swift movements and walked around, tossing his hands.

However, as Nasukawa came in his range, the undefeated boxing star landed some mighty power shots. He even dropped his foe multiple times in this fight and claimed an easy win. Despite it being an exhibition, this was the biggest, perhaps the easiest win for Floyd Mayweather.

Boxing bigwig Freddie Roach gave his take on Floyd Mayweather and his win over Tenshin Nasukawa

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The Mayweather vs Nasukawa fight was bound to attract reactions from fans and enormous boxing personalities. With that, the boxing hotshot, Freddie Roach, too, gave his take on this fight. In a conversation with Fight Hub TV, he said, “His (Nasukawa) legs were out of control and I know that happens when you hit sometimes. So I don’t think you can do that by accident.” 

Overall, Floyd Mayweather’s offensive approach in this fight impressed Roach, and he was full of praise for the American boxer.

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Did Floyd Mayweather’s offensive approach impress you? What do you make of Freddie Roach’s above comments?

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Prathamesh Singh Chauhan

1164 articles

Prathamesh Singh Chauhan is a Boxing Author at EssentiallySports. He is a graduate from the International Institute of Sports Management who combines his love for sports, particularly combat sports, and his flair for writing and analysis to help him in his day-to-day work. He has prior professional experience with sporting organizations such as Star Sports, Khelo India, and NBA.

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