Mikuru Asakura has enlisted the help of Manny Pacquiao to help him prepare for his fight with Floyd Mayweather. The mixed martial artist travelled to Manila to train with the legendary Filipino boxer.

Pacquiao famously fought Mayweather in one of the most lucrative combat sport events of all time. He came up short but so has every single opponent the American has ever faced in his career.

That didn’t stop Asakura from travelling to Manila to get some tips from Pacquiao while working out with his long time trainer Buboy Fernandez:

Exhibition match

Asakura has never competed under boxing rules, let alone faced the sport’s former pound for pound king. But he is a veteran of 20 MMA fights and has won 16 of them, establishing himself as one of the biggest stars on the Rizin roster.

Last time out Mayweather had a very easy pay day when he stopped Tenshin Nasukawa at Rizin 19. Asakura is at least a little closes to being Mayweather’s size, he competes at 145lbs.

Tenshin is much smaller so the two fighters are more evenly matched when it comes to size. But Mayweather will have a huge advantage over Asakura in terms of boxing experience, he has won 50 fights out of 50 and beaten the likes of Oscar de La Hoya and Saul Alvarez as well as Pacquiao.

Training trip

Mayweather celebrated his 45th birthday earlier this year but is still in superb shape and will feel he is far too good to lose to a debutant. Asakura knows that he will be a massive underdog but at least he seems to be taking his training seriously.

Nobuyuki Sakakibara was recently photographed with Pacquiao and the Rizin promoter was probably discussing this training trip. There has been a lot of speculation that he was looking to sign the retired boxer and senator.

It doesn’t look like Pacquiao will be fighting for Rizin any time soon, he has an exhibition match with Korean YouTuber DK Yoo coming up. But he has been lending his considerable experience to Asakura as he prepares to take on the best boxer of the century.

Mayweather retired from pro boxing with a remarkable 50-0 record nearly five years ago. The final bout of his competitive career clearly whetted his appetite for facing MMA fighters inside the squared circle as he absolutely schooled Conor McGregor in one of the most lucrative fights of all time.

Since retiring he has taken on several exhibition bouts. Mayweather has won them all comfortably and Asakura will have his work cut out if he wants to become the first man to ever beat the 15 time world champion in a boxing match.