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Tenshin: I thought Floyd Mayweather underestimated me, but it was the other way around

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Leading up to their exhibition boxing match on Rizin’s New Year’s Eve event, Tenshin Nasukawa felt that Floyd Mayweather may have been underestimating his skills. The young Japanese star didn’t have any professional boxing experience, but going undefeated and delivering all those savage knockouts in kickboxing made him feel like he’d at least perform better than others have done in there.

Less than two minutes into their contest, and Mayweather effortlessly dispelled that idea. Despite not having a training camp of his own, Floyd easily showed what a much bigger and far better boxer could do against a newcomer.

Nasukawa always knew that Mayweather is a superb boxing champion, but after getting in there and experiencing it first hand, he learned that it wasn’t Floyd who underestimated him, it was actually the other way around. He learned that Mayweather was far better than he ever imagined, and it will take a lot of effort and time before he can even get to a similar level in his kickboxing career.

He spoke about the humbling experience on social media.

“I am disappointed at myself since I thought I could have done better. But I will face the facts and will continue to take on any challenge,” Tenshin wrote on Instagram. “I learned that I didn’t work hard enough to earn this opportunity, and I will use this defeat to improve myself and move forward this year.

“Despite all the things that happened leading up to the fight, I came to realize how truly great Mayweather was. I was the one underestimating him,” he continued. “I promise to make it to that level! It may take some time for me to become the man to haul the industry on my shoulders, but please continue to support me! Everybody who work to make this fight happen, thank you very much. Mr. Mayweather, thank you very much.”

His full statement can be read below:

View this post on Instagram

I have worked hard with a big dream in the combat world. Karate, Kickboxing, MMA and Boxing. When I first got the offer I took it in a flash. I thought this was an opportunity of a lifetime, and although there were significant differences in accomplishments and weight classes, I felt that I must not run and take on the challenge. The days since the fight was confirmed have been enjoyable but with concerns, and I spent the time thinking about many things. At the end of the day, I got finished, but I have no regrets. I am disappointed at myself since I thought I could have done better. But I will face the facts and will continue to take on any challenge. I learned that I didn’t work hard enough to earn this opportunity, and I will use this defeat to improve myself and move forward this year. Despite all the things that happened leading up to the fight, I came to realize how truly great Mayweather was. I was the one underestimating him. I promise to make it to that level! It may take some time for me to become the man to haul the industry on my shoulders, but please continue to support me! Everybody who work to make this fight happen, thank you very much. Mr. Mayweather, thank you very much. 僕は格闘界に大きな夢を見て頑張って来ました。空手、キックボクシング、MMAそしてボクシング。 この試合の話が来た時、メイウェザー選手と戦うチャンスはもう絶対巡ってこないから今しかないと思ったし、階級も違う、やって来たことも違うとは思いましたが、僕自身も逃げずにやらなくてはならないと思い試合を受けました。 試合が決まってからこの一戦に向けての日々は、とても楽しかったし、不安だったし色々なことを考えながらの時間でした。 結果は倒されてしまいましたが、後悔はないです。もっと出来ると思った自分が情けないし、悔しかったですが、現実を受け入れて、またチャンスがあれば何事にも逃げずに挑戦したいと思います。 チャンスを活かす為の努力がまだ自分には足りなかったことに気付きましたし、この敗戦を機に自分自身を改善して今年は突き進んでいこうと思います。色々ありましたがメイウェザー選手は本当に凄く強かったです。 舐めていたのは僕自身でした。 僕も必ずそこの域に行きます! 本当に格闘界を背負って行ける男になるまでは、まだまだ先ですが、これからも応援よろしくお願いします! この一戦に携わってくれた皆様、ありがとうございました。 戦ってくれたメイウェザー選手、ありがとうございました。 #Cygames #rizin14 #BOXING #teppengym #target #RISE

A post shared by 那須川天心 (@tenshin.nasukawa) on

Some of the aura and hype surrounding Nasukawa may have been lost after that one-sided beating, but the youngster seems to be saying all the right things about the defeat.

There are levels in combat sports, and he was never going to outbox Mayweather, but if he truly learns from this, it may just help how he approaches his kickboxing career moving forward. He is still just 20-years-old after all.




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