Floyd Mayweather grabbed a few punches from Mikuru Asakura in the Super Rizin headliner. But in the end, his speed and power were too much for the MMA veteran, and a two-hit combo brought the TKO late in the second.
“I’m just happy to be here, thank you again,” Mayweather said afterwards. “I’m happy that we were able to give the fans some excitement tonight. Thank you for. I’ll be back.”
Asakura provided excitement in the three-round exhibition bout, cracking Mayweather with some fine body shots and a straight right that made the undefeated boxer’s head spin. He chased Mayweather late in the second round, trying to seal the deal.
Instead, he caught a left hook and a straight that sent him teetering to the mat. When he got up he was wobbly on his feet and referee Kenny Bayless left the fight at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Mayweather immediately embraced his opponent, who challenged him in the looks for the fight, drawing a push from his bodyguard, Jizzy Mack, who, in Saturday’s pay-per-view co-headliner, found himself on the canvas after K-1 kickboxing vet Kouzi sent him there with a thunderclap.
Asakura came out swinging in the first, landing powerful blows to the body and head. His shots were far less effective than Mayweather, who dodged skillfully as he had done so many times against faster, more compact punchers.
Asakura threw her hands up after taking a body shot, challenging Mayweather’s power. When he took the first of several straight straights in the second, power didn’t matter as much as speed, which even at 45 “Money” retained.
With his thanks to the audience and the promise of a return, Mayweather paid tribute to former rival Manny Pacquiao, who sat down at ringside after making a brief appearance before the main event. There were no face-to-face meetings or calls; Floyd settled for his fourth exhibition match and third clear win (despite no score being submitted) with his exhibition against YouTuber Logan Paul a distant memory. For the second time, Mayweather flew to Japan and cleaned up.