On New Years Even, inside the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo, Japan, undefeated kickboxing sensation Tenshin Nasukawa will step into the ring with undefeated boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. for a bizarre exhibition match. The bout will headline the stacked RIZIN 14 card.
In this bout, Nasukawa will not be allowed to throw kicks. He will, however, be able to punch with full enthusiasm, as a knockout victory for either party is apparently allowable under the bout’s ruleset.
Speaking at his family’s Teppen gym in Matsudo, northwest of Tokyo, on Tuesday, Nasukawa shared his belief that he can send a shockwave through the combat sports landscape with a single well-placed punch in this bout.
“I can change the world with my fist,” the 20-year-old wunderkind stated (via ABS-CBN Sports).
While we will not see any kicks from Tenshin Nasukawa in this strange but undeniably compelling showdown, he says he has been tempted to let loose his feet after meeting Floyd Mayweather in person.
“I sensed no aura about him,” he said. “He says such provocative stuff I feel like kicking him.”
While Tenshin Nasukawa is brimming with confidence heading into this New Years Eve encounter with Floyd Mayweather, he insists that he’s not taking the much larger boxer lightly.
“He is the best so I can’t let my guard down,” he said. “I’m sure his punches are fast but I’m sure I can see them.
“I feel excited, although some days I still feel afraid,” Nasukawa added. “But when the day comes, I want to fight with confidence.”
In Tenshin Nasukawa, Floyd Mayweather will face one of the most impressive strikers in combat sports. The Japanese sensation is a flawless 27-0 as a professional kickboxer, with 21 of his victories coming by way of knockout. Highlights of his resume include defeats of Amnat Ruenroeng, Yamato Fujita, Yusaku Nakamura, Rodtang Jitmuangnon, Kyoji Horiguchi, and most recently, Taiki Naito, who he mauled at RISE 129.
Nasukawa has also competed four times in mixed martial arts, winning two of those bouts by knockout, one by submission, and one by decision. He has never competed as a professional boxer.
Floyd Mayweather, meanwhile, is arguably the greatest boxer of all time. The American last fought in August of 2017, when he improved to 50-0 with a 10th-round TKO of Conor McGregor in a similar crossover fight. Other highlights of his incredible record include victories over Manny Pacquiao, Canelo Alvarez, Miguel Cotto, Victor Ortiz, Juan Manuel Márquez, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, Zab Judah, Arturo Gatti and many, many more.
What do you think will happen when Tenshin Nasukawa and Floyd Mayweather step into the ring together at RIZIN 14 on New Years Eve.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 12/19/2018.