Andre Berto (31-5) was the last man who fought Floyd Mayweather Jr before his retirement. Berto lost via points and did not land anything significant during the fight. At the time Mayweather was 38 but still managed to put on a boxing masterclass of defence and movement.
“I was surprised how alert he was. He thinks defence first while all of us would think offence first. He puts you in a place, you keep swinging and throwing, and you see him looking at you. He’s very smart at dictating the pace. He’ll stall, act like he’s about to throw a punch then he grabs you and you hear him in your ear,” Berto explained in an interview with fighthype.com.
In Floyd’s ring, he’s the master. He sees and hears everything. There is no way you can take him lightly and Berto found this out quickly during their fight.
“Between rounds, he’s looking at you to see if you are breathing hard or if you are tired. He’s very observative. He’s not a big puncher. He’s a sharp puncher. He’s going to get your attention. You’re going to feel his shots,” said Berto.
Fighting Mayweather is something very different. He doesn’t engage in wild battles and confuses opponents with his style. Frustration is a part of his game. A fighter is expecting a fight but he’s not going get into one. Even if he tries his hardest.
“He’s such a veteran. He knows every part of that ring so he doesn’t have to work too hard. He almost cons his way out of every round. He’s active enough to win that round. It’s frustrating because you prepare eight to nine weeks to go to battle. Get into contact. It felt like sparring after every round. ‘Did I hit him, did he hit me?’ He’s smart at what he does. He’s sharp,” described Berto.
Conor McGregor will most likely experience the same treatment that Canelo Alvarez, Manny Pacquiao and Berto himself went through. He knows McGregor doesn’t stand a chance against Floyd but understand the excitement and the reasons behind the fight.
“It’s gonna be a circus, but that’s what’s going to sell. Ireland versus the U.S, UFC versus boxing, two big s**t talkers – that’s the best type of tv! The build-up is going to be nuts. But as soon as they step into that ring, it’s going to be what it always is for Floyd. It was so hard for us to catch this man.”