Floyd Mayweather got the job done with TKO win in the second round of his exhibition fight with Mikuru Asakura at Rizin 38 last weekend.
But it was a moment before the bout started that made waves online. After the Japanese was handed a bouquet of flowers in the ring, Takushi Okuno – leader of Burdock political party then threw Mayweather’s down at his feet in a sign of clear disrespect towards the boxing icon.
The clip provoked plenty of online discussion with some fans calling the act out as racist.
After one user wrote, ‘this is racist’ others chimed in to debate the Okuno’s intentions toward Mayweather with another fan writing,
This is racist
— 1️⃣9️⃣/1️⃣1️⃣🐇 (@BlackLee_6) September 25, 2022
“We don’t know the man’s background. Maybe the man’s dislike Mayweather’s behavior over the years or this man disrespected other people. But if he hadn’t disrespected people in public then you HAVE to consider race as part of the man’s behavior. I always consider Occam’s razor.”
Another user agreed that the act might have been racist but underlined that Mayweather would get the last laugh having walked away with the victory.
“This was an open racism but it made Floyd to get more stronger and that’s why he finished his job in the ring by KO! Easy work,” tweeted Abdul Barber.
‘Money’ lived up to his nickname and secured the bag with a relatively easy night’s work. In the lead-up to the bout, he’d teased his purse to the Daily Mail by quipping,
‘Nine minutes, $20m, not bad!’ In the end it took him even less than that as he secured the finish at 2.59 in the second stanza.
Mayweather paid his seemed in high spirits after the win and paid his respects to Japan and the Japanese crowd. But Rizin president Nobuyuki Sakakibara was livid with how a legend of the sweet science had been treated with flowergate.
The boss apologized via Instagram where he wrote,
“Thank you for all who attended, and tuned in for today’s event. I truly appreciate all 22 fighters from the bottom of my heart. And again, we deeply apologize for letting such a vile individual step into the sacred ring. We promise that we will make sure such actions will never be taken place ever again.”
What did you make of the flower incident?