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Floyd Mayweather vs. Andre Berto Announced: Fight Date, Comments and Reaction

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2015

Floyd Mayweather Jr., celebrates his unanimous decision victory over Manny Pacquiao, from the Philippines, at the finish of their welterweight title fight on Saturday, May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

After months of speculation, Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s next opponent has finally been named. 

Mayweather confirmed Tuesday he will square off against Andre Berto (30-3 lifetime, 23 KOs) on Sept. 12 as he seeks to improve his lifetime record to 49-0 after defeating Manny Pacquiao in a unanimous decision on May 2.      

The fight will take place in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena and will be televised by Showtime: 

Lance Pugmire of the LA Times reported Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather promotions, reiterated this will be Mayweather's final fight.

Doghouse Boxing provided comments from Mayweather following the announcement:

I’m ready to get back in the ring on September 12 and prove again to the whole world why I’m ‘The Best Ever. I always bring my A-game and this fight against Andre Berto is no exception. He’s a young, strong fighter who is hungry to take down the best. Forty-eight have tried before and on September 12, I’m going to make it 49.

A confident Berto also weighed in on the fight ahead, via the release:

I'm coming to kick Floyd’s ass on September 12. Best believe that I plan to bring it to Floyd and I'm not concerned about what 48 other fighters have been unable to do. Somebody is getting knocked out and it won't be me. You don't want to miss this.
Berto drove home his point on Twitter:

Andre Berto @AndreBerto

Promise you this, I'm gonna be as ready as I've ever been. Don't act surprised on 9/12. #MayweatherBerto #TeamBerto http://t.co/VR89Fh809p

"Everybody knows what I bring to the table. They know I have speed and power, and they know I’ll fight until my last [arm] isn’t attached," Berto said, according to Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times. "They've seen me get knocked down to get up and fight harder. I've fought with a torn shoulder for 12 rounds (in a 2013 loss to Jesus Soto Karass). Would Floyd endure that kind of pain? You already know how I’ll respond -- that I'll push the pace and make the fight as exciting as possible. Floyd hasn’t fought this kind of speed since Zab Judah. It’s an exciting fight, for sure."

Dan Rafael of revealed Rocky Martinez-Orlando Salido and Badou Jack-George Groves will be on the undercard, along with another fight to be named later. 

Rafael also reported the fight will likely be $64.95 in SD, though exact numbers haven't been released. David Mayo of MLive.com says the HD upcharge will be $10, and ticket info is expected to be released next week.

Back in 2013, Berto told Rafael that he hasn't let jokes about his status as a stepping stone toward other boxers' fights with Mayweather deter him following losses to Victor Ortiz in 2011 and Robert Guerrero in 2012

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Mayweather subsequently defeated Ortiz and Guerrero via knockout and unanimous decision, respectively.  

"I look at it like I’m the next thing to Floyd, so they know if they can beat me, they can face the best," Berto told Rafael. "That’s how I look at it, but it’s enough of that. Two times it happened, and there won’t be a third."

While Amir Khan publicly campaigned for the right to try to dethrone Mayweather, Berto was ultimately the choice as Mayweather seemingly looks to tack on another easy victory to his unblemished resume.

"If we are to take Mayweather at his word, we are to believe that Mayweather, the undefeated welterweight champion and No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, would like to fight someone who isn’t even a ranked contender to earn victory No. 49," Bleacher Report's Kelsey McCarson wrote in June, prior to the latest fight announcement. 

Nick Schwartz of For The Win further weighed in on Berto's viability as an opponent:

Berto is nowhere near Mayweather’s caliber, and should he win in September it would be one of the biggest upsets in boxing history. To put it simply, this would be like if LeBron James announced he was going to play a televised game of 1-on-1 (which you had to pay upwards of $60 dollars to see), but then chose to face Deron Williams.

According to the Daily Mail's Declan Taylor, Khan grew tired of Mayweather's pursuit of a bout against a fighter with less qualified credentials: 

I don't know why he'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's wishes are merely a thing of the past now. 

With Berto and Mayweather officially on the docket and bad blood already boiling, things could get heated between the two in the weeks ahead. 

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