FLOYD MAYWEATHER, the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, will end his 19-year career when he takes on Andre Berto on September 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The unbeaten Mayweather signed a six-fight deal with Showtime/CBS in 2013 which will expire after the Berto fight and Mayweather has long said that would be his last fight.
Mayweather (48-0) will be looking to equal the 49-0 record set by heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano and the bookmakers have him very short to do so.
“I’m ready to get back in the ring on September 12 and prove again to the whole world why I’m the best ever,” Mayweather said. “I always bring my A-game, and this fight against Andre Berto is no exception.
“He’s a young, strong fighter who is hungry to take down the best. Forty-eight have tried before, and on September 12, I’m going to make it 49.”
Sportsbet.com.au currently have Mayweather at $1.01 with Berto at $14. There isn’t much movement expected in the market as Mayweather is at almost unbackable odds, but more exotic markets will be framed closer to the fight date.
Berto (30-3) currently holds the interim welterweight belt, but he is 3-3 at his last three fights. Confidence is never lacking in boxers, however, and Berto believes he can provide Mayweather with a challenge.
“I’m coming to kick Floyd’s ass on September 12,” Berto said. “Best believe that I plan to bring it to Floyd, and I’m not concerned about what 48 other fighters have been unable to do. Somebody is getting knocked out, and it won’t be me. You don’t want to miss this.”
That all sounds like nothing but good publicity to us. Mayweather hasn’t won via knockout since beating Victor Ortiz in 2011 and we can’t see Berto getting close enough to Mayweather in order to knock him out.
Mayweather is coming off a points decision win against Manny Pacquiao, which earned the fighter around $220 million, but he is still hungry to return to the ring for one more fight.
Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions, said Mayweather will not have a letdown against Berto.
“One thing we know about Floyd is that he always comes prepared,” Ellerbe said. “Floyd Mayweather has never been in a fight where he’s not prepared. He always comes ready to do his job each and every time he comes to the ring. He never overlooks anyone.
“We know Berto is coming in looking to knock Floyd’s head off. Floyd just has to be prepared. We know Berto is very motivated. He’s had ups and downs in his career, but he has been able to bounce back and show the fans he’s never in a dull fight.
“Berto is coming with the mentality of ‘I’m gonna get him or he’s gonna get me.'”
Mayweather opted for the easier fight against Berto as he overlooked Keith Thurman, Amir Khan and Shawn Porter. He made it clear at a press conference in June that he deserved to pick a lesser opponent for his final fight.
Many fans were left disappointed after the Pacquiao fight, but Ellerbe added that selling a fight against Berto will not pose any problems.
“We don’t worry about things like that,” he said.
“One thing we do know is Berto is always in an exciting fight. He’s been in two fight of the year candidates against Victor Ortiz and Robert Guerrero. With that being said, we know it’s going to be guaranteed excitement.
“And this will definitely be Floyd’s last fight, and the fans will get a chance to witness history.”
Mayweather is looking to join the elite undefeated fighters in history, which include the aforementioned Rocky Marciano (49-0), Ricardo Lopez (51-1-0) and Joe Calzaghe (46-0).