Floyd Mayweather drubs Mikuru Asakura in boxing exhibition match in Japan

Floyd Mayweather still wins boxing matches, even if they don’t make it into his official professional record.

The legendary boxer stopped Japanese MMA fighter and YouTuber Mikuru Asakura at the end of round two with a big right hand on a Rizin Fighting Federation card Sunday in Saitama, Japan. This was Mayweather’s second exhibition match that year and his second in Japan since retiring from professional fighting.

Mayweather will reportedly make around $20 million for the three-round bout. Manny Pacquiao, Mayweather’s old rival, was ringside.

“I want to thank the whole country of Japan,” Mayweather said afterwards. “Incredible country, incredible people. An exciting, incredible turnout. Round of applause for this great competitor here.”

After an uneventful first round in which Asakura landed several body shots, Asakura had some success in the second round, landing left and right multiple times on Mayweather’s head from a southpaw stance.

But Mayweather, one of the greatest boxers of all time and highest-grossing martial artist of all time, came back with his own hard punches. He landed hard on the body just short of the target and then set up Asakura for the big right at the second round bell, ultimately ending the fight.

Asakura slowly stood up and referee Kenny Bayless waved the fight off before one of the fighters came into his corners after the second.

“Thank you for inviting me,” Mayweather told the crowd. “I’ll be back.”

Mayweather, 45, acknowledged Pacquiao’s presence in his post-fight speech, oddly calling him a “future” world champion. Pacquiao addressed the fans before and then again after the exhibition fight.

Before the fight, Pacquiao said Asakura traveled to the Philippines to ask his advice on how to face off against Mayweather. Pacquiao added that he was there to support Asian martial arts. After that, Pacquiao said twice that he hoped to be invited back, leading commentators to speculate that something was brewing involving Ricin, Mayweather and Pacquiao.

“I hope this isn’t my last invitation to see a good fight, a good exhibition,” said Pacquiao.

In a strange pre-fight scenario, a man who was supposed to bring flowers to Mayweather – a pre-fight martial arts tradition in Japan – threw the bouquet on the ground instead of handing it to Mayweather.

Mayweather came to ringside in a number 50 jersey, indicating his 50-0 pro record. In December 2019, Mayweather finished out Japanese kickboxing prodigy Tenshin Nasukawa in the first round after three knockdowns. Nasukawa competes at around 120 pounds. Asakura was much closer to Mayweather’s weight on Saturday, maybe a little bigger, although there was no official contract weight.

In an undercard bout for headliner Mayweather vs. Asakura, Mayweather’s bodyguard Ray “Jizzy Mack” Sadeghi was KO’d in a boxing match by 135-pound kickboxer Kouzi. There was no weigh-in, but Sadeghi was significantly taller than Kouzi in the ring.

Mayweather previously had an exhibition bout against Don Moore in Dubai in May and has announced he will take part in another such matchup in the Middle East before the end of the year, although no opponent has been named.

https://www.espn.com/boxing/story/_/id/34660877/floyd-mayweather-drubs-mikuru-asakura-boxing-exhibition-match-japan Floyd Mayweather drubs Mikuru Asakura in boxing exhibition match in Japan

Emma Bowman

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