Millions of words have been written and spoken about Floyd Mayweather’s greatness, but rarely has anyone captured what makes “Money May” so special in the ring as well as Andre Berto in a wide-ranging interview with FightHype.
The last man to fight Mayweather, Berto explains during an insightful interview what makes Mayweather so difficult to beat and why he doesn’t believe Conor McGregor will have much of a shot to beat Mayweather if that fight is ever finalized.
Berto is a former world champion, but he’s not simply a boxer who bashes MMA. Berto’s family has a long history in mixed martial arts, he’s a fan and his brother, Edson, was an MMA fighter.
Mayweather defeated Berto by unanimous decision on Sept. 12, 2015, in a bout that raised his record to 49-0. Berto entered the bout 30-3 with 23 knockouts, but Mayweather won going away. One judge gave Mayweather all 12 rounds. Another had it 10-2 for Mayweather, and the third had it 9-3.
Berto has been an offensive fighter throughout his career, which makes his upcoming bout with Shawn Porter on April 22 in Brooklyn so fascinating. It’s not a heavily hyped bout, but it figures to be compelling.
Berto believed going into the Mayweather fight that he could make Mayweather work and catch him with enough shots to win. But he was unable to mount any offense and looked at times as if he were confused.
Part of it, it turns out, is because he was confused, as he told FightHype.
“He puts you in a place where, he’s so defensive and elusive and you’re steadily punching, and you keep swinging and you see him looking at you,” Berto said. “So he kind of puts you in a place where, ‘OK, if I keep swinging too much, I’m going to hang myself out there to get hit.’ Because he’s seeing. He’s seeing. He’s seeing. He’s seeing all this. He’s very smart at dictating the pace.
“When I was in there with him, he manages the time. He looks up at the clock like four times during a round. He’ll move around, move around, look at the clock, move around, move around, look at the clock, grab you tight, look at the clock and then, ‘Bop! Bop!’ He’ll hit you two or three times, just enough to win the round.”
Berto also said that nothing gets past Mayweather during a fight. Even when they’re sitting on the stool during the rest period between rounds, Berto said Mayweather is paying attention.
He checks his opponent in the opposite corner to see if he’s getting tired.
“I’ve never been in there with somebody who’s so observant,” Berto said. “He’s very observant of everything that’s going on. He kept looking to see if I was tired, so I’d jump up off my stool and come straight at him. He’ll stall. He’ll act like he’s going to punch and he’ll stall you, then he’ll get back on that bicycle. … He’s such a veteran and he knows every part of that ring. He knows every little small thing, so he doesn’t have to work too hard. It’s crazy, because it’s almost like he cons his way out of every round.”
Dealing with those kinds of situations is what is going to be so hard for McGregor, the UFC lightweight champion who has yet to have a boxing match. McGregor is bigger than Mayweather and has shown in the UFC that he has outstanding power.
Though they’re related, boxing and UFC are different sports. UFC fighters use a different stance than boxers because they have to defend so many things.
As a result, it’s not likely that McGregor has ever seen anything quite like what Mayweather will show him.
Berto accurately described what the promotion will be like during the interview.
“It’s just going to be a circus, bro, but that’s what’s going to sell,” Berto said. “It’s all a circus. It’s going to be Ireland versus the U.S. It’s going to be UFC versus boxing. It’s going to be two big [trash] talkers. I mean, that’s the best type of TV. Everybody’s going to gladly push that pay-per-view button and buy that [expletive] just to see that circus. That build-up is going to be nuts.”
UFC president Dana White has said frequently that McGregor has a chance to win because Mayweather is 40 and he struggles with southpaws.
Berto, though, dismissed the notion that Mayweather has an issue dealing with left-handers.
“They say that because of [how he looked in] some of his beginning fights,” Berto said. “But since then, he’s been sharp as hell with southpaws. Very sharp. Robert Guerrero. [Manny] Pacquiao. I think Victor Ortiz. Man, he pinpoints that right hand like crazy. He might have struggled [against lefties] early in his career, but he’s fine-tuned it like crazy.
“Conor is a southpaw, but the only thing he really has is a straight left hand. For Floyd, that’s the only thing he has to look for. It’s different if you have somebody in front of you with a right jab, right hook, but Conor is knocking everybody out with a straight left. That’s the only thing Floyd has to look for.”
Berto, though, knows all hell will break loose in boxing if McGregor somehow would win.
“If McGregor goes in there and puts on a good fight, if he catches Floyd, if he hurts Floyd, if he drops Floyd, if he knocks Floyd out, oh, it’s over,” Berto said. “It’s over. McGregor’s going to be the president over in Ireland. He might be president over here. That would be crazy.”