Floyd Mayweather Could Follow Muhammad Ali In Hybrid Rules Fight
On Monday Floyd Mayweather surprised everyone by announcing his next fight will be against Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa on New Year's Eve but he won't be the first high profile boxer to travel to Japan for an unorthodox fight.
Floyd Mayweather's return to the boxing ring, for the first time since his win over UFC fighter Conor McGregor, had been touted after bumping into Manny Pacquiao at an event in Japan earlier this year with the American suggesting he was ready for a rematch.
However yesterday's news was a less expected announcement with Mayweather set to face undefeated kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa instead. The rules have yet to be decided but there is a precedent for boxers going to Japan to fight in hybrid fights.
In fact Mayweather is following in the footsteps of one of the greatest boxers of all time Muhammad Ali.
Back in 1976 Ali travelled to Japan to face wrestler Antonio Inoki in a 'special rules' match that was essentially the beginning of MMA as a thing.
The pair fought in a 15 round fight that Ali initially thought was a professional wrestling style 'worked' match but soon found out was a legit contest.
Everyone will be hoping that whatever the rules of the Mayweather vs Nasukawa fight are it'll be a more interesting one than Ali and Inoki's match up, with the Japan Times describing it as, "The 15-round contest was pretty much a bore from start to finish. Ending in a draw, it proved once again that when an apple fights an orange, the results can only be a fruit salad."
The fight has become infamous for the image of the Japanese man lying on the ground and aiming kicks at the former Olympic champion whilst Ali, then the WBC and WBA heavyweight boxing champion, was only able to land six punches.
Inoki led the scorecards by three points, which seems very a small lead considering how much his opponent was actually able to do, but was docked three points during the fight so it ended a tie.
The kicks that landed to Ali's leg led to bleeding and became infected, nearly leading to the American to have his leg amputated.
At the end of the fight fans were so unimpressed that the Nippon Budokan was littered with rubbish that the crowd had thrown towards the ring.
No matter what happens on December 31st it's likely to be better than last time a boxer made up some new rules in Japan.