Share via Email The not so big fight. Far from it. Indeed, my reaction was part of the collective groan the boxing world let out when serious rumours first started swirling about a possible Mayweather v Berto showdown. At one point, that point being a very long time ago, Berto looked like a possible future pound-for-pound king, with his Sugar Shane Mosley-esque hand speed and combination punching.
And if he remains true to his word then this was the final bout for Mayweather. The last chance to see a legendary fighter — the best of his generation — do his thing in the ring.
So where was all the fanfare? Floyd says retirement is official: "I've accomplished everything, there's nothing else to accomplish. Money don't make me, I make money. He was already an icon in boxing circles but that fight made him a household name across the world.
And just as he always does, he boxed his way to a comfortable victory, even against the man who for so long was considered his one major challenge. They wanted to see him lose or they wanted to see an exciting fight.
Manny was the hero challenger, a failed Rocky story, and Floyd was the big bad wolf. So… now what? Andre Berto, of course. Andre Berto who is a former welterweight titleholder but has lost three of his last six fights. Andre Berto who was given no chance at all. Floyd could have chosen Amir Khan, an unorthodox and flourishing British contender.
He could have organised a rematch with Marcos Maidana or Canelo Alvarez. He went with Andre Berto, to a collective sigh of disappointment. Been there, done that, bought the PPV. The fight was announced five weeks ago.
As to whether or not Mayweather has truly hung up the gloves now, time will have to tell. But most people are sceptical.
In fact pretty much everyone is sceptical outside of Mayweather and his camp. Because if this was really his final bout then why was that not the whole angle of the marketing campaign?
Why was that not hammered home to us? The last chance to see the champion of our times in action and they let us sleep through the whole thing. For two years now, Mayweather has said he will retire at the conclusion of his Showtime contract.
Mayweather: "You have to know when to hang it up. It's my time to hang it up Nothing else for me to prove in the sport of boxing.
His last 16 fights have all been against current or former title holders. As to what he could control, he did it all flawlessly. Oscar De La Hoya aside, there were very few opponents that ended up being legitimate challengers.
Even Pacquiao was a bust. This is Floyd Mayweather, he is unbeaten. So people reach for the next complaint on the shelf to launch at him, rather than accepting that this man, who is more than a bit of a dick, happens to be such a champion.
Mayweather came out against Berto and took the initiative from the ring of the opening bell. Not in a power-punching way, but he immediately established his range and controlled the fight for the duration. Always one to lean on his defence.
If Floyd wanted to knock Berto out, he probably could have, only that would have meant taking risks. Mayweather had zero problems moving around the ring for 12 rounds, throwing an array of counter punches and working his opponent like the glorified sparring session that this was.
Not for a second was it in doubt. Berto attacked when he could.
He came with a positive fight plan and looked to take Floyd on the jab. Those numbers tell the story on their own. Cruise control.
To be honest, it was boring.
Floyd jokes about the PPV 'pretty sure we didn't do the Pacquiao numbers. There should have been fireworks and film montages. There should have tributes from all sorts of famous faces. There should have been banners from the rafting and tears at ringside.
He should have gone out with a bang. Instead it was barely a whimper.