The long-rumored announcement hit boxing fans like a devastating uppercut to the groin: Floyd “Money” Mayweather, one of the greatest and most villainous boxers of all time, will end his career on a low-note, fighting the washed-up corpse of Andre Berto September 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Once upon a time, Berto was a rising star who held a piece of the welterweight title. But the Miami-based brawler is 3-3 in his last six fights, has already been beaten by Mayweather victims Victor Ortiz and Robert Guerrero, and is listed as a 50-1 underdog by the MGM Grand. Basically, Berto has done absolutely nothing to earn this fight and it's destined to be a glorified sparring session, albeit one that will cost $75 to watch in HD on pay-per-view.
But as boxing fans heckle Mayweather’s disappointing choice, pining for a worthier final opponent like Amir Khan or Keith Thurman or Danny Garcia (or even Gennady Golovkin!), we’re here with some comforting words: There’s not a chance in hell Berto will be his last fight.
After dispatching Berto, Mayweather will be 49-0, an ugly number that, while it ties Rocky Marciano's undefeated record, is still only one easy win from a nice, round milestone. If that’s not reason enough to think he’ll fight again, consider the cash. Mayweather’s deal with Showtime will be up after the Berto fight, allowing him to negotiate a new contract for his real final fight.
And if we know anything about Mayweather, it’s that "TBE" really likes getting paid. The world's highest-earning athlete has made more than $30 million for each of his last six fights, per his deal with Showtime. Imagine how much he’ll get for a one-off grand finale that will truly be his last fight? Now imagine that the opponent in that fight is Manny Pacquiao, who will be returning from that infamous shoulder surgery next summer. (OK, we wouldn't wish this rematch on anyone, but still.).
Mayweather passing up another huge payday is about as likely as Berto knocking him into the first row.