Greetings fellow members.
Its unusual for me to post in the sports forums, but rumours and speculation on the internet, specifically on combat sports focused YouTube channels
and websites, have been buzzing over recent weeks, about an event in Japan, set to take place on New Years Eve.
Floyd Mayweather will fight Tenshin Nasukawa, a young Japanese martial arts prodigy, who has been dominating using a variant form of kickboxing in
the Rizin promotion. If you type his name into YouTube, you will find highlight reels, and videos of his fights, which, if you happen to like that
sort of thing, I highly recommend giving a watch.
The buzz around this event started about three weeks ago, with the initial announcement of an event between the two fighters, during a press
conference in which Money Mayweather seemed entirely bewildered and failed to communicate effectively. Days later, it was revealed by Mayweather that
he felt he had been misled as to what the promoter was suggesting, and appeared to pull out from the event altogether. Then, a few days ago, the fight
is back on, and we get told that essentially, the rule set will be pure boxing, no kicks at all, and only nine minutes of action to be had.
Now then... I have some issues with this.
First of all, like many folk who will be reading this, and indeed many people who follow boxing rather than any of the more complete martial arts, I
had NO idea who Tenshin Nasukawa was, until I read about this fight being on the cards a couple of weeks ago. I looked him up, and what I saw in his
highlight reels and his full fight footage, impressed the living hell out of me. His reaction speed, his movement speed, his accuracy and his
intelligence, as well as his agility and creativity, combine to produce an improbable fighter with massive potential, who, to see him fight most of
his opponents (much more experienced kickboxers, Muai Thai champions from the Lumpinee stadium, TKD practitioners and so on), looks for all the world
as if he could dodge bullets and lazer beams as easily as the kicks and punches he deflects or simply evades. His attacks are clean and measured, but
also rapid and savage, and executed with an effortless flair. He is, quite simply, phenomenal to watch, and I would have to assume an absolute bastard
to fight against, even for seasoned campaigners and masters of their art. He is a supercomputer of a fighter, always seeming several steps ahead of
And of course, no one reading this with any interest in the sport of boxing or pugilism in general, needs to be told that Mayweather is famed also
for his evasion, footwork, and defence, as well as being able to pick opponents apart and make them look flat footed, no matter their experience or
But the problem here, is not that the fight is happening, nor that it is happening in Japan, nor is it that Mayweather fighting this twenty year old
phenom would not be interesting. The problem here, is that this sets a pretty crappy precedent, one that needs to be un set as fast as it is possible
to do so. No doubt, we all remember the Mayweather vs McGregor fight, during which the cocky irishman was roundly beaten, as expected. McGregor
stepped out of familiar territory, into a rule set which did not permit him to express his full potential, and the inevitable occured to the surprise
of no one. But take note, McGregor wanted to fight Mayweather, and was prepared to step outside the promotion he normally fought for, in order to do
so. That makes a kind of sense. He wanted to have a go, so he did, and he set out into a totally different combat environment, in order to perform
that experiment. He did not try and change the environment he was going into, or try to bring his more familiar territory with him in any way. He
embraced (for good or ill) the differences between the arts he knew well, and those he was about to engage in, and had the best go at it that he
Thats fair and fine enough, and that he was prepared to do so, showed not only that he had the right attitude to the possibility at least, but that
he had enough respect for pure boxing, to compete in that environment without trying to modify it over much.
But Mayweather, clearly, has a respect problem. From where I sit, its deeply disrespectful to try and change the environment you are walking into, to
better match the one you come from. Its pretty simple, really. When it comes to a practitioner of one form of fighting, going into an environment
where mixed or freestyle competition is involved, its damned rude and utterly unacceptable to insist on rules which favour your way of fighting, over
your opponent. Its like me as a near carnivore, walking into a vegetarians house and insisting that everyone is having steak tonight, just because I
am in the building. Its not the done thing. Mayweather should have either chosen to delay the fight until he could train for MMA, THEN set up a date
for the fight, and competed in the fight with the respect for his opponent necessary, or decided that, actually, since he will only ever box, never
anything more, that there was no point in having the fight at all.
But no, instead, he has decided that the best thing to do would be to go through with the fight, but try and muscle out the home ground rules that
are present in Rizin promotion, in favour of pure boxing. That is a dick move, and shows that he is a bit of a bloody coward to be frank. There have
been boxers who have entered into MMA competitions to test their mettle, and yes, they have been beaten. But you could say the same of MMA guys
swapping over to boxing to give it a shot these days, since the Connor fight. Connor may have lost, but at least he did not try and take his MMA
methodologies, submissions, elbows, knees and such, into a boxing match, to rig the contest in his favour, despite not possessing home advantage.
I look at it this way. Boxing is Mayweathers house. Its his temple. What goes on there is his business, and its not for anyone wanting to challenge
him from outside that temple, to dictate how that temple will be laid out for a bout. The same applies to the Rizin promotion and the fight with
Tenshin Nasukawa. There was never any point having a boxing match against this kid, none at all. Its not what the kid does, although I am sure he will
give a better performance than McGregor did, based on his particular skill set and the cleanliness of his execution. Now, some people are caught up
on the notion that this fight will be an exhibition, rather than being a fight which will count toward Mayweathers professional record. That means
that even if he were to be defeated by some happenstance, it will not read as him loosing his "0". Some others are concerned about the possibility
that the judges and so on might be biased in favour of Nasukawa. To be frank, neither of these things matter a damn in my estimation. What matters to
me is the fact that Mayweather is trying to pull a McGregor, but unlike McGregor does not have the bottle to do it with any bloody grace. Tenshin
Nasukawa is worthy of better respect than this utter nonsense, that is for certain.