Floyd Mayweather Sr. feels Andre Berto (30-3, 23 KO’s) is going to absorb a lot of punishment when he steps in the ring to face his son on September 12th in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Floyd Jr. (48-0, 26 KO’s) will be putting up his WBA Super and WBC World welterweight titles on the line for the fourth fight in succession, and his father backed him to defend in typically deliberate fashion when he spoke with Fight Hype recently.
“I can see Berto getting tapped a lot, man. I mean, once Floyd get a feel of him, I think Floyd gon’ pick him apart. I ain’t gonna say he gon’ knock him out or anything like that but hey, it could happen. Berto, he don’t appear to be a guy that’s like a defensive genius. He don’t seem like nothing like that, and that’s what his problem gon’ be; he gon’ be getting hit and Floyd ain’t gon’ be there.”
Berto has never been a defensive-minded fighter. He became a champion through explosive punching, and those who faced him in the late 2000s had trouble diverting or avoiding the thumping pressure he looked to apply each time he entered the ring.
It is difficult to tell whether Berto stagnated or the fighters around him began to figure out his style as time went on, but since his first loss to Victor Ortiz in 2011 -a rollercoaster 12 rounds where both men hit the deck twice- he has failed to reattain the untameable form he showed on the way up.
In the Ortiz fight and the two subsequent losses to Robert Guerrero and Jesus Soto-Karass, Berto took severe beatings. He gave almost as good as he got each time but left the ring swollen and bloodied. When the action isn’t all in his favour, he gets drawn into reimbursing exchanges until the final bell rings or someone drops. It is the complete opposite philosophy to that practiced and preached by Floyd Mayweather Jr.
If Floyd gets tagged with a hard shot he recoups, recovers and gets straight back to work; jabbing to the head and body, leading with right hands, flashing in with left hooks. The good stuff. He does not stick around within punching range to give the other guy any undue opportunities.
If on September 12th, Berto manages to drag the action against the ropes and force exchanges there, like Marcos Maidana in his first fight with Floyd, that will be a small victory in itself. But it won’t be enough. He will need to do something more.
Floyd S. correct, Berto is not a defensive genius. His strengths are his explosive power and toughness, and relying on these two assets will probably be his best bet if he has a chance of winning. He is going to get hit for sure, a lot. But if he can walk through Mayweather’s peppering shots to detonate on of his bombs – like Antonio Traver when he knocked out Roy Jones Jr- he could be in with a shout. Easy to say when sitting behind a computer, much harder to execute.