Floyd Mayweather has taken his time in choosing his next opponent, following his win over Manny Pacquiao on May 2. With the boxer set to defend his undefeated record in less than two months, it appears that the sport’s top performer is close to officially choosing who’ll stand opposite him in the ring for possibly the last bout of his career.
Andre Berto is looking more and more likely to face Mayweather on Sept. 12. Michael Woods of The Sweet Science reports that Mayweather has agreed to take on the 31-year-old, while two officials have told The Los Angeles Times that an agreement between the two boxers is “likely,” though nothing has been finalized.
It comes as little surprise that Mayweather is probably going to fight Berto in his 49th career fight. After much speculation that Amir Khan would be the favorite to get a shot at Mayweather, the champ dismissed that notion last month, suggesting Berto and Karim Mayfield as potential opponents.
Mayweather would reportedly earn a purse of a little more than $30 million for fighting Berto, a far cry from the at least $220 million he made for beating Pacquiao. The May 2 mega-fight generated an estimated 4.4 million buys, but a Sept. 12 bout between Mayweather and Berto might not even be broadcasted on PPV.
Mayweather has one fight left on his contract with Showtime, and the network is reportedly looking to air the fight on CBS, the parent company of the premium channel. Being able to watch the fight for free would be welcomed by fans, many of whom were disappointed after paying for $100 for a PPV event that had few exciting moments.
Even though Mayweather was favored against Pacquiao, a large contingent of fans believed the Filipino star had a chance to hand the undefeated boxer his first loss. Against Berto, Mayweather would be given incredibly high odds to remain unbeaten, and an upset would be one of the greatest in boxing history.
Berto has won his last two fights, most recently defeating Josesito Lopez in a sixth-round TKO in March. But he isn’t one of the best fighters in the welterweight division, and won’t be given much of a chance to seriously challenge Mayweather. Floyd Mayweather Sr. has even admitted that his son’s plan is to take “easy fights.”
With three losses in his last six fights, Berto has a career record of 30-3. He’s been defeated by both Victor Ortiz and Robert Guerrero, both of whom were beaten handily by Mayweather.
Until a deal is officially announced, a few other boxers remain as long-shot candidates to be Mayweather’s next opponent. Khan’s continuous pleas to fight Mayweather have been ignored, but he’s won five fights in a row and is one of the most viable challengers out there. The undefeated Keith Thurman has made it known that he wants to face Mayweather, most recently beating Luis Collazo on Saturday to retain his perfect record.
It shouldn’t be long before Mayweather officially announces his next opponent. After his first fight with Marcos Maidana in May of last year, the two sides agreed to a rematch on July 10.