Floyd “Money” Mayweather (48-0, 26 KOs) opened up the Mayweather Boxing Club on Wednesday for his last media day ever as he prepares for the last fight of a celebrated 19-year career. He will defend his WBC and WBA Welterweight World Championships against power-punching, two-time welterweight world champion Andre Berto (30-3, 23 KOs) on Saturday, Sept. 12 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, live on SHOWTIME PPV® (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT).
If triumphant, Mayweather would match the record of the late heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano, who retired in April 1956 with a record of 49-0.
Television camera crews, newspaper columnists, boxing writers, radio broadcasters, web reporters and photographers watched as boxing’s perennial pound for pound king and 12-time world champion in five weight classes went through approximately a 45-minute workout, which consisted of about 35 minutes of sparring.
Before a training session that was hosted by TV & CBS Radio personality Big Tigger and Emmy® Award-winning sports reporter Mark Kriegel and streamed in high definition across multiple platforms, including via satellite feed, YouTube and social media, Mayweather took questions from the media inside a specially-constructed tent in a parking lot outside the gym.
Promoted by Mayweather Promotions, the Sept. 12 four-fight pay-per-view telecast will be produced and distributed live by SHOWTIME PPV and is the sixth and final fight of a record-breaking deal between Mayweather and Showtime Networks Inc. SHOWTIME Sports® will support the event with the Sports Emmy® Award-winning series ALL ACCESS.
In world championship fights 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 four-time world champion Orlando “Siri” Salido (42-13-2, 29 KOs), and Badou Jack “The Ripper” (19-1-1, 12 KOs) will make the initial defense of his WBC Super Middleweight World title against mandatory challenger “Saint” George Groves (21-2, 16 KOs). The opening fight of the telecast will feature former three-time world champion and Mexican power-puncher Jhonny Gonzalez (58-9, 49 KOs) against Puerto Rico’s Jonathan “Polvo” Oquendo (25-4, 16 KOs) in a 10-round junior lightweight scrap.
Plus, former 154-pound world champion Ishe Smith (27-7, 12 KOs) will be opposed by longtime top-five contender Vanes Martirosyan (35-2-1, 21 KOs) in the 90-minute COUNTDOWN LIVE: MAYWEATHER vs. BERTO” preshow on Saturday, September 12.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions LLC., are priced at $1,500, $1,000, $750, $500, $300 and $150 and are on sale now. Tickets are limited to eight (8) per household for all ticket prices except the $150 ticket category, which is limited to four (4) per household. To charge by phone or with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
What Mayweather, Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe, WBC Super Middleweight World Champion, Badou Jack and Mayweather Promotions’ Ishe Smith said Wednesday:
“Berto can fight. He’s a two-time champion. He’s hungry. He comes to wage a war. There is never a dull moment when he fights so I expect a hell of a fight out of him. We’ll all see how it plays out.
“My last fight, all you guys put [Manny] Pacquiao on a pedestal and look what happened. I went in there and did what I needed to do, which is win.
“This fight, no matter who the opponent, somebody would have something critical or negative to say. Some people are never satisfied. But I’m satisfied.
“All 48 of my fights have been hard. None have been easy. All played a major key. It’s the ‘Mayweather Era.’ I feel that every fighter is an artist and they all take pictures their own way. I’m just one of the very best artists.
“I’ve truly been blessed. I’ve taken my time, kept my eye on the prize and done what I’ve had to do. So I’m able to make a choice when to retire. Most fighters really couldn’t.
“Boxing has always been work to me, a job. If I could say anything to a youngster taking up boxing it would be to “be smart and not take a lot of punches. It’s called the sweet science for a reason. Hit and not be hit, make a lot of money without taking a lot of punishment. That’s what it’s about.
“Nobody knows what the future holds, but right now, I’m cool and comfortable and having no second thoughts at all about retirement. I had a good career, I won every world title, but boxing is wear and tear on the body. It’s time to hang ‘em up. I’m looking forward to working with some up-and-coming kids, going on walks, and taking vacations.’’
“All people are saying is that Berto is 3-3 in his last six fights but Pacquiao was 3-3 in his last six fights, too. Cotto has lost two of his last five fights. But they’re both headed to the Hall of Fame.
