Floyd Mayweather is 45. He could probably do this when he’s 75.
The unbeaten Hall of Famer knocked out Mikuru Asakura in the second round of a scheduled three-round exhibition in the Super RIZIN headliner in Saitama, Japan.
The 30-year-old Japanese mixed martial artist was game and had his moments, landing a few eye-catching punches. However, no MMA fighter has the boxing skills to compete on an even level with one of the greatest practitioners of the sweet science, even one who’s in his mid-40s.
And that’s by design. Mayweather has said he doesn’t want to trade punches with anyone who has a good chance of hurting him. Asakura couldn’t.
The first round was uneventful, as both fighters regularly poked out their lead hands to find their range and threw power shots only here and there, mostly to the body.
They picked up their pace in Round 2, though. Mayweather, still quick, still clever, began to land right hands to the Asakura’s head and added more body shots.
Asakura had difficulty hitting the great defensive fighter but he did land a few blows that snapped Mayweather’s head back, which was an unusual sight. His problem was that he was getting the worst of the exchanges.
Finally, after a number of accurate shots to the head laid the ground work, Mayweather landed one more right that put Asakura onto his back and hurt him.
He got up to his knees, where referee Kenny Bayless had a good look at him and decided he was in no condition to continue.
Could this version of Mayweather beat a top welterweight contender? Probably not at this point. However, he’s going to continue to dominate the fighters with whom he’s been tangling in exhibitions, YouTubers, MMA fighters and non-active boxers.
Indeed, Asakura, a Japanese MMA star, had no chance.
Mayweather collected another big payday and seemed to enjoy himself, graciously expressing his gratitude to the Japanese crowd afterward.
“I’m happy we were able to give the people excitement tonight,” he said. “Thanks for having me . I’ll be back.”
The question is against whom?
Perhaps not coincidentally Mayweather rival Manny Pacquiao was invited by the organizers of the show and spoke in the ring both before and after the main event.
Could they be setting up a Mayweather-Pacquiao exhibition? Maybe Pacquiao, 43, provided a clue.
“Hopefully,” he said, “this is not the last time you’ll see me.”
Yes, we almost certainly will be seeing more of the legendary boxers.