All things considered, Floyd Mayweather had a pretty good day this last Sunday, at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan. The former undefeated multi-division boxing champion stepped into the ring once more in the main event of Rizin’s ‘Super Rizin’ card for an exhibition bout against former featherweight MMA champ Mikuru Asakura, allegedly picking up a seven figure payday for two rounds of work on his way to a TKO victory.
But not everything came up gumdrops and rainbows. Before the fight even got started, the 45-year-old found himself as a prop for a public figure looking to make a statement.
Yahoo! Japan identified the bespectacled flower dropper as small-time politician, and leader of Japan’s ‘Burdock Party,’ Okuno Takashi. Okuno reportedly got the opportunity to present Mayweather with his bouquet, after winning an auction for a VIP ringside seat and fan experience. In an interview with EastSportsWeb Okuno was unapologetic for the incident, and claimed it as a response to Mayweather’s conduct around his 2018 bout against Tenshin Nasukawa. Notably that ‘Money’ made his opponent wait hours after the bout’s intended start time while he got his hands wrapped and warmed up.
In a post to his Instagram account, Rizin boss Nobuhiko Sakakibara apologized profusely for the floral fracas, calling Okuno a “vile individual.”
“Thank you for all who attended, and tuned in for today’s event,” Sakakibara wrote. “I truly appreciate all 22 fighters from the bottom of my heart.
“And again, we deeply apologize for letting such a vile individual step into the sacred ring.
“We promise that we will make sure such actions will never be taken place ever again.”
For his part, Mayweather hardly seemed to notice, and used his time after the bout to instead thank Japan for hosting him and the event and his opponent for making the fight fun.
“I would like to thank the whole country of Japan,” Mayweather told fans after the fight’s conclusion (transcript via MMA Mania). “Unbelievable country, unbelievable people. An exciting, crazy turnout. Round of applause for this tough competitor.”