Forget Manny Pacquiao rematch – Floyd Mayweather ‘to fight Chinese boxer in 2020’

  • ‘Money’ heading to Hainan on September 18 for press conference to announce exhibition bout, says Mission Hills Group
  • There will be a recruitment campaign in China to find Mayweather’s opponent
Topic | Floyd Mayweather

Nick Atkin



Floyd Mayweather stands in the ring before the WBA welterweight title fight between Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas. Photo: AFP

It looks like Floyd Mayweather is getting back in the boxing ring. But, sadly for Manny Pacquiao and his hopes for a rematch, it’s another exhibition bout, and this time in China.

“Money” made US$9 million for 136 seconds of work knocking out Japanese kick-boxer Tenshin Nasukawa in Saitama, just outside Tokyo, on New Year’s Eve.

Now the undefeated American (50-0) – who claims he is retired from professional fighting – seems to have lined up another big pay day in Asia.

The Mission Hills Group has invited media to attend a press conference in Haikou, Hainan on September 18 to announce Mayweather’s “first fight in China”.

Boxer Floyd Mayweather counts his money on top of the helipad at Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong. Photo: Instagram/Floyd Mayweather

“The press conference will announce that Mayweather will hold a boxing match in China next year,” a spokesperson told the Post. “We have already got the Hainan government’s temporary approval for this event.

“But everything needs to be confirmed with Floyd as well. The details are not 100 per cent confirmed yet. We are in the process of negotiating details with Mayweather’s management.”

Floyd Mayweather flaunts wad of HK$1,000 notes on Peninsula hotel helipad during Hong Kong trip

No official date has been set for the bout other than 2020. The Post was told there will be a recruitment campaign held in China to find Mayweather’s opponent.

“This match aims to enhance the friendship between two powerful nations through boxing, gaining popularity for Hainan in the role of an international tourism island and achieving Mission Hills’ vision of bringing world-class sports events to Haikou,” the media invitation added.

Mayweather is set to tour the Missions Hills Resort Haikou in the afternoon on September 17 before a private welcome dinner. On September 18, there will then be a signing ceremony with a press conference and a group interview.

Floyd Mayweather and Jayson Lau of DEF Promotions in Hong Kong. Photo: Facebook/Jayson Lau

The 42-year-old will then tour Mission Hills Movie Town before holding a boxing lesson for students.

Mayweather was in Hong Kong in June to discuss a potential mega-money exhibition fight with local boxing promoters DEF Promotions. He also visited Tokyo earlier this summer, where he said he hoped to fight more bouts in Japan.

Pacquiao called for a rematch with the American after beating Keith Thurman in July, but it appears Mayweather remains intent on staying retired from professional fighting.

Floyd Mayweather
Manny Pacquiao
Nick is a production editor on the South China Morning Post's sport desk. He was previously a sports writer for ESPN, and can be found on most days trying to think of ways he can pretend professional wrestling is a sport so that he can write about it.
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