After a press appearance on Tuesday in Hawaii to promote their impending boxing exhibition bout, the two fighters stared each other down. There will be a fight between Mayweather and Asakura on September 25 at Rizin 38 in Japan.
Both boxers moved near to each other during the staredown, with Asakura’s Japanese star status leading to a push from Mayweather’s bodyguard.
After Mayweather’s last professional fight in 2017 against former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor, this exhibition bout will be his third such contest.
At Rizin 14, Mayweather faced off against Japanese kickboxing superstar Tenshin Nasukawa in his first exhibition bout since retiring from the professional ranks. After being knocked down three times by Mayweather in the first round, Nasukawa’s corner decided to stop the fight.
Mayweather fought Logan Paul of YouTube fame in a second exhibition combat last June. Even though no victor was declared, the fight would end after eight rounds. In May they fought ex-training partner Don Moore in an exhibition match.
Mayweather, a professional boxer with a perfect record and 50 victories, was moved to tears during his acceptance speech when he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in June.
Asakura has a record of 16-3 in mixed martial arts, with 12 of those victories coming while competing for the Rizin promotion. Although the 29-year-old featherweight competed three times in 2021, including two victories by unanimous decision against Kyohei Hagiwara and Yutaka Saito, he has yet to compete in 2022. For his professional career, Asakura has recorded eight knockouts, the most recent being in the first round against Satoshi Yamasu.