A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Andre Berto expected next for ‘Money’ Mayweather
It appears as though Floyd Mayweather has chosen to fight Andre Berto next.
Berto (30-3, 23 KOs), a former WBC welterweight champion, has emerged as the front-runner to fight Mayweather (48-0, 26 KOs) on Saturday, September 12, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV. The fight will be Mayweather’s sixth and final fight of a mega three-year, six-fight pact that he signed with SHOWTIME.
Mayweather, who broke all pay-per-view and live gate records following his ‘Fight of the Century” with Manny Pacquiao in May, intends to fight on CBS (free TV) for a minimum $30-35 million guarantee.
The 38-year-old has done it all by winning multiple world titles in five separate weight divisions during a 20-year career. Mayweather has defeated the very best fighters in boxing: Pacquiao, Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Canelo Alvarez, Shane Mosley, Diego Corrales, Ricky Hatton, Juan Manuel Marquez, Angel Manfredy, Arturo Gatti, Carlos Baldomir, Robert Guerrero, Zab Judah, Marcos Maidana, Genaro Hernandez, and Jose Luis Castillo among others.
“I’m happy to be in the running for this fight and am definitely up for the challenge. I know it will be a great fight if it happens,” Berto said.
In recent weeks, it was heavily speculated that Amir Khan would get the call to fight Mayweather in September. However, following an unimpressive outing against Chris Algeri at the Barclays Center in May, all anyone could talk about was how Khan didn’t do enough to warrant a fight against Floyd. With Mayweather officially back in camp prepping for his September return without an official announcement of his opponent, it was clear that Mayweather would avoid Khan once again.
Khan has been pressing for a fight with Mayweather for the last two years.
Keith Thurman, Gennady Golovkin, Karim Mayfield, Kell Brook, Timothy Bradley, and Shawn Porter’s name have all been thrown out into the press as potential Floyd opponents for that coveted September 12, date at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. But with Mayweather also eying at least one more fight in addition to a rematch with Pacquiao in 2016, there isn’t any urgency from Khan or anyone else to fight him soon.
The selection of Berto as an opponent is a surprise to many. Usually, Mayweather has strict criteria for opponents wishing to fight him. They have to have done something significant, or bring something to the table that would entice Mayweather to want to prioritize a fight with them.
Berto was considered an opponent for Mayweather four years ago while he was the WBC welterweight champion. Berto had 5 successful defenses, but had to fight Victor Ortiz to guarantee the fight with Mayweather. On April 16, 2011 at Foxwoods, with Mayweather watching live from ringside, Berto and Ortiz engaged in a WILD slugfest that ended with Ortiz pulling off the career-saving upset victory. Ortiz’ win over Berto was so impressive; Mayweather elected to fight Ortiz instead and ended-up knocking him out for the WBC welterweight title later that year.
Since the squandered opportunity to fight Mayweather, Berto’s career has had both highs and lows.
In September 2011, Berto stopped Jan Zavek to win the IBF welterweight title, but looked vulnerable in doing it. Zavek stunned Berto several times in the fight, which raised questions about Berto’s confidence as a fighter. In 2012-13, Berto lost two high-profile fights against Guerrero and Jesus Soto-Karass. Guerrero went on to realize his dream of fighting Mayweather, while Karass saved his own career by being the first to stop Berto. Berto has won his last two fights, including a satisfying stoppage of Josesito Lopez in March to win the ‘interim’ WBA welterweight title.
Perhaps Mayweather is looking for an easy opponent for September. Berto 3-3 in his last six fights, is anything, but an easy fight. Berto likes to come forward and press the action going forward. He will give Floyd a good fight.
Perhaps better than most.