“We know Berto is coming to fight, that he is coming to win and shock the world. There’s no way Floyd takes him lightly. He is working just as hard for this fight as he did the previous 48.
“Floyd is my friend, we’re family, but I commend and applaud him for doing what he’s done, what he’s accomplished, how successful he is, how successful he’s been from 1996 to now.
“It’s truly remarkable. To be able to walk away on his own terms, to follow his own game plan, is unbelievable. At 38, he’s got a boatload of money in the bank, all his faculties and he did it his way. This is the American Dream.
“Floyd could fight as long as he wants, if that were what he wanted to do. People don’t understand what goes into his craft. He trains around the clock. He’s given his life to his career. He’s ready to ride off on to the next phase of his life. He’s earned that right.
“We made a commitment and we are following his contract. Besides, how much is enough? How much can one ask of somebody? How much more can he make?’
“This will be Floyd’s last fight. I’m very excited for him. He’s done it his way. He’s had an illustrious career and I know he’s very comfortable with what he’s been able to accomplish.”
“Honestly, I think this fight could steal the show and will be the fight of the night. This will be very, very entertaining.
“Groves is definitely a good, tough fighter, He has a lot of speed, a lot of heart. I respect him. . He fought Carl Froch twice. But I’m not Froch and don’t fight like Froch. We have different styles.
“This is my first defense and I’m very excited about it, but I have always maintained an underdog mentality, and that will never change. I’m trying to stay humble. I’m still the same guy but by becoming a world champion it has only made me work even harder.
“I’m still learning, working hard. I know I can’t look past anyone. There are a lot of potential really big fights in the future – and I want to fight the best no matter if it is GGG, Andre Ward, whoever.
“But right now my only focus is on the game plan and executing it. I’m really looking forward to fighting [George] Groves and winning on Sept. 12.’’
“I’m not going to make any predictions. I’m just going to go out and do what I do and that’s give 100 percent.
“I will say this, though, if he thinks he is going to knock me out, like he’s saying, it’s going to be a very entertaining fight.
“I won a world title as a B-side, but I feel I’m the A-side in this fight. I’ve fought the best in the division for years and years, I’ve sparred with the best.
“Martirosyan is a good dude and has a nice family, but he hasn’t been in with guys like I have. Guys that are better and hit a lot harder than him. I’ve never been down. I’ve never taken an eight-count. I’m 34 years old and never been hurt and he says he’s gonna stop me. That’s just crazy.
“I’m betting on my chin, that’s for sure. He couldn’t knock out [Jermell] Charlo in his last fight. He made all kind of excuses for losing. The reason he lost was because he lost to a better fighter.
“If he wants to go for the KO, fine; if that’s his focus. For me, I’m not thinking KO. I’m just thinking winning.’’
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“HIGH STAKES: Mayweather vs. Berto,” a 12-round welterweight world championship bout for Mayweather’s WBC and WBA 147-pound titles, is promoted by Mayweather Promotions LLC. The event will take place Saturday, September 12 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas and will be televised by SHOWTIME PPV. The undercard features a WBO Junior Lightweight World Championship fight, which is a rematch between Roman Martinez and Orlando Salido. Also featured on the PPV telecast will be a WBC Super Middleweight title bout between Badou Jack and George Groves, which is promoted in association with Team Sauerland. The opening PPV bout pits former world champion Jhonny Gonzalez against Puerto Rico’s Jonathan Oquendo in a 10-round super featherweight bout.
“ALL ACCESS: Mayweather vs. Berto” Episode 1 premieres this Friday, Aug. 28 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT.
For more information visit www.mayweatherpromotions.com, www.SHO.com/Sports andwww.mgmgrand.com and follow on Twitter at @floydmayweather, @AndreBerto, @BadouJack, @StGeorgeGroves, @Romancito77, @sirisalido, @jhonnygbox, @JonathanOquen @mayweatherpromo, @SHOSports and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FloydMayweather,www.Facebook.com/TheRealAndreBerto,www.facebook.com/MayweatherPromotions and www.facebook.com/SHOsports.