On Monday night (Monday morning in North America), undefeated boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. stepped into the RIZIN Fighting Federation ring for a strange exhibition bout with 20-year-old kickboxing sensation Tenshin Nasukawa.
In the weeks leading up to this exhibition bout — and really, until the very point the action began — Floyd Mayweather looked like he was taking it all incredibly lightly. Once the action began, however, the legend of pugilism began pouring on the offense, punishing his much smaller opponent with the kind of winging power shots he has not thrown in years. To him, it seemed, this was indeed a real fight.
Before the first of the bout’s three rounds had ended, the Tenshin Nasukawa corner was throwing in the towel. Their fighter had been dropped three times, and they had seen enough (see the finish here).
As you can probably imagine, this chaotic scene generated some interesting reactions from the boxing, MMA and kickboxing communities.
Here’s how the combat sports world reacted to the madness on social media:
Mayweather is an all time great but there’s thousands of 154lbs boxers who could have done that to Tenshin. What was the point?
— James Goyder (@JamesGoyder) December 31, 2018
Harry Potter got his ass kicked a couple of times by old wizards, and his brand is still strong… Tenshin will be fine.
— Dan Hardy (@danhardymma) December 31, 2018
— Jordy McElroy (@JordyMcElroy) December 31, 2018
So that happened. Yikes
— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) December 31, 2018
Somewhere out there, in an alternate reality, Tenshin Nasukawa just kicked Floyd Mayweather’s head into orbit. I wish I lived there. pic.twitter.com/1d4H55TypW
— Tom Taylor (@TomTayMMA) December 31, 2018
A lot of folks are saying that fight was fixed.
If it was fixed, why would Tenshin purposely lose in the most embarrassing way possible?
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) December 31, 2018
Why would this fight be fixed to that outcome? If you’re paying 9 million dollars why would you have one of your most promising talents go down like that? Have to give credit where credit is due, Mayweather came in and dominated #RIZIN14
— Submission Radio (@SubmissionRadio) December 31, 2018
What an embarrassment for Rizin.
— Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) December 31, 2018
And so in the words of Chael P., it makes you think … just how good is Conor McGregor?
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 31, 2018
At the end of all this madness, the good news for Tenshin Nasukawa — if there is any — is that his undefeated record is technically still intact, as this was merely an exhibition.
Post-fight, Floyd Mayweather reminded that both he and Tenshin Nasukawa are still unbeaten, and assured that the whole strange spectacle was all in the name of entertainment. He also promised that he is still retired, and that he doesn’t plan on boxing professionally again.
What are your thoughts on this wild RIZIN 14 showdown between Floyd Mayweather and Tenshin Nasukawa?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 12/31/2018.