merican former professional boxer Floyd Mayweather wants to build a casino empire in Japan, and could launch it by hosting a rematch against Manny Pacquiao.
The 42-year-old launched TMT Japan (The Money Team) in Tokyo this June, after announcing a partnership between management company Libera and Kyoei boxing gym. And Hong Kong based promoter Jay Lau said Mayweather, who was a favourite with Nevada casino chiefs throughout his career, is looking to cash in on the new bookies landing in Japan next year, according to The Sun.
“In Asia more and more casinos are setting up. Mayweather came to Tokyo to set up TMT Japan because of the Japan casinos that open in the next year,” Lau said to that UK newspaper. “There are casinos opening in Cambodia, Singapore and China as well. It means boxing will get more and more popular.
“The Manny rematch is the biggest thing that can happen. I hope it does happen, it could be a big possibility that fight is the grand opening for the Japan casinos,” Lau added.
Mayweather’s ambition is to create a casino hotel in Okinawa, allowing him to stage fights in Japan, and revealed at a press conference in June his plan for more money-spinning exhibitions. "Negotiations are progressing, although it is not yet official, my opponent could be a kickboxer or an MMA fighter,” he said then. "It's natural that I come up with this idea, because I'm buying a house in Tokyo so I don't have to repeat the long trips between the United States and Japan."
It comes after the Japanese government announced in February they are attempting to compete with regional rivals including Macau, Singapore and South Korea with planned casinos to be built in 2020.
After setting up TMT Tokyo, Mayweather switched his attention to boxing in China in September, with Asian hotel chain Mission Hills investing in the event. Mission Hills own golf clubs, hotels and resorts fronted by Hong Kong businessman Ken Chu, but Mayweather “cancelled” the fight.