Mayweather vs Berto Preview
Tonight, Floyd Mayweather Jr. engages in what he is claiming will be the final fight of his career when he faces Andre Berto at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Mayweather’s selection of Berto as an opponent has proven to be a misfire. NOBODY believes Berto can win, and that is the key to building interest to a fight where the main draw is not a flashy or entertaining fighter.
Promotion for the bout has been strange. Months ago Floyd told the press that the two frontrunners for the honor of being trounced by him in September were Karim Mayfield and Andre Berto. People thought he was joking, I know I did. But unfortunately for us, He wasn’t.
Berto has lost three of his last six fights, with his two recent wins coming over unknown fighters. To add, in 2012 he got popped for steroids. So what makes him worthy of Floyd's "last fight"?
Another problem is that almost no one believes Mayweather will retire. And almost no one cares. Most people will say that the reason Berto was selected as the opponent for Mayweather’s 49th professional fight was to give Mayweather the easy win to tie Rocky Marciano’s record. Clearly.
Apparently among Mayweather’s people there was also the belief that Berto is an action fighter and they didn’t want a repeat of the criticism that Mayweather endured for the Pacquiao fight being so boring. But if Mayweather were to put someone over on the way out, the choice would probably be Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, or Amir Khan.
But I expected Mayweather to do things to protect his own legacy and not create a new star on the way out like De La Hoya did in losing both to him and also to Pacquiao.
Pacquiao will be ready to fight next year and a rematch between him and Mayweather will draw money based on the idea that Pacquiao will be fighting injury free. It won’t draw as well as the first one, but will draw better than anything boxing can sell otherwise in 2016.
I think there is also some degree of burnout by the general public on Mayweather, in a way that it doesn’t really matter who Mayweather faces. I get the sense that maybe the public is tired of him. The public seemed to think (for whatever reason) that Pacquiao was the man to beat Mayweather, and when Mayweather beat him handily, the public might feel that no one will ever beat Mayweather, or that Mayweather has so much power in picking his opponents that he will never face someone who stands a chance of winning.
On StubHub, a secondary marketplace owned by eBay for ticket resellers, tickets for the fight could be had for as little as $166 as of Thursday night. That is down from over $300 for tickets in the cheap seats a week ago. MGM Grand also apparently isn’t showing the fight on closed circuit due to the amount of disinterest in the fight.
We’ll see if the box office treats it any better.