Another wash, rinse, repeat performance for Floyd Mayweather Jr. appeared to end his professional boxing career—if his retirement announcement in fact holds water—Saturday night, as he eased past Andre Berto in his typical 12-round unanimous-decision ways.
The 32-year-old challenger wasn't lauded as much of a threat at all to Mayweather's crown before the fight. Already a mismatch on paper, the massive favorite showcased why Berto didn't stand any chance as he dodged punch after punch and eluded his opponent in the way only Mayweather can.
Even after an expected victory, we learned plenty from Saturday night's fight about Mayweather and how he'll be remembered in the wake of his 49th and presumably final victory. Let's take a closer look at some of the top takeaways, featuring key stats from the bout.
Mayweather Is (Still) Unhittable
The incredible defensive ability of Mayweather has frustrated just about every opponent he's gone up against throughout his career, and that ability gave him an advantage Saturday night that Berto could do little about.
With his head on a swivel and ready for Berto's aggressive nature, Mayweather didn't seem to be troubled one bit by his opponent throwing everything he had at him. Instead of appearing wary of Berto's power, Mayweather dodged what felt like every punch as he kept his face clean and unblemished throughout.
Berto did manage to land more punches on Mayweather than Manny Pacquiao did four months ago, but not by much—plus his accuracy was lacking immensely, as ESPN Stats & Info noted:
Although he obviously didn't employ the same sort of desperate nature that Berto showed throughout the match, Mayweather proved to be incredibly accurate and productive with his punches. An inordinate amount of them found Berto, as USA Today's Michael Coppinger reported:
While his fighting style leaves a lot to be desired by many who fail to respect Mayweather's fluidity and defensive prowess, it's undeniable that it has worked. After all, Mayweather hasn't lost once in his career while fighting this way, despite not garnering a knockout in several years.
Just like so many of the elite boxers who faced Mayweather before him, Berto simply didn't have the hand speed or the tactical game plan that threatened to trouble the longtime champion. That much became evident from the onset of Saturday's bout.
Berto Doesn't Belong on This Stage
As expected, Mayweather gave his opponent plenty of props and credit on Saturday. But from an outside perspective, he hasn't fought an opponent this outmatched in years.
Still, Mayweather found a way to applaud Berto for his fight even after 12 lopsided rounds. He shared with ESPN's Dan Rafael that he would have had peace even if Berto had pulled off the shocking upset:
Mayweather may not be a comedian, but that quote reads like a heck of a punch line after how Saturday's fight went down.
For a truly accurate description of how Berto fared, let's glance at Rafael's post-match story.
"The matchup had been widely panned as a mismatch," Rafael wrote. "Berto, the critics said, had no prayer to win. As it turned out, he was not remotely competitive, as Mayweather was razor-sharp."
On the surface, it was hard to expect anything different. Berto closed as an 11-1 underdog to Mayweather's 1-30 favorite status on Odds Shark, and oddsmakers had reason to peg Mayweather as such a sizable favorite. One glance at Berto's recent career sheds an unflattering light, as he came into Saturday's fight 3-3 in his last six bouts.
Make that 3-4 now, and don't expect his lackluster performance against Money May to get him anything in the future other than one pretty large check.
Going Out in a Forgettable Way
Perhaps it's only fitting that Mayweather's career ended this way.
While the middle of his career was known for inspiring victories over some of the biggest names in the sport, Mayweather's final few years leave a lot to be desired. Other than his May fight with Pacquiao—in which Pacquiao looked well past his best in terms of skill and health—Mayweather has filled his schedule with opponents he can easily outbox with his lull-you-to-sleep defensive style.
It was hard to expect anything other than what we got Saturday night from Mayweather, as Tim Dahlberg of the Associated Press shared:
In a time where boxing as a sport is attempting to move into a new era and revitalize waning interest, it's hard to say Mayweather's reign has been all that good for the sport. The brutal nature of boxing that has generated so much interest has begun to fade with Mayweather's run at the top.
Fittingly, UFC fighter Michael Johnson used it as a chance to promote his own sport:
If Saturday was indeed Mayweather's last fight, both critics and supporters alike have plenty of ammunition. For the haters, it's yet another chance to argue that Mayweather simply did what he needed to win and nothing else—even when the opponent was giving him the opportunity to do more and get the crowd excited.
But for those who have stood behind Mayweather, it's a fitting way to end things. The defensive approach that Mayweather has perfected was on display for one last time, even if it's not the most popular of styles.