Mayweather vs. Uchiyama: Rizin Reportedly Exploring Exhibition Fight

Floyd Mayweather Jr. posted a video on social media on July 8 shadow boxing in the streets.

“Soon I’m going to hop on my jet to Tokyo, Japan for a meeting with my partners and Rizin for something this year 2020. Stay tuned,” Mayweather Jr. wrote in the accompanying caption.

Mayweather Jr. has teased a return to the ring since last being in one on Dec. 31, 2018 when he demolished Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in one round during a Rizin exhibition match.

Over the weekend, reports from several Japanese media outlets indicate that Rizin president Nobuyuki Sakakibara is looking to stage another fight featuring Mayweather Jr., only this time against a former professional boxer in Takashi Uchiyama, a WBA super featherweight champion who last fought in 2016.

“No comment as of yet. When and if I have something to talk about, we’ll let you know. I’m not disputing or refuting any of the reports, I want to be clear on that,” Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe told in an interview on Monday.

“But to be honest, there is nothing to write about [yet], unless it comes from Floyd Mayweather, and that’s what it is. I can’t comment on something that didn’t come from him. When the time is right, he’ll speak on that. If there is an announcement to be made, it will come from Floyd Mayweather. Floyd will let us know, if anything happens. He’s the boss.”

Even at the age of 43, the five-division champion and Fighter of the Decade from 2010 to 2019, as voted by the Boxing Writers Association of America, still commands attention and interest from fans around the globe. If Mayweather Jr. (50-0, 27 KOs) were to fight today, the masses who supported him, and rooted against him, would surely show up again in droves.

Uchiyama (24-2-1) on the other hand is a known entity and formerly a popular TV mainstay in Japan. He is now 40-years-old, and held his WBA title from 2010 to 2016 before losing back-to-back fights to Jezreel Corrales and retiring four years ago. Uchiyama never fought outside of Japan his entire career and last competed at 130 pounds.

“Floyd is a businessman and has a number of relationships with a number of international moguls,” said Ellerbe. “He is a superstar, and can do anything he wants to business wise around the world if it makes sense. He’s built these relationships over the last quarter century. He’ll make the right decisions, consult his team and go from there. The beauty of being a global superstar like Floyd is that he has countless options based on if he chooses to do something.”

Mayweather made $9 million for his one-sided win in 139 seconds against the overmatched Nasukawa less than two years ago. He knocked down the 20-year-old Nasukawa three times before the fighter’s corner threw in the towel.

“It was all about entertainment. We had fun,” Mayweather said in the ring after the fight.

There were no judges ringside to score the bout and the match did not count toward the professional record of either fighter. It was billed as a three-round exhibition fight.

Should a Mayweather Jr. versus Uchiyama ever officially materialize, one can only expect the same kind of fight parameters.

Uchiyama would be giving up serious skills and size advantages against Mayweather, who’s competed and won championships in the 130, 135, 140, 147 and 154 pound divisions until retiring in 2017 from professional boxing after knocking out Conor McGregor.


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