Floyd Mayweather still wins boxing matches, even if they are not included in his official professional record.
The legendary boxer stopped Japanese MMA fighter and YouTuber Mikuru Asakura late in the second round with a powerful right hand at Sunday’s Rizin Fighting Federation tournament in Saitama, Japan. It was Mayweather’s second exhibition bout this year, and his second in Japan after his retirement from professional fighting.
Mayweather will reportedly earn around $20 million for the fight, which was scheduled for three rounds. Manny Pacquiao, Mayweather’s longtime rival, was at ringside.
“I would like to thank all of Japan,” Mayweather later said. “Incredible country, incredible people. Exciting, incredible turnout. Applause for this great competitor is right here.”
After an uneventful first round in which Asakura landed several body shots, he had some success in the second round, hitting Mayweather several times in the head with a left and right from a southpaw stance.
But Mayweather, one of the best boxers and most profitable fighter of all time, is back with his own big punches. He landed hard on the body just before the finish line and then set Asakura up for a big right in the second round, which eventually ended the fight.
Asakura stood up slowly and referee Kenny Bayless waved the fight off before any of the boxers got to their corner.
“Thank you for inviting me,” Mayweather told the crowd. “I’ll be back.”
Mayweather, 45, acknowledged Pacquiao’s presence in his post-fight speech, calling him, oddly enough, a “future” world champion. Pacquiao, 43, addressed the fans before the exhibition and again after it.
Before the fight, Pacquiao said that the 30-year-old Asakura traveled to the Philippines to ask him for advice on how to compete against Mayweather. Pacquiao added that he was present to support Asian combat sports. Since then, Pacquiao has said twice that he hopes to be invited back, leading commentators to speculate that something might be brewing with Rizin, Mayweather, and Pacquiao.
“I hope this is not my last invitation to see a good fight, a good fight,” Pacquiao said.
In a strange scenario before the fight, the man who was supposed to bring flowers to Mayweather (a martial arts tradition in Japan) threw the bouquet on the canvas instead of handing it to Mayweather.
Mayweather entered the ring wearing the number 50 jersey, making his professional record 50-0.
In December 2019, Mayweather defeated Japanese kickboxing prodigy Tenshin Nasukawa in the first round after three knockdowns. Nasukawa competes at around 120 lbs. Asakura was much closer to Mayweather’s weight, perhaps a little more, on Saturday, although there was no official contractual weight.
On the undercard of Mayweather vs. headliner Asakura, Mayweather’s bodyguard Ray “Jizzy Mac” Sadeghi was knocked out in a boxing match by 135 lb kickboxer Cozy. There was no weigh-in, but Sadeghi was significantly larger than Cosey in the ring.
Mayweather had an exhibition fight against Don Moore in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in May, and Mayweather said he would take part in another such fight in the Middle East before the end of the year, although no opponent was named.