The biggest news to come out of this past week was the likelihood that Floyd Mayweather Jr’s final fight will be against former welterweight titlist Andre Berto.
TMZ Sports reported on Monday that the fight has been given the green light, but it’s currently unknown whether the fight will be on free network television or a PPV. The reason for that is because there may not be enough time to promote the fight.
Mayweather is guaranteed at least $35 million for his final fight. However, if the projections don’t look very positive, it’s likely going to be a PPV.
Mayweather (48-0, 26 KO’s) is closing in on Rocky Marciano’s historic mark of 49-0. However, Marciano ended his Hall of Fame career fighting the ever dangerous Archie Moore.
Moore floored Marciano in the second for a “2” count, but the ‘Brockton Blockbuster’ bounced back to floor Moore four times, knocking him out in the ninth to finish his career.
Many people are looking at Marciano and wanting to see the same from Mayweather by facing a Kell Brook, a Keith Thurman, or a Gennady Golovkin.
Instead, Mayweather has done a complete 360 – he’s facing a guy who’s lost three of his last six fights – including a 12th round TKO to Jesus Soto Karass, who’s been knocked out by Gabriel Rosado, Marcos Maidana, and Keith Thurman as of late.
According to many fans, Mayweather doesn’t deserve a swan song fight, but well-known trainer Naazim Richardson was quick to defend Mayweather.
“They [the fans] want to sit on the edge of their chair every time Mayweather fights and hope there’s always that one guy after whenever he taked a shot, ‘I told you that guy was going to beat him.’ That’s what they’re looking for,” Richardson said.
“Mayweather’s not giving it to him. Bottom line: this man, yeah he’s going to pick who he wants to fight going out. Mayweather ain’t 22 years old no more. He was cooking for y’all. He was giving y’all fights that weren’t even close with some great guys.
“We always got to wait until everything is over to look back, and then we want to start kissing the guy’s butt. God forbid we wait until after somebody is gone, then here we are ringing the bell and all that. Man, give the man respect while he’s here! He’s right here. You can say, ‘Hey, good job, Bernard Hopkins.
“They went through enough havoc. You remember when we were all on Mayweather’s butt because he told y’all that $2 million dollars a fight was slave wages and we told him, ‘he’s a pre-madonna, he’s a this, he’s and that.’ What’s he getting paid now?
“Muhammad Ali told y’all man, ‘I called myself great even before I knew I was.’ Sometimes, we just got to sit back and let some of these guys unfold.
While Richardson made it clear that he believes Mayweather has earned his right for a swan song, he’s not entirely sure if Andre Berto has earned a shot to face the undisputed pound-for-pound king.
“Like I told you, I don’t know if Berto has done enough to earn that right, but Floyd has done enough to earn the right to fight Berto. He ain’t picking nothing soft. It’s not like Berto can’t rumble, don’t get it twisted.”
Richardson also added that many people looked at Buster Douglas as a soft touch for Mike Tyson, and we know how that ended up.
“This is boxing man,” he added.
Floyd Mayweather is a great boxer and one of the greatest of all-time, period. However, great fighter or not, a swan song, from my perspective, is not the proper way to end a career. In the end, it’s Mayweather’s call.
Don’t count out this fight though. As Richardson said, it’s not like Berto can’t rumble. Perhaps we will see a resurgence of ‘Pretty Boy Floyd,’ and a great fight to go along with it.