It’s no secret that the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Andre Berto bout is something that most of the boxing community did not expect to ever see. Sure Mayweather had picked questionable opponents for some of his bouts in the past, but now, towards the finish line, it was expected that he would leave the sport that has done so much for him and his family, with a bang.
Andre Berto is not a chump nor is he a greenhorn, but him being picked for one of the last Mayweather Jr. fights simply doesn’t make any sense. Aside from the fact that he lost three out of his last six bouts, and that he is simply put, no threat to Mayweather Jr. in the ring in any way shape or form, he is also not a huge draw. If Money May is all about the numbers, and has proven himself to be a decent businessman as well, did he sign up for this fight knowing that he is throwing away a ton of money as well as standing to lose a big chunk of his fan base?
Some would argue that this is one of the worst opponents that Mayweather Jr. has ever picked, but the CEO Leonard Ellebre begs to differ.
“We know, in fights like that, that Berto isn’t going to sit back, and we know he isn’t going to be complaining about his shoulder,” said Ellerbe in an MLive article. Certainly bringing up Manny Pacquiao’s shoulder issue is something that team Mayweather is going to cling on to for a very long time.
“You have to remember that everybody who fights Floyd Mayweather has a different kind of motivation. A bigger stage, a different spotlight. And they know that all eyes are on them and it’s up to them to do their part,” continued Ellerbe. While this may be true, by picking certain opponents, Mayweather Jr. is essentially giving everyone a magic crystal ball that can clearly see the future outcome of the fight. Does Berto even have a chance? Will he be able to perform at his best for more than half the bout? Or will Mayweather Jr. make Berto look good in that fight, giving him something to hit now and then ?
When talking about Berto, Ellerbe said the following: “He’s never, ever been in a dull fight. He’s been in two fight-of-the-year candidates, with the Ortiz fight and the Guerrero fight. We know he’s been knocked down but he gets back up and fights his heart out. We already know we’re going to get the best of the best from him, what he’s able to do. And one thing you do know is it’s guaranteed excitement. So with that, I think you’re going to see a totally different kind of Floyd, too, because Berto fights in a very aggressive, offensive manner, and it kind of forces you to do other things.”
Painting a pretty picture is Ellerbe’s job, which admittedly, he is pretty good at. While Berto may have looked good against some opponents, unless it is Mayweather’s desire, he will not look competitive in this one.
Towards the end of the interview, Ellerbe threw a very good curveball, which actually may help sell the fight to some degree. “That’s a fact. This is Floyd’s last fight. I’m not trying to sell it that way. This is going to be his last fight,” concluded Ellerbe.
Will this be his last fight? Technically it could be, but it will not. A nice round number 50 is something that Mayweather Jr. has probably been looking forward to for a long time.