Tokyo - Floyd Mayweather's match against a Japanese kickboxer is once again
on for New Year's Eve as an exhibition fight with knockouts allowed but
likely no decision granted on a win or a loss.
Sakakibara, the head of Rizin Fighting Federation, which is putting on
the three-round exhibition, told reporters Saturday at Tokyo's Haneda
airport that "a misunderstanding" was behind Mayweather, 41, appearing
to back out.
The event, to be held at Saitama Super Arena in suburban Tokyo on December 31, was initially announced earlier this month.
who just returned holding meetings with Mayweather in Los Angeles, said
the basic agreement had not changed from the initial contract, which
did not allow kicking.
He said Tenshin Nasukawa, 20, will have a
chance to knock out Mayweather, but the results will not go against
either fighter's win-loss record. Other details are still being worked
"We don't want people to think this is some half-hearted
playing around," Sakakibara said, appearing before reporters in a
He also said spectators would not see mere "casual sparring."
stressed the event would include the largest payout for an exhibition
fight but did not give specifics. Mayweather previously said he was
already making "seven figures" just by talking about it.
"He will stand before Tenshin December 31," Sakakibara said of Mayweather.
"It's up to Tenshin whether he can create a miracle."
acknowledged he could not rule out a last-minute cancellation but
promised he would do his best to make what he called the "fun show"
happen. He also said he could not tell what kind of shape Mayweather was
in because he has not watched him work out.
The promoter compared
the event to the first "Rocky" film, as well as to the 1976 match
between Muhammad Ali and Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki.
told TMZ Sports earlier this week he would take part in the exhibition
match after all, stressing he was making "a ton of money" even in
The best seats for the fight will cost 100 000 yen ($900) each. The cheapest seats cost 7 000 yen ($60).