Floyd Mayweather Jr cemented his place among the pantheon of boxing greats with a unanimous decision over fellow American Andre Berto on Saturday in what he has repeatedly said would be the final fight of his career.
Mayweather, 38, easily outboxed his younger opponent over the 12 rounds to retain his WBC and WBA welterweight titles and improve his perfect career record to 49-0, matching the benchmark set by former heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano.
Five-division world champion Mayweather dominated most of the exchanges at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas with his lightning jabs, control of space and agile movement about the ring to finish well ahead on all three judges’ scorecards.
Berto, a 30-1 underdog against one of the best defensive fighters of all time, dropped to 30-4 as he suffered his fourth loss in his past seven fights.
“Andre Berto has heart, a tremendous chin, he wouldn’t lay down,” Mayweather said in a ringside interview after sinking to his knees after the final bell sounded, before looking up at the rafters as the fans snapped pictures with their mobile phones. “It was a good fight. I knew he would be a tough competitor. Experience played a major role tonight. He is a very athletic boxer. What can I say? I was the better man tonight.”
Asked if he might be tempted to come back for a 50th fight, Mayweather replied: “My career is over. It’s official. I’m financially secure and I’m in good health.”
“You’ve got to know when it’s time to hang it up, so I think it’s about time for me to hang it up. I’m close to 40 years old, I’ve been in this sport 19 years, been world champion for 18 years, I’ve broken all records,” he said.
“There’s nothing left to prove in the sport of boxing,” added Mayweather, who has made more than US$700 million during his stellar career.
Back in the ring for the first time since May when he beat Manny Pacquiao in a “mega-fight” that became the richest bout in boxing, Mayweather landed 232 of 410 punches thrown, while Berto connected with just 83 of 495.
Mayweather also dominated the jabs count, connecting with 83 of 191 compared with his opponent’s paltry 39 of 301.
However, it was a welterweight showdown that failed to capture the public’s imagination given Berto’s relatively low profile globally and his mixed run of results over the past four years, and it was low on entertainment value on the night.
Barely five hours before the start, the MGM Grand box office said “a bunch of tickets” were still available for the arena in the price range between US$300 and US$1,500, and the official attendance ended up at 13,395 — 3,000 short of full capacity.
Among those in the crowd were US actor, singer and comedian Jamie Foxx, Canadian pop star Justin Bieber, and boxing Hall of Famers Evander Holyfield and Thomas Hearns.
“I was in shape, but he was difficult to hold on to, he’s really, really slippery,” said Berto, a 32-year-old twice former welterweight world champion, who overcame a career-threatening shoulder injury in 2013 to knock out Josesito Lopez in March.
“I was coming forward, I used a lot of speed, but he was really crafty, he was using little things to kind of get me out of my rhythm. It is what it is,” he said. “Tonight, I felt like we put on a great performance. We pushed him to the limit, but we fell short. He’s where he is for a reason. Floyd is definitely one of the best out there, for sure.”
A businessman who received millions of dollars for his work on Tokyo’s successful campaign to host the 2020 Olympic Games has said that he played a key role in securing the support of a former Olympics powerbroker suspected by French prosecutors of taking bribes to help Japan’s bid. Haruyuki Takahashi, a former executive at the advertising agency Dentsu, was paid US$8.2 million by the committee that spearheaded Tokyo’s bid for the 2020 Games, financial records showed. Takahashi said the work included lobbying International Olympic Committee (IOC) members such as Lamine Diack, the ex-Olympics powerbroker, and that he gave Diack gifts, including digital
If British industry succeeds in saving lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, it would in part be thanks to the pioneering role played by Formula One (F1) racing teams in the country. Seven of F1’s 10 teams have joined forces with leading aerospace and engineering firms to ramp up production of ventilators, while Mercedes has also worked with medics and academics to produce an alternative breathing aid. Normally obsessed with improving the performance of cars that race at more than 320kph, the teams are stripping back lifesaving devices and using computer simulation to test whether more simplified models can be mass produced. The seven
BITING THE BULLET: Barcelona’s Lionel Messi said that top players would make contributions so that the club’s employees can collect 100 percent of their salary Three-quarters of Rugby Australia’s staff were temporarily laid off yesterday amid huge financial losses from the sport’s coronavirus-enforced shutdown, while Lionel Messi confirmed on Monday that Barcelona’s players would take a 70 percent pay cut to ensure that the club’s other employees are paid. The cuts to rugby staff were “the toughest decision in the game’s history,” governing body CEO Raelene Castle said. “Although extremely painful, they are necessary to ensure ... we are able to come out the other side of this global crisis, fully operational and ready to throw everything into the rebuild.” The sport has been hit hard by
After the University of Michigan lost to Ohio State University in the semi-finals of the women’s NCAA Big Ten Tournament, Michigan Wolverines coach Kim Barnes Arico and her staff hit the road, where they intended to take advantage of a full week off before the NCAA Tournament by visiting as many potential recruits as possible. “That was our window. You get to go to someone’s home. That helps you build relationships. Helps build so many things,” Barnes Arico said. “We had all these things scheduled until we went to see high-school championships.” Of course, the championships were canceled, as was the NCAA