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Tuesday, January 01, 2019, 11:28
Mayweather stops Nasukawa in 1st round, flooring him 3 times
By Associated Press
Tuesday, January 01, 2019, 11:28 By Associated Press

Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa lies on the mat after being knocked out by Floyd Mayweather Jr during first round of their three-round exhibition match on New Year's Eve, at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, north of Tokyo, Dec 31, 2018. (KOJI SASAHARA / AP)

SAITAMA, Japan — It took less than three minutes for Floyd Mayweather to knock down his Japanese kickboxer opponent Tenshin Nasukawa three times in a totally one-sided bout of exhibition boxing on New Year's Eve.

Mayweather has won all 50 of his pro fights, while Nasukawa has an undefeated record in kickboxing and mixed martial arts

Nasukawa's father threw in the towel after 140 seconds of the first round on Monday as his 20-year-old son bravely teetered around the ring trying to get up.

It was a quick and definitive victory for the 41-year-old American. Mayweather was gracious in victory, hugging the weeping Nasukawa and calling him "still a great champion." Nasukawa, however, barely landed a clean punch against the vastly more experienced Mayweather.

The rules for the three-round contest — organized by The Rizin Fighting Federation and held at Saitama Super Arena on the northern outskirts of Tokyo — were no kicking allowed and no official record of the match.

ALSO READ: Mayweather to fight Japanese kickboxer Nasukawa in Dec

Mayweather said: "Tenshin is still undefeated. I'm still undefeated."

Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa lies on the mat after being knocked out by Floyd Mayweather Jr during first round of their three-round exhibition match on New Year's Eve, at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, north of Tokyo, Dec 31, 2018. (KOJI SASAHARA / AP)

Mayweather has won all 50 of his pro fights, while Nasukawa has an undefeated record in kickboxing and mixed martial arts.

"It's all about having fun," Mayweather told reporters after the fight, praising Nasukawa as a "young hungry lion."

The Mayweather-Nasukawa bout culminated an evening of more than a dozen fights, streamed by FITE for a fee, but not in the US. Fuji TV was the broadcaster in Japan.

Mayweather, who hadn't fought since beating UFC star Conor McGregor more than a year ago, said he was retired and came to Tokyo to give an opportunity to a younger fighter like Nasukawa.

"I told Tenshin to 'hold your head up high,'" Mayweather said.

READ MORE: Mayweather vows entertainment, not a knockout, in Japan

Floyd Mayweather Jr, right, holds the hand of Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa, after beating him in their three-round exhibition match on New Year's Eve, at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, north of Tokyo, Dec 31, 2018. (KOJI SASAHARA / AP)

Nasukawa said after the bout that he was grateful for the experience and that he had learned a lot.

Fans — and possibly Nasukawa himself — appeared taken back that Mayweather showed little mercy in the exhibition.

"He is first class," Nasukawa said.

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