Reports are swirling that Floyd "Money" Mayweather will lock up with the reigning Interim WBA Welterweight champion Andre Berto. Let's analyze where the betting value lies.
Andre Berto (30-3, 22 KO's)
Andre Berto is a 31-year-old power puncher and former WBC Welterweight champ who has dropped three of his last six fights. Yet it should be noted that as any fighter ascends in class the opponents become tougher and so do the fights. Berto lost the first bout of his career as well as the WBC title in April of 2011 to the equally accomplished Victor Ortiz. Berto bounced back with a TKO over Jan Zaveck but then dropped two consecutive bouts to Robert Guerrero (by unanimous decision) and then a gut wrenching loss by TKO in the 12th and final round to Jesus Soto Karass. Since then Berto has strung together a unanimous decision victory over Steve Chambers and in his last bout TKO'ed veteran tough guy Josesito Lopez in the 6th round.
Berto is a dual threat. He has deadly speed and explosive hands which could shock Mayweather if Floyd takes him too lightly. There is no doubt Berto can turn the lights out with the flick of a switch - or right hand as the case may be - as his 22 knockouts attest. Berto is a supremely conditioned athlete and has gone the championship distance many times before, therefore hanging with Mayweather won't constitute a problem but outpointing him will. Mayweather's fights have become like Olympic boxing matches where he rat-a-tat-tats his way to victory without doing a whole lot of damage. Yet no one can do it better than Money and if Berto can't connect cleanly he will face the same fate as the 48 before him.
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Of all the sports media outlets TMZ was the one to break this story and put a call directly into Andre Berto himself. But prior to this news breaking Mayweather was asked to speculate on his next opponent and Berto was the first name out of his mouth. He went on to say that Berto would be a good tune-up for his historic 50th bout which is a thinly veiled slap at Berto considering he will be opponent No. 49 for Mayweather.
TMZ asked Berto about the slight and he brushed it off stating that he and Floyd go way back and called him a "funny, little guy" which was no doubt a verbal counterpunch of his own. As the interview continued, with Berto shirtless and driving on camera, he also stated that he wanted Mayweather to stop his friends from calling him and hanging up. He believes he can hear Money breathing on the other end and stated that Mayweather has too much money for such childish games.
This interview looked like a little bit of pot-stirring for a fight that may be ignored by the viewing public as retaliation for the immense hype that preceded Mayweather's historic bout with Manny Pacquiao. That fight fell flat as a board once the final bell sounded and the boos cascaded from the cheap seats...or should I say the balcony because there were no cheap seats at that fight. Mayweather is no longer stopping fighters dead in their tracks and has scored only two knockouts over the past decade with the last coming in September of 2011 over Victor Ortiz. The same Victor Ortiz who defeated Andre Berto via unanimous decision only five months earlier.
The winner of this bout will either be Floyd Mayweather or Father Time. If Father Time prevails then so too does Andre Berto because Money Mayweather is going to turn into the middle aged man that he is at some point but we just don't know when. Berto is seven years younger and could very well have timed this fight perfectly. If they throw down in September, as reported, then you could do much worse than Berto as a live underdog with your Boxing Picks. Someone will wind up beating Mayweather so it might as well be Andre Berto because we all know he won't walk away gracefully. That's just not his style.