Thursday, August 6, 2015
The Clamour That Is Mayweather Versus Berto
Andre Berto's road to Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a short substandard path. He's basically fought only once a year since 2012 yet still lost twice in the process; once against Robert Guerrero who lost against Mayweather in 2013. Early this year he fought for an Interim WBA Welterweight title against Josesito Lopez, whose best days were down at the Lightweight Division, and won by TKO. While Andre Berto is not an elite level fighter he has always been entertaining to watch. You watch him with a sort of sorry for an unfulfilled promise and underdeveloped talent. He has memorable fights against Victor Ortiz, Luis Collazo, and Soto-Karass, etc. But even during Andre Berto's heydays as a prizefighter it is unlikely that he stood a chance against a now 38 year old Floyd Mayweather whose boxing skills prove timelessly polished. It seems the once promising Berto is now reduced to a cheap show in favor of the best boxer in the world, except the PPV won't be cheap come September 12.
There are other fighters out there who are more deserving of a chance to fight Mayweather this September, such as American boxer Keith Thurman who has an unblemished fight record of 26-0-1, or economy-wise, Amir Khan could bring in serious money from the U.K. market and he's been calling out to Mayweather for some time now. I could go on with a list of names of other boxers, but none of that should matter. The only opinion on the subject that matters is that of Floyd Mayweather's. In fact, if you are still disappointed up to this point of the latter's formal announcement to fight Andre Berto perhaps the ultimate statement of the event has been missed.
Mayweather fights whomever he wants to fight in his time and under his rules. He projects his fashionable life as some sort of a contrarian statement, always dissenting, rebellious, yet extremely successful. His contract dealings with other fighters can be as unfair as the life he once experienced in Grand Rapids, Michigan being born poor, in a troubled household, and born to drug addicted parents. A life he overcame without proper guidance, by his own volition, and in his own terms to be the richest athlete in the world today regardless of sport. I do not for a moment doubt the gravity of his credo in life which he chants "Hard work" and "Dedication" when he trains in his gym as hard as he had to turn his life around. He has practically earned everything that he has today the hard way and only that one person who's been with him along the way and through the years of struggle deserves to share the credit: himself. Yet in the same coin, a lot of other fighters, too, have fought and sacrificed so much to deserve to fight him.
Great boxers in the past have chosen to fight lesser opponents at times. Even Manny Pacquiao fought a human punching bag in Rios via PPV and a growing consensus says Andre Berto is Pacquiao's Algieri. But Floyd Mayweather is not supposed to be like any boxer. He is not Manny Pacquiao and even thinks he is better than Muhammad Ali. He consistently says he is The Best Ever but not without repercussions.
When one talks about greatness and preaches greatness, the people shall demand that same claimed greatness in return, and expect something greater and greater each time without forgiveness, and that is the trouble.
Mark F. Villanueva