Mayweather stops Nasukawa in 1st round, flooring him 3 times

Floyd Mayweather Jr.smiles after defeating Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa, during their three-round exhibition match on New Year's Eve, at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, north of Tokyo, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
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, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
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, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
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, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
Floyd Mayweather Jr. delivers his left to Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa, during their three-round exhibition match on New Year's Eve, at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, north of Tokyo, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, exchanges a punch with Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa, during their three-round exhibition match on New Year's Eve, at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, north of Tokyo, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

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.

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.

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

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 U.S. 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.

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.

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

___

Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

People also read these

Nadal saves 2 match points, advances at China Open

Oct 3, 2017

Rafael Nadal needed to save two match points before advancing to the second round at the China Open

Rafael Nadal advances to quarterfinals of China...

Oct 5, 2017

Rafael Nadal earned his season-leading 58th victory by beating Karen Khachanov 6-3, 6-3 to reach...

Del Potro advances to 2nd round at Shanghai...

Oct 9, 2017

Juan Martin del Potro needed all three sets to reach the second round at the Shanghai Masters,...

Michelle Yeoh: Weinstein a 'bully,' 'not always...

Oct 17, 2017

Actress Michelle Yeoh says she was aware of Harvey Weinstein's reputation and would have unleashed...

Fiji wins 4th straight Hong Kong 7s beating Kenya...

Apr 8, 2018

Fiji has won a fourth successive Hong Kong Sevens after pouncing on Kenya's ill-discipline and...