As the final bell sounded at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night, victor Floyd Mayweather dropped to his knees in celebration of a flawless career. In what was supposedly his last fight ever, against former two-time welterweight champion Andre Berto, a mismatch that has long been regarded as an easy victory for Mayweather, the decision was unanimous. 120-108, 118-110, 117-111. The score cards speak for themselves as did Mayweather’s dominance over Berto, and as a result Mayweather walked away unscathed, tying the record of boxing legend Rocky Marciano, and cemented his legacy as one of the greatest fighters of all time.
The bout definitely lived up to its anticipated reputation as Mayweather exerted his masterful craftiness early in the fight, never leaving himself exposed to any of Berto’s punches. As most of Mayweather’s opponents come to discover, Mayweather’s speed is not a weapon to underestimate and quite frankly it made Berto look like an amateur and his performance laughable. The CompuBox score says it all. Berto threw over four hundred punches, and yet only landed 83 of them, none of which even phased Mayweather. In comparison, Mayweather landed almost 60% of his 410 thrown. It was a rout, undeniably.
Berto had few excuses for his loss: “He’s difficult to hold onto. He’s slippery…I was confident, but he has a lot of speed, real crafty. He does the little things. It is what it is.”
And “what it is” for Berto, is a career-high $4 million night, so all of that confidence and braggadocio heading into the fight meant little other than saving face; though he did regard Mayweather as a great champion, who maintained his own confident swagger through interviews.
Mayweather said, “There’s nothing else for me to do in the sport of boxing. I made great investments, I’m financially stable, well off. I had a great career. My record speaks for itself.”
This speaks to two pressing issues that many have raised following the outcome of his career send off. For one, Mayweather claims he is the best, but many critics doubt that this statement will ever be true for the simple fact that he lacks a killer instinct. Jonathan Snowden of Bleacher Report said it best when he wrote, “Rather than glorious victory Mayweather has spent four years fighting like a man driven to merely avoid loss.”
At some level you have to agree with this. Do you not think that this was the reason he chose Andre Berto for his final fight, because you can’t truly believe it was because Berto was the best and stiffest competition out there? Mayweather wanted to go out with a guaranteed victory and that is exactly what Andre Berto was. There may be nothing left for him to do in the sport of boxing, unless of course he wants to stick around and fight Gennady Golovkin, but there is a certain combative presence that is missed when Floyd Mayweather is in the ring. He’ll never be considered better than Muhammad Ali for this reason exactly.
The second issue is the skepticism many boxing lovers have regarding this being Mayweather’s final fight. They just can’t believe that this is the last we will see of them, and I may just be one of those skeptics. 49 just seems like an odd number to go out on and with all that money that could still be laid on the table…. nah, this isn’t the last we’ll see of Money Mayweather. Rocky Marciano Jr. doesn’t believe the hype either, but he also has some strong opinions of his own. Through text messages he told USA Today that he’d be more impressed with Mayweather’s accomplishment (tying Marciano’s 49-0 record) had he done it as a heavyweight like his father. An interesting sentiment that I am sure will be debated for the next few weeks.
In any case, Mayweather maintains that this was his last journey in the ring and Floyd Mayweather Sr. hopes he sticks to his word, as he believes age will catch up to him and he could be at risk for injury.
Mayweather said, “Records are meant to be broken. Hopefully, we can find the next Floyd Mayweather who can break the record. Right now, I only want to spend time with my family.”
We shall see Floyd, we shall see.