Floyd Mayweather to fight Tenshin Nasukawa in boxing exhibition

Floyd Mayweather will indeed return to the ring on New Year's Eve in Japan, but it will only be an exhibition.

Mayweather and Japanese kickboxing star Tenshin Nasukawa will meet in a three-round match under straight boxing rules at the 37,000-seat Saitama Prefecture Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, the fighters announced during a media availablity on Thursday at the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas.

The fight will take place at a contract weight of 147 pounds, the welterweight division limit with boxing standard three-minute rounds. The fighters will wear 8-ounce Rizin-brand boxing gloves.

Because the fight is an exhibition, whatever happens will not count on either fighter's official record. No judges will be employed, so no scores will be rendered if the fight goes the distance.

The announcement was an about face from just a few weeks ago.

In early November, the Rizin Fighting Federation, a Japanese promotional company founded in 2015 that puts on MMA and kickboxing events, announced the fight at an elaborate news conference in Tokyo. Both fighters appeared for the announcement.

Rizin officials and the fighters were light on details of the fight, however, and two days later, after Mayweather returned to the United States, he wrote on social media that he had never agreed to the bout -- even though he participated in the news conference and spoke about the event at length.

But Rizin officials were confident they could keep it together, and on Thursday they made it official and provided the specifics, though how much money Mayweather will earn was not disclosed. The officials also did not announce an American broadcaster.