Let me see if I have this right, to which I’m confident that I do. Fighter A is taller, with a longer arm reach than fighter B. He’s also a more accurate puncher with single shots and combinations. Add to that he is the bigger puncher with both hands and he’s faster from point A to point B and in putting shots together in multiples. Fighter A has never been stopped and fighter B was stopped once by an opponent who entered the bout with a 27-8-3 record. Fighter A is a master technician and is perhaps the most adaptable fighter of his era, stylistically.
On the other hand Fighter B seems to be in search of his natural style and wings it fight to fight. As for common opponents, Fighter A jogged to victory against Victor Ortiz and Robert Guerrero, who happen to be two of the three fighters who have defeated Fighter B. When it comes to performing on the biggest stage in professional boxing, Fighter A is the king and has never tasted defeat, whereas Fighter B is about to participate in his first rodeo. Fighter A will enter the bout coming off the signature fight of his career.
No, it wasn’t his most impressive showing and he’s not quite the fighter he once was, but it’s safe to say he can roll out of bed any day of the week and will always be two classes above his next opponent. Fighter B is just two bouts removed from being stopped for the first time in his career and is 3-3 in his last six bouts.
If you haven’t guessed by now – I’m referring to the upcoming bout between boxing’s biggest star, Floyd Mayweather 48-0 (26) and former WBC welterweight title holder Andre Berto 30-3 (23). This is a fight in which Mayweather will be risking, if you want to call it that, his WBC welterweight title and his WBA super welterweight title.
The last time Mayweather fought it cost boxing fans an average of $100.00 to see him fight Manny Pacquiao, who was 3-2 in his five previous bouts, on PPV. And as Mayweather has admitted, it’s was so expensive to see the fight because the media over hyped and sold it.
Thank you, Floyd; you have never spoken more true words during the 38 years you’ve existed on this clay and granite planet.
However, as a fan even if you were snowed by the hype and build up for Mayweather-Pacquiao, you could at least hang your hat on the fact that Pacquiao was the harder puncher and had an unorthodox fighting style which gave him a realistic shot to score the upset. I never doubted for a single second that Floyd would control the fight and owned the style match up, but at least Manny had a weapon in his arsenal, his southpaw power, that gave him a chance. Sadly, there isn’t one thing you can latch onto in the hope that Berto can get lucky and by fluke prevent Mayweather from equaling Rocky Marciano’s career record of 49-0.If you go back to 2009 when Mayweather came out of retirement after beating Ricky Hatton, a case can be made that Berto will enter the ring the least equipped to handle Floyd than any other Mayweather opponent. Juan Manuel Marquez lacked size and strength, but he had the boxing brain and aptitude to perhaps out think Floyd. Shane Mosley was on the decline, but he still could box and punch and owned one of the best chins in the game. Victor Ortiz was green and inexperienced but he could punch. Miguel Cotto was an effective attacker and a tremendous body puncher. Roberto Guerrero was aggressive and tough. Canelo Alvarez was younger and bigger than Mayweather, plus he could punch with both hands. Marcos Maidana was another unorthodox attacker who could punch and for the first eight rounds of their first fight may have gotten the better of Mayweather.
When looking at the Mayweather-Berto match up from a pure boxing perspective, there isn’t one thing that you hang your hat on and say well at least if Berto can do this or that, he has a slight chance. The fact is he doesn’t. Unless Floyd stands in front of Berto with his hands on his hips and says hit me with everything you’ve got, Andre has no shot to win. The best you can hope for is perhaps maybe Berto will force Mayweather to fight as the aggressor, which isn’t Floyd at his best, and under that scenario Mayweather won’t look so great winning every round. But to see that you’ll have to pay at least $75.00 to watch it on PPV. Which means if you reside on the eastern seaboard of the United States, you’ll have to sit through three lousy under-card fights that’ll either be boring 10/12-round decisions or early mismatch knockouts. Then Mayweather-Berto will start at 12:15 am on September 13th and after the first round you’ll say I’m never buying another Mayweather fight again because it’s like paying to watch the WWE’s Summer slam….only they tell you it’s a hoax before you order via your cable/satellite provider.
If you’re willing to cough up $75.00 to watch a fight in which the B side of the promotion has no chance to win, and the A side won’t give you anything memorable or something you haven’t seen a hundred times before…enjoy the fight.
Oh, and better you than me!
Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com