For a “retired” fighter, Mayweather has been busy. There has also been talk of a bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov, who beat McGregor in M.M.A. last month. The chance of that bout taking place seemed to fade over the last week when the Ultimate Fighting Championship president, Dana White, said it would have to be under M.M.A. rules and Mayweather dismissed that possibility.
There has also been talk of a rematch of Mayweather’s 2015 bout with Manny Pacquiao, which Mayweather won by decision. Pacquiao is now 39, but still active (not to mention serving as a senator in the Philippines) and a titleholder. He is scheduled to fight in January in Brooklyn.
The imprecise details of the Nasukawa bout calls to mind another time when a superstar American boxer went to Japan to fight under vague rules.
In 1976, the world champion Muhammad Ali took on a professional wrestler, Antonio Inoki, at the Budokan arena in Tokyo. Entertainment did not ensue.
When the bell rang, Inoki fell to the mat in a crablike posture and began kicking out at Ali’s legs. Ali danced around the ring looking for a chance to land a punch but not finding one. The bout continued for 15 interminable rounds and was scored a draw.
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