Floyd Mayweather’s fourth exhibition boxing fight since retiring in 2017 will feature a seasoned MMA star. Like Mayweather’s previous opponents, Mikuru Asakura is looking to make the most of the opportunity put in front of him.

On September 24 (Sept. 25 in Australia), Mayweather faces Asakura inside the Saitama Super Arena in Japan. It is a different challenge for Asakura, who has been a part of the karate (when he was younger) and MMA community for years. Primarily competing for RIZIN, Asakura has competed in multiple weight classes, like Mayweather. However, he will have to put down his MMA gloves for some boxing ones.

On a two-fight win streak, Asakura may be one step closer to fighting for gold again. He fell short when he challenged for the RIZIN featherweight title in 2020. Why exactly would he halt his progress in order to fight Mayweather?

The Sporting News looks into the matchup between Mayweather and Asakura and why the latter will fight one of the greatest boxers of all time.

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Why is Mikuru Asakura fighting Floyd Mayweather?

For Asakura, this will be the biggest fight of his career.

Competing for The Outsider, DEEP Cage Impact, and Road FC, Asakura won the RINGS 70kg and 65kg Championships in 2015, defending both titles once. He made his RIZIN debut in 2018 and is 10-2 with the promotion.

Asakura has gone 3-1 in his last four fights and is currently on a two-fight win streak. Competing in his first boxing bout, Asakura is excited to be a part of this moment with someone like Floyd Mayweather. He believes his stock will rise as a result of this bout.

“I’m an MMA fighter, but I’m going to use this opportunity, and I’m going to use him to raise my name and value internationally,” Asakura stated at the launch press conference, via talkSPORT. “I will win this fight.”

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Floyd Mayweather ready to entertain against Asakura

Mayweather has always been a showman. Whether it is how he conducts himself at pre-fight press conferences or in the ring, he knows how to entertain fans. He did exactly that when he talked to the announcers while outpointing Don Moore in their exhibition fight back in May.

In this fight, Mayweather is looking to do the same. While earning a huge payday, Mayweather stated during the press conference that this fight is another part of his story following a successful pro career.

“It’s still a great feeling to travel the world and basically do these exhibition bouts and have fun,” Mayweather said. “My legacy is already engraved in stone, but it’s still great to just go around the world and entertain people from all walks of life.

“I’m pretty sure he’s (Asakura) going to come out and give his best, like any and every guy, but I’ve seen every style. My job is just to go out there be me, have fun and do what I do best.”

Source: https://www.sportingnews.com/us/boxing/news/mikuru-asakura-why-fighting-floyd-mayweather-2022-boxing-exhibition/xqqv2idkped90cmirx0l20h3