Mayweather’s legacy to leave boxing bitterness after Berto bout
After dispatching Manny Pacquiao over 12 rounds in the most eagerly-anticipated bout in boxing history, Floyd Mayweather has agreed to contest Andre Berto in what will apparently be his final ever ring appearance.
Despite going 48 successive professional fights undefeated since his arrival on the scene as a cocky young prospect in 1996, Mayweather’s decision to call it a day in the sport which he has mastered will still leave a lasting bitterness.
Contract attempts from Amir Khan, as well as the likes of Gennady Golovkin and Kell Brook, have been in vain as ‘Money’ Mayweather is set to end his career in an underwhelming encounter with 31-year-old Berto, who is 14/1 with Coral to cause the biggest of sporting upsets.
Entering the ring in Las Vegas on September 12th, the unbeaten 38-year-old will comfortably earn his 49th consecutive victory (13/8 by KO or TKO), this much is already unquestionable, with no disrespect towards his fellow countryman.
With such esteemed names in the sport desperately waiting in the wings for that call from ‘Pretty Boy’ Floyd, boxing fans were met by serious disappointment when his latest, and apparent final foe was outlined.
Having lost three of his previous six fights, it’s not difficult to see exactly why fight followers are outraged, with Berto a stunningly surprising choice of opposition by the five-division world champion.
Mayweather has since passionately defended his decision to hand Berto a world title shot out of the blue, despite being overcome by all of Victor Ortiz, Robert Guerrero and Jesus Soto Karass since 2011.
“I chose Berto because he’s very exciting. Berto is a tough competitor, a former world champion. Every time he goes out he gives it 100 per cent,” declared Mayweather.
“He’s been given backlash. I’ve been given backlash. But Andre Berto is going to push Floyd Mayweather to the limit.”
Mayweather isn’t fooling anyone, though, the standard of opponent is a clear indication that this Marmite world champion is hoping to easily seal his undefeated legacy in the last of his six bouts as part of a deal with broadcaster Showtime.
It’s during the time since Berto’s maiden stoppage in 2011 that Mayweather has arguably excelled in the latter stages of his own career, menacingly toppling fierce competitors, making even the most brutally aggressive opponents look contained and out of their depth.
Since Berto’s first loss four years ago, Mayweather has clinically stopped Ortiz, served a jail-term, outgunned Miguel Cotto, tamed Saul Alvarez, overcome Marcos Maidana twice and convincingly conquered Pacman in the highest grossing bout in history.
Yet, in what is apparently the untoppled 11-time world champion’s final ring outing, an outrageously inferior counterpart has been lined-up, casting further doubts over the legacy that will be left behind after Berto imminently becomes his 49th victim.
There is obviously no doubting Mayweather’s class in the ring; he’s a true genius of the sport, but a seemingly evident lack of ambition to edge past Rocky Marciano’s record of 49 wins, coupled with cherry-picking foes has caused onlookers to think twice about his standing as one of the all-time greats.
Mayweather is odds-on 8/15 to triumphantly control the fight for 12 rounds in his famously familiar stomping ground of Las Vegas, having comfortably done so in his last six fights since May 2012.
The flashy wealth-crazed champion is referred to as ‘the Best Ever’ by himself and his entourage, but that opinion will possibly only ever remain close to home, even after a triumph over Berto in September, with his legacy set to leave a lasting bitterness long after this controversial champion has left the ring behind him.