Floyd Mayweather Jr. is slated to fight Andre Berto on Saturday, September 12 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The bout will be broadcast live on Showtime pay-per-view.
Mayweather made the announcement Tuesday on Instagram:
On July 21, Mitch Abramson of the New York Daily News reported that a source close to Mayweather said that the fighter's carrying out his final fight on free television "remains a long shot, in part because of the challenges of selling ad space on such short notice." It's likely those challenges played a part in the decision to choose pay-per-view.
This marks the sixth and final bout on Mayweather's contract with Showtime. He'll make approximately $30 million in earnings for facing Berto, according to Abramson.
Steve Kim of UCN Live spoke about the showdown:
The agitation Kim alluded to regarding Amir Khan was already evident on July 13, when Mayweather announced he'd started training but didn't specify an opponent. Khan said the following, via the MailOnline's Declan Taylor:
I don't know why (Mayweather)'s playing these little games, I think it's just unprofessional really from a person like Floyd Mayweather who is renowned as one of the best fighters ever. He is playing these little games just to look for every little advantage that he can get.
But I'm not going to let it get to me, I'm just going to keep calm and collected. If it happens, it happens, if it doesn't then there will be a plan B to move onto.
Khan won't be getting his shot against Mayweather this time around in what may be the latter's last fight. Khan took to Twitter on July 14 to say he "heard" that it's Berto who will be fighting Mayweather and wished the fighter good luck.
Mayweather kept his perfect record intact at 48-0 with his unanimous-decision triumph over Manny Pacquiao on May 2, obliterating PPV sales records in the process. It isn't as though Money needs another massive PPV haul, and so he has opted to make this bout with Berto more accessible to the masses.
Nicknamed "The Best," Berto sports a respectable 30-3 record and registered a technical-knockout victory over Josesito Lopez in his last fight in March. The 31-year-old Berto successfully defended his WBC welterweight title belt five times before his first loss as a professional to Victor Ortiz in April 2011.
Berto captured the IBF welterweight title thereafter and isn't exactly a slouch of an adversary. Although Mayweather would still be the heavy favorite, Berto has carved out a stellar career and would figure to at least put up a respectable challenge.
Since 23 of Berto's 30 wins have been by knockout, his punching power will be an interesting weapon against Mayweather's trademark technical prowess and defense.
Stats courtesy of BoxRec.com.