The Big Question: Is Mayweather-Berto a 'black eye' for boxing?
Is Mayweather-Berto a 'black eye' for boxing? Team Mayweather insinuated that Floyd's 49th professional opponent would be far less challenging than Manny Pacquiao, but is Berto a 'soft touch' too far and detrimental to the sport of boxing?
A Floyd Mayweather fight is an ‘event’. He is the one fighter who truly transcends the sport and can reach the masses. His status as the world's highest paid sportsman proves as much. In an era where each weight class has a multitude of ‘champions’. it is impossible for a non-devotee of boxing to know who is a legitimate opponent for Floyd and who isn't. Andre Berto is a name many know due to him being overhyped on HBO for many years - something he has undoubtedly thanked Al Haymon for. Berto has a highlight reel that will look impressive for a 30 second promo and, if the fight is to be free-to-air in the U.S, Mayweather will be seen by a record-breaking audience. Is this a black eye for boxing? No. It's a kick in the bollocks for fans that watch more than two fights a year. - John A. MacDonald.
It used to be all you had to do was defeat Berto to win the 'Mayweather Sweepstakes' (Robert Guerrero, Victor Ortiz), now Floyd will close out his career against the man he cherry-picked years ago. In truth, I don't rate Berto any lower than Guerrero and Maidana or much lower than a very green Canelo and a very worn down Pacquiao. I think the boxing world is ready to move on, turn the page, bring in the new school. Mayweather-Berto is a lacklustre affair, but the ‘free TV’ and ‘Farewell to Money May’ angles will ensure everyone saves face. Here's hoping that this really is goodbye, that there won't be an attempt for ‘50-0’. - Michael Montero.
This fight is about seeing out his contract with CBS/Showtime, nothing else. When Floyd Mayweather comfortably beat Manny Pacquiao in May he ticked the final box in his career. He has consistently taken on fighters and champions who were coming off career best wins, if anyone has earned a ‘gimme’ it's him. He wouldn't be the first to do it. This fight is no worse than PPV fights like Pacquiao-Rios or Tyson-Seldon, except it will be on free TV. This should give further exposure to our sport and to the young fighters on the undercard. Floyd Mayweather has beaten everyone in and around his weight class and has nothing left to prove, he's earned the right to go out on his terms. - Callum Rudge.
Andre Berto would be Floyd's weakest opponent since before Oscar De La Hoya let him in on the big money fights. To sell this as a PPV would require a sales team superior to the ‘Dragons in the Den’. This fight will not help Floyd's long shot ‘TBE’ claim, but he doesn't really care. He'll be well paid and, if you tell enough people that you're the best ever, some will believe you. - Martin Chesnutt, TKO Radio.
The majority of champions from history have enjoyed tune-ups, easy nights or 'soft-touches'. That tended to be after they'd accommodated their top contenders or as a stay busy exercise while they were in the throes of doing so. Berto is everything that's wrong with modern-day boxing: an overpaid, overhyped non-attraction who personifies the idea of style over substance. In that regard, he is the perfect exclamation point on Mayweather's career - one marked by Janus-faced matchmaking and maximisation of profit above all else. Berto is Mayweather's final middle finger to a racket he's milked dry; this is how he's played the game for years - Floyd's true mastery of boxing. - Andrew Harrison.
Black eye for boxing? No. Bit of a non-event? Yes. Mayweather-Berto is a mismatch, and I'm as likely to stay up and watch it live as I would Klitschko-Chagaev II. After an incredible career and a who's-who of opponents, Floyd is allowed an easy night if you ask me. However, one can only marvel at Mayweather the business man: this is a slap in the face to all who concocted to bring him down over the years. The No.1 boxer in the world, fresh off winning the biggest and richest fight in history (easily), fights on free TV as a ‘farewell and goodnight’ against an easy, hand-picked foe (although the angle of it being over a woman's affection always adds a spice factor!). It's brilliant business. However, I'm willing to bet a pound to a packet of manure - no, make that a truckload of manure - that Mayweather actually fights for the final time in May 2016. - Colin Harris.