Floyd Mayweather will fight Andre Berto on Sept. 12, but the level of excitement surrounding the event is lacking. After taking on Manny Pacquiao in the most profitable pay-per-view of all time, Mayweather will face an underwhelming opponent in what could be the last boxing match of his career.
Mayweather took two and a half months to determine that his next opponent would be Berto, even though more worthy challengers have been looking for their shot at the undefeated boxer. Berto is not among boxing's top welterweights, and Mayweather passed over a few unbeaten champions to fight a boxer who has lost three of his last six fights.
Berto is a highly skilled fighter, and he most recently won the interim WBA welterweight championship by defeating Josesito Lopez. But his resume doesn’t compare to a few other candidates who would have been move viable choices to meet Mayweather in his final fight.
Berto’s two-fight win streak isn’t particularly impressive, considering it involves a victory over little-known Steve Upsher Chambers. Before getting that win, Berto had lost to three of his previous four opponents, including Robert Guerrero and Victor Ortiz, who both showed little when they fought Mayweather. Prior to his win over Chambers, Berto was beaten by Jesus Soto Karass, who has 10 career losses.
Both Kell Brook and Keith Thurman are undefeated welterweights, and it seems clear that they would provide fans with a much more competitive fight against Mayweather. At 35-0 with 24 knockouts, Brook holds the IBF welterweight title, beating Shawn Porter for the belt less than a year ago. Thurman has wins over both Soto Karass and Guerrero, two fighters who defeated Berto. Thurman is 26-0, and many believe he’s boxing’s next big star.
Mayweather didn’t have to choose an unbeaten fighter to satisfy the public. A fight with Timothy Bradley would have likely appeased boxing fans, considering the 31-year-old’s only career loss came against Pacquiao and since he recently won the WBO welterweight championship that was stripped from Mayweather. Amir Khan’s recent win over Chris Algieri wasn’t the most impressive, but he’s won five bouts in a row and has been campaigning to fight Mayweather for nearly two years.
Even a fight with promising welterweight Shawn Porter would have been more intriguing than Mayweather vs. Berto. Having suffered his only career loss to Brook in Aug. 2014, Porter has come back with wins against Erick Bone and Adrien Broner.
Some fans might not have been satisfied, no matter what welterweight Mayweather chose. Gennady "GGG" Golovkin has made a name as the most dominant boxer in the sport, and many have called for Mayweather to challenge the knockout artist. While Mayweather vs. Golovkin would be highly intriguing, it’s not realistic because GGG is a middleweight that walks around at more than 170 pounds.
Mayweather has said on multiple occasions that his passion for boxing is not what it once was, so he might have little interest in accepting another challenging fight. Floyd Mayweather Sr. recently said that his son wants “a couple of easy fights" indicating that he could continue his career beyond 2015.
He didn’t have much trouble winning a unanimous decision over Pacquiao, but Mayweather wasn’t a heavy favorite in his May 2 bout. Mayweather’s betting odds against Berto are likely to be much higher than they have been against any of his recent opponents.