Floyd Mayweather made short work of Tenshin Nasukawa in their boxing exhibition showcase at Rizin 14 on New Year’s Eve.
The 50-0 boxing superstar came out of retirement (again) to face undefeated kickboxing star Nasukawa in a three-round boxing bout under exhibition conditions that meant the result would not appear on either man’s record.
And any thoughts that the bout would simply be a highly-paid light sparring session between the pair were dispelled very quickly when Mayweather came out uncharacteristically aggressively in the opening round.
Mayweather, who outweighed Nasukawa by almost 10lbs at the official weigh-ins and almost certainly by more on fight night, was too big, too experienced and too powerful for the comparatively slight Japanese athlete, who simply could not handle the American’s power.
Mayweather dropped Nasukawa three times in all, with the kickboxer’s corner throwing the towel after the third knockdown to bring a mercifully early end to proceedings and spare the young gun any unnecessary punishment.
Mayweather held all the aces: experience, power, size and reach, as well as the knowledge that Nasukawa’s famed kicks would not be a factor in the bout – the Japanese fighter was contractually unable to kick Mayweather without incurring a multi-million-dollar fine.
And the American fought like a man who knew he was in no danger whatsoever as he battered Nasukawa to a first-round TKO stoppage.
The mismatched exhibition bout was the headline attraction of an otherwise excellent Rizin 14 card that saw Japan’s Kyoji Horiguchi crowned the organisation’s first-ever bantamweight champion after his third-round guillotine choke submission of Bellator champion Darrion Caldwell gave him his 11th straight victory.
Also on the card, former Invicta FC champion Ayaka Hamasaki defeated Kanna Asakura to claim the Rizin women’s super-atomweight title, thanks to a second-round armbar.
Czech light-heavyweight Jiri Prochazka finished American Brandon Halsey with punches in the first, while the freakishly powerful Gabi Garcia tapped out fellow Brazilian Barbara Nepomuceno.
A battle of former UFC lightweights was won by Australia’s Damien ‘Beatdown’ Brown, who submitted flashy American striker Daron Cruickshank via first-round guillotine choke.
And there was a nasty end to another of the night’s lightweight contests, as Japan’s Yusuke Yachi sustained a nasty cut to the right eye that brought his bout with former UFC vet Johnny Case to a premature end and handed victory to the American.
RIZIN 14: OFFICIAL RESULTS
66kg catchweight exhibition boxing match
Floyd Mayweather defeats Tenshin Nasukawa
TKO (corner stoppage) at 2:20 of Round 1
Rizin Bantamweight Championship
Kyoji Horiguchi defeats Darrion Caldwell
Submission (guillotine choke) at 11:12 of Round 3
Rizin Women’s Super Atomweight Championship
Ayaka Hamasaki defeats Kanna Asakura
Submission (armbar) at 9:33 of Round 2
Light Heavyweight bout
Jiri Prochazka defeats Brandon Halsey
Submission (punches) at 6:19 of Round 1
102.5kg catchweight bout
Gabi Garcia defeats Barbara Nepomeceno
Submission (Americana) at 2:34 of Round 1
Damien Brown defeats Daron Cruickshank
Submission (guillotine choke) at 4:10 of Round 1
51kg catchweight bout
Miyuu Yamamoto defeats Mika Nagano
Kazuyuki Miyata defeats Erson Yamamoto
Submission (hammerlock) at 8:22 of Round 2
Johnny Case defeats Yusuke Yachi
TKO (doctor stoppage) at 9:47 of Round 2
60kg catchweight bout
Yuki Motoya defeats Justin Scoggins
Submission (teepee choke) at 3:27 of Round 1
59kg catchweight bout
Ulka Sasaki defeats Manel Kape
Justyna Haba defeats Shinju Nozawa Auclair
Submission (rear-naked choke) at 8:40 of Round 2
Tofik Musaev defeats Nobumitsu Osawa
TKO (punches) at 6:19 of R2