The esteemed journalists at TMZ say that Floyd Mayweather will face Andre Berto on Sept. 12 in Las Vegas. But the boxing odds are on hold until more is discovered.
They've taken their lumps, and for good reason. But when it comes to sports, the guys at TMZ often get it right, and this past Monday, they reported that Floyd Mayweather is “officially” set to face Andre Berto on Sept. 12 in Las Vegas. Not long after, Los Angeles Times boxing scribe Lance Pugmire, if that is indeed his real name, tweeted that the deal had yet to be finalized.
This might be old news for some. Michael Woods at The Sweet Science reported this fight was a go back on July 14, and that it would be shown on CBS. Not only that, rumor has it Mayweather could go for 50-0 if the fight goes over well on network TV, rather than retire. Interesting. As we go to press, official Boxing Odds have yet to be released for Mayweather-Berto, but there are some reports out there that Mayweather has been made an early 80-1 favorite. Really? Really?
Al Haymon Guy
Even we're not cynical enough to believe that Berto (30-3 lifetime, 23 KOs) would be made that big of an underdog. But that doesn't mean we think he's a viable opponent from a competitive standpoint. Berto was the WBC World welterweight champion four years ago, but the Floridian has lost three of his last six fights, to Victor Ortiz (3-1), Robert Guerrero (3-2) and Jesus Soto Karass (13-4). Berto currently holds the interim WBA World title after an uninspiring sixth-round TKO over Josesito Lopez (+225).
Not that we expected to get the fight we all want: Mayweahter vs. Amir Khan. But Berto was considered a +1800 long shot at one point to earn this lucrative opportunity, despite his affiliation with Al Haymon, Mayweather's adviser/manager/ghost promoter. We figured Keith Thurman (now 26-0) was a more likely candidate to play tomato can to Mayweather's can opener. We wouldn't have put Thurman in our Boxing Picks, but at least the optics would have been better from a promotional standpoint.
Speaking of which, the backlash over the Mayweather-Berto reports has already begun. Forbes said on Tuesday that this fight would be a “major disappointment” and “a waste of time.” The aforementioned Ortiz, who lost to Mayweather after defeating Berto, called this matchup “embarrassing.”
We try not to moralize too much here at the home office – not in public, at least. But fight fans can at least take heart that Mayweather might forgo retirement if Berto is indeed No. 49 on his dance card. A mega-fight against Khan could be in the works for No. 50, either on network TV or from the new Las Vegas Arena once it's completed next year. For now, though, keep your eyes on the boxing odds for this prospective bout if/when they become available, and may the squared circle be with you.