Floyd Mayweather appears to have retired from a planned New Year's struggle with the Japanese kickboxing band Tenshin Nasukawa less than three days after appearing at a press conference in Tokyo announcing he was " the promoter in terms of the nature and magnitude of the event.
The five-division boxing champion said in a post at Instagram on Wednesday that he agreed with a three-line exhibition "simply for entertainment purposes without the intention of being represented as an official battle card" and was "completely derailed by the new direction the event was going".
On Monday, the Federation of Risings, a joint Japanese martial arts company, announced that Mayweather will fight Nasukawa, the wonderful 20-year kickboxing miracle during an hour-long press conference in Japan attended by the boxer American and One Entertainment CEO Brent Johnson, the marketing director who helped trade the business, and a relatively new addition to Mayweather's inner circle.
The fight between Mayweather and Nasukawa was to score the Rizin 14 card already scheduled for December 31 at the Saitama Super Arena outside of Tokyo, but key provisions including contracted weight, number of rounds, type of gloves and – crucial – the battle was left unannounced.
When the details were squeezed during Monday's press conference, Mayweather appeared unhappy, saying, "We'll talk about that, we'll find this in the next few weeks. With regard to the weight class, we're not very worried about it. When everything is said and done, it's about going there and showing off my skills against another skilled fighter.
Johnson added: "We put this together very quickly, but with great professionalism, and we look forward to keeping the rest of our mandate together for as many years as we can."
But Mayweather suggested in Wednesday's statement that he was ambushed, admitting that "we should have stopped it immediately," but he "hesitated to create an enormous disturbance."
"I want to apologize to my fans for the very misleading information announced during this press conference and I can assure you that I was completely blinded by the arrangements that were made without my consent and approval," Mayweather said.
Several phone calls and messages to Mayweather, Johnson and Leonard Ellerbe, the former fighter manager, were not immediately returned on Wednesday.
A video that promotes the fight was posted to Rizin's official account of Twitter's public relations about four hours before Mayweather's announcement was canceled last Wednesday in the United States.
A direct message to the Rizin staff requesting clarification of the promotion, including whether a contract has been signed, has not been returned immediately.
The potential examination between Mayweather and Nasukawa quickly compared to the 1976 fight between Muhammad Ali and Japanese professional fighter Antonio Inoki. Mayweather's transverse signals on Wednesday, either harmless or deliberate, provide an even deeper parallel as the Guardian's Andy Bull relates in 2009:
"[A]According to the inoki version of the story, Ali and his entourage signed in anticipation of the fight to be an exhibition rather than a real contest. Only when they went to see the Inoki train and aimed to break and twist a number of sparring partners with a series of brutal blows and violent blows, the truth began to appear. "Okay, when do we repeat?" He asked Inoki's Ali, just to get the answer: "No, no, this is not an exhibition. It's a real fight!"
Mayweather, who turns 42 in February, captured the world championships in five weight classes, but did not fight from a 10-round UFC knockout, Conor McGregor, under boxing rules in August 2017.
He announced his retirement as soon as he scored a record 50-0 as a professional, but he again tried to fight against Manny Pacquiao and UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
For the time being, Mayweather is pleased to pump the brakes in his battlefield.
"I am a retired boxer who earns unprecedented global money for appearances, speech engagements and occasionally small exhibitions," he said on Wednesday.