The fight will be aired on Showtime pay-per-view, like each of the last five Mayweather fights. His most recent fight, a May 2 unanimous decision victory against Manny Pacquiao, netted Mayweather more than $250 million. It’s the final fight of Mayweather’s six-bout contract with Showtime/CBS.
“I’m coming to kick Floyd’s ass on September 12,” said Berto. “Best believe that I plan to bring it to Floyd and I’m not concerned about what 48 other fighters have been unable to do. Somebody is getting knocked out and it won’t be me. You don’t want to miss this.”
Many boxing fans were hoping that Mayweather would put this fight on CBS free TV after the disappointment of the $100-a-pop pricetag for the Pacquiao fight. Pacquiao revealed after that fight that he had an injured shoulder and underwent surgery shortly after the fight.
A news conference is scheduled for Thursday in Los Angeles.
Mayweather, 38, stayed true to his word after saying in June that the finalists to earn what would unquestionably be their biggest payday were Berto and Karim Mayfield.
“I’m ready to get back in the ring on September 12 and prove again to the whole world why I’m ‘The Best Ever,'” said Mayweather. “I always bring my A-game and this fight against Andre Berto is no exception. He’s a young, strong fighter who is hungry to take down the best. Forty-eight have tried before and on September 12, I’m going to make it 49.”
Once again, Amir Khan, the early favorite, was left out of the equation. Others who were interested in fighting Mayweather were welterweight champions Keith Thurman and Timothy Bradley and middleweight champ Gennady Golovkin, who has said he would come down to 154 pounds only to fight Mayweather.
Khan felt all along that Mayweather (48-0, 26 KOs) was playing mind games. Khan has a huge following in the United Kingdom where he is from (Bolton, England).
Mayweather’s father and trainer, Floyd Sr., had said he wanted his son to take a soft touch for win No. 49.
Berto (30-3, 23 KOs), a former welterweight titlist, is a 31-year-old Floridian of Haitian descent who fought for Haiti in the 2004 Olympics. A veteran of eight world title fights, all at 147 pounds, he won the WBC Welterweight World Title in June 2008 and made five successful title defenses over the next two and a half years before losing the title in April 2011. Berto won the IBF welterweight tTitle in September 2011.
He currently holds the interim WBA welterweight title, which he won when he defeated Josesito Lopez in March in a Premier Boxing Champions bout. But Berto has lost two of his last four fights and three of six. He had major shoulder surgery in August 2013 and has battled other injuries throughout the years. He is trained by the highly respected Virgil Hunter.
A week or so ago, Berto tweeted: “They talkin bout I hit the lottery lol. Man Ive been getting this money. I am already 8 figures in. This about making history for me that’s it.”
Most don’t expect Mayweather to retire after the September fight, believing instead that he will try to surpass Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 career mark. And it’s expected the Las Vegas resident might be the one to christen the new MGM-AEG arena being built on the Las Vegas strip and expected to be ready by next spring.
Two world title fights will also be included on the pay-per-view telecast.
Roman “Rocky” Martinez (29-2-2, 17 KOs) will defend his WBO Junior Lightweight title in a rematch against the boxer he dethroned, four-time world champion Orlando Salido (42-13-2, 29 KOs). Their first fight, in April, is considered a candidate for Fight of the Year.
Also, Badou Jack (19-1-1, 12 KOs) will make the first defense of his WBC super middleweight title against mandatory challenger George Groves (21-2, 16 KOs). A fourth fight on the pay-per-view telecast will be announced soon, according to Showtime.
“I want to thank Showtime for this opportunity to fight in this great event,” said Martinez. “We are ready and working hard to make sure this title remains in Puerto Rico. Everyone saw the first fight against Orlando Salido and I know that this second bout will also be a war. Once again we have the rivalry between Puerto Rico and Mexico, which guarantees plenty of action. Training is going very well and we are 100 percent sure that on September 12 it will be another great victory to Puerto Rico.”
Said Salido: “I’m excited for the rematch with Rocky Martinez. The first fight in Puerto Rico did not go my way. I got off to a slow start and had to fight two fights – one against the referee and one against Rocky Martinez.
“On September 12, I am going to take matters into my own hands and look to knock out Rocky to get my world title belt back. Mexico and Puerto Rico have had a great rivalry over the years and this September you will see me bring the belt home to Mexico where it belongs.”