Mayweather to stage ‘entertainment’ spectacle in Japan

Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Tenshin Nasukawa will meet in a three-round boxing exhibition at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan on Dec. 31. (AFP)
Updated 07 December 2018
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Mayweather to stage ‘entertainment’ spectacle in Japan

  • “It is all about the entertainment,” Mayweather said. “Nine minutes of entertainment .... I’m in the entertainment business.”
  • Mayweather came out of a two-year retirement in 2017 and knocked out mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor in the 10th round of a super-hyped boxing match

LOS ANGELES: Boxer Floyd Mayweather says his New Year’s Eve bout with Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa will be “all about the entertainment.”
The nine-minute exhibition in Japan will have no official winner or loser if it goes the distance, and Mayweather said at a press availability at his training base in Las Vegas on Thursday that he was looking forward to the event as a chance to sample “something different.”
The contest will take place at the Saitama Prefecture Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, Mayweather said.
Saitama is 16 kilometers (10 miles) north of Tokyo.
Mayweather added that there and won’t be any judges present and the bout would not count on the combatants’ official fight records.
“It is all about the entertainment,” Mayweather said. “Nine minutes of entertainment .... I’m in the entertainment business.”
Besides three-minute rounds, the exhibition will take place at 67kg (147 pounds), feature “straight boxing rules” and eight-ounce boxing gloves.
“This will be full contact competition but the bout is not going on boxing or MMA records,” a Mayweather spokesperson said in a news release.
Nasukawa, also in Vegas Thursday, said he hopes his countrymen will get behind the show.
“There has never been a Japanese fighter to face Floyd Mayweather in the ring. I would like to make a big impression,” said the 20-year-old, who is 27-0 with 21 KOs as a featherweight kickboxer.
“I want to get the whole fight community, the whole country of Japan and the entire world involved in this fight.
Thursday’s press event came almost a month after 41-year-old retired welterweight champ Mayweather (50-0, 27 KOs) announced he had scrapped plans to stage a fight with Nasukawa, indicating he had been duped into agreeing to a contest.
“I want it to be clear that I, Floyd Mayweather, never agreed to an official bout with Tenshin Nasukawa,” Mayweather wrote on Instagram.
But on November 15, the CEO of mixed martial arts promoter RIZIN said a “misunderstanding” with Mayweather had been ironed out and the fight was on.
At that time, Mayweather described the match to TMZ Sports as “a little boxing exhibition” with no kicking involved.
There was no mention Thursday of a US broadcaster, an undercard, or how much money Mayweather would receive for the spectacle.
Mayweather came out of a two-year retirement in 2017 and knocked out mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor in the 10th round of a super-hyped boxing match.


Citing cash woes, R Kelly asks judge for OK to fly to Dubai

Updated 53 min 14 sec ago
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Citing cash woes, R Kelly asks judge for OK to fly to Dubai

  • The motion said Kelly is scrambling to pay child support, legal fees and everyday expenses because of the cancelation of US gigs and contracts
  • Wednesday’s filing argued Kelly is no flight risk

CHICAGO: Cash-strapped R. Kelly asked a judge Wednesday to let him travel to the Middle East to perform several concerts, according to a new court filing that said he has struggled to get work in the US since his February arrest on sex abuse charges.
The R&B singer hopes to do up to five concerts next month in Dubai, according to a motion filed in Cook County Circuit Court. It doesn’t specify venues or how much Kelly could earn from the concerts, which the filing contends were arranged prior to Kelly’s arrest.
The concerts seem to be private events, as no publicity has been released about the singer performing in the city.
The motion said Kelly is scrambling to pay child support, legal fees and everyday expenses because of the cancelation of Illinois concerts and a record contract, as well as the removal of his songs from streaming services.
“He cannot work, and consequently cannot make a living if he is confined to Illinois, or even the United States,” according to the five-page court document. “Mr. Kelly needs to generate income.”
A judge could rule on the travel request at a Friday pretrial hearing.
Wednesday’s filing also criticized Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, accusing her of using the case “to thrust herself into the spotlight of the #metoo movement” and to boost her nationwide profile.
A Foxx spokeswoman said prosecutors would respond to the defense filing at the Friday hearing but declined further comment.
Kelly grew up in a Chicago public housing project and went on to become an internationally-acclaimed singer. But amid abuse allegations, music industry executives and fans have started keeping their distance. Lawsuits and tax issues have also hurt him financially.
Kelly was charged Feb. 22 with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse for allegedly assaulting three underage girls and one adult woman. He has denied ever abusing anyone.
Defense lawyer Steve Greenberg joked to a judge the next day at a bond hearing that, “Contrary to the song, Mr. Kelly doesn’t like to fly” — a reference to the singer’s hit “I Believe I Can Fly.”
But Wednesday’s filing said that for a worldwide star like Kelly, travel is essential.
It took the Grammy winner days after his arrest to raise the $100,000 required on $1 million bond to win release. In a separate case earlier this month, Kelly was briefly jailed again until he paid $160,000 in back child support.
Among the bond conditions in his sex abuse case was that he surrender his passport and that he not travel outside Illinois without the judge’s permission.
Wednesday’s filing argued Kelly is no flight risk, noting how he was permitted to travel before his 2008 child pornography trial and always appeared for pretrial hearings. Jurors later acquitted him on all counts.