Floyd Mayweather has decided upon an opponent for his forty-ninth and final fight. It’s not Amir Khan, Keith Thurman, Timothy Bradley, or Shawn Porter. It’s not even Adrien Broner.
It’s Andre Berto. The slick, athletic boxer once reminded fans of Floyd Mayweather. Now Floyd Mayweather has to remind fans who Berto is.
Undefeated through his first 27 bouts, Berto has compiled a 3-3 record in his fights since. The Haitian-American owns victories over such noteworthy competition as Carlos Quintana, Juan Urango, Luis Collazo, and David Estrada. But he lost to Victor Ortiz and Robert Guerrero, two “opponents” easily vanquished by Mayweather, and journeyman Jesus Soto Karass.
Mayweather looks to match heavyweight Rocky Marciano’s mythical 49-0 mark with a win later this summer. The Berto match figures to be a victory lap. But if the Miami-born boxer can out-Mayweather Mayweather, and return to the form that made him one of the toughest outs in the division, he stands a chance of stealing a decision, albeit a very, very small chance that rests on several conditional factors. Make no mistake: Mayweather selected Berto because he wants to go out on top, not because he wants to go out defeating a top fighter.
The bout takes place on September 12 in Las Vegas. Unlike the $100 cost for the undefeated welterweight’s last bout, Mayweather-Berto may come much cheaper. CBS, which owns Showtime (which owns Money’s contract), remains in the running to televise the fight. Al Haymon, Mayweather’s “adviser,” has spent 2015 bringing boxing back to network television. Mayweather’s farewell fight may prove an effective way to put an exclamation point on those efforts.