Undisputed pound-for-pound boxing king Floyd Mayweather Jr. has sent the boxing world into a frenzy after TMZ Sports reported the undefeated welterweight champion plans to fight Andre Berto September 12 in what will likely be the last fight of Mayweather’s career.
Berto is a former title-holder, but is just 3-3 in his past six fights and is not considered a serious threat to defeat Mayweather. The fact that Mayweather would even consider fighting an opponent such as Berto has fuelled speculation he’s only willing to consider opponents he knows he’d easily defeat — that way he doesn’t risk losing his undefeated record.
One Twitter user emphasised the disparity between the fighters by posting a picture showing how each undergo cryotherapy:
When Mayweather first dropped Berto’s name, along with Karim Mayfield, at a press conference he was met with widespread disbelief. Reporters were so taken back that Mayweather would even consider fighting Berto that ESPN’s boxing expert Dan Rafael originally thought he was joking.
Floyd said he’ll fight Berto or Mayfield next. I asked if he was kidding. He seemed to be serious. Said Pacquiao fought Algieri so why not?
— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) June 21, 2015
As a result of the presumed fight, Mayweather seems to have lost the respect of many of his fellow boxers. Former welterweight title-holder Shane Mosley reacted with pure disgust when an ESNews reporter mentioned the possible Mayweather — Berto fight:
“Oh my god. I don’t even want to break that fight down. I’m not even going to talk about that fight. It’s not, that’s, that’s not a fight. I don’t know if it’s going to be worse than the Manny Pacquiao and Mayweather fight, I’m not sure. But, I’m not talking about it.”
Victor Ortiz , who lost to Mayweather in 2011, described the potential fight as “embarrassing” when speaking with TMZ Sports. Ortiz implied that if Mayweather is going to choose to fight such a low-level fighter than he should simply retire now, instead of waiting until September:
“That’s embarrassing, bro. That’s not even a fight. If anything dude, they both need to retire, or at least Floyd needs to give me some kind of a chance to redeem myself. I have no respect for that, I have no respectful reply for that. I don’t know. If we keep going I’ll say a lot of bad things.”
Active boxers aren’t the only ones criticising Mayweather. Retired former middleweight champion Marvin Hagler described the potential Mayweather — Berto fight as “extremely bad,” and saying fans deserve to be paid if they’re going to watch it:
They say Floyd Mayweather vs Andre Berto will be free on CBS. Man they should PAY US to watch this mismatch! What an extremely bad fight.
— Marvin Hagler (@MarvinHagIer) July 24, 2015
The good news is the fight hasn’t officially been confirmed yet by Mayweather’s camp. The bad news, if the rumoured fight does in fact happen, it doesn’t appear like boxing fans should expect much.
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