Wednesday 7 November 2018 20:19, UK
Floyd Mayweather says he has not agreed a deal to fight Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa on New Year's Eve in an official bout.
Undefeated five-weight boxing world champion Mayweather signed a deal with Japanese mixed martial arts promotions company RIZIN Fighting Federation but says he only agreed to participate in a nine minute exhibition of three rounds against an unnamed opponent.
Mayweather appeared to confirm he would fight Nasukawa at a press conference in Tokyo on Monday but insists he had not even heard of the Japanese fighter before the trip.
The American says he was "blindsided by the arrangements that were being made without his consent and approval."
"Now that I am back on U.S. soil after a long and disappointing trip to Tokyo, I now have the time to address you, my fans and the media in regard to the upcoming event on December 31st that was recently announced," he posted on Instagram.
"First and foremost, I want it to be clear that I, Floyd Mayweather, never agreed to an official bout with Tenshin Nasukawa. In fact (with all due respect) I have never heard of him until this recent trip to Japan.
"Ultimately, I was asked to participate in a nine minute exhibition of three rounds with an opponent selected by the "Rizen Fighting Federation". What I was originally informed of by Brent Johnson of "One Entertainment" was that this was to be an exhibition put on for a small group of wealthy spectators for a very large fee.
"This exhibition was previously arranged as a "Special Bout" purely for entertainment purposes with no intentions of being represented as an official fight card nor televised worldwide. Once I arrived to the press conference, my team and I were completely derailed by the new direction this event was going and we should have put a stop to it immediately.
"I want to sincerely apologise to my fans for the very misleading information that was announced during this press conference and I can assure you that I too was completely blindsided by the arrangements that were being made without my consent nor approval.
"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. I am a retired boxer that earns an unprecedented amount of money, globally, for appearances, speaking engagements and occasional small exhibitions."
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