By: Sean Crose
After breaking down in emotional gratitude on Sunday during his induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in New York, Floyd Mayweather was back to his old self on Monday. For Mayweather, along with Japan’s Rizin Fighting Federation, announced a September exhibition against Mikura Asakura, known as Japan’s most popular mixed marital artist. Asakura showed up in shades looking confident, but there was no doubt Monday’s press event was about Floyd. “I’m always pushing to be the best, the fighter known as “Money” said. “As you guys know, now it’s still a great feeling just to be able to travel the world and do these exhibition bouts and have fun.”
Sure enough, Mayweather appeared to be thoroughly retired from professional boxing. Exhibitions, such as the upcoming one against Asakura, seem to be what he’s comfortable with now that he’s in his forties. “I’m pretty sure come September in Japan, we’re going to give people what they want to see,” Mayweather said. “By me just doing exhibitions, it’s keeping my body in shape. I’m able to work out and that’s very, very important.” In regard to Asakura: “He’s going to come out and give his best just like every other guy.”
Mayweather made it clear how important it is for him to stay sharp, and to have remained sharp throughout his boxing career. “Even in these exhibitions I’m not taking any punishment,” he said. “You look at so many champions, they can barely walk. That’s not cool…the mind is the terrible thing to waste.” As for Asakura, the younger fighter came across as cool and composed. “I’m an MMA fighter,” he said, “but I’m going to use this opportunity and I’m going to use him to raise my name and value internationally. I will win this fight.”
Although cordially polite, it was clear Mayweather was not impressed. “He’s gotta realize no fighter he’s ever been in the ring with is Floyd Mayewather,” the 50-0 great said. “When you see all these fighters, they’re just fighters. This is Floyd Mayweather.” One person Mayweather was clearly not happy with was former exhibition opponent Logan Paul. “I came to entertain he came to hold, it is what it is,” Mayweather said of his wildly successful pairing with Paul last year. Mayweather then went on to address reports that Paul wants a rematch. “This is the same guy who said he didn’t get paid (the last time),” he quipped.