The announcement on in Tokyo that Floyd Mayweather would fight on New Year’s Eve against a Japanese kickboxer less than half his age and 25 pounds lighter was a stunner.
But Mayweather’s announcement on Instagram on Thursday was the true bombshell.
After sitting at a news conference, answering questions about a fight with Tenshin Nasukawa and then posing for pictures with the 20-year-old rising star, Mayweather took to social media on Wednesday to say he’d been conned:
On Instagram, Mayweather said he was asked to fight a three-round exhibition match. He said it was supposed to “be an exhibition put on for a small group of wealthy spectators for a very large fee.”
He said he was blindsided by what happened.
“For the sake of the several fans and attendees that flew in from all parts of the world to attend this past press conference, I was hesitant to create a huge disturbance by combating what was being said and for that I am truly sorry,” Mayweather wrote.
“I am a retired boxer that earns an unprecedented amount of money, globally, for appearances, speaking engagements and occasional small exhibitions.”
Mayweather’s withdrawal from the contest followed his appearance at a press event in Tokyo on Monday in which he vowed to give “blood, sweat and tears” in the fight.
“It’s always been a goal of mine to go outside out of the US and display my talent. The world has never seen Mayweather compete live in (Japan),” Mayweather told reporters at the press conference, framing the fight as an expansion of his businesses to the Far East.
Mayweather has not fought since his money-spinning boxing showdown with mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor in Las Vegas in 2017. Mayweather returned to retirement following that bout with a perfect 50-0 unbeaten record.
However the American has repeatedly hinted at coming out of retirement since that fight, most recently teasing a possible rematch against Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao.
with Yahoo Sports US.