Floyd Mayweather took his undefeated career to a record-equalling 49-0 by easing to a routine victory over Andre Berto in Las Vegas.
Mayweather’s legacy never looked in danger as he turned in a trademark performance to frustrate the challenger and secure the result that ties Rocky Marciano’s 60-year-old record.
‘My career is over’
Floyd Mayweather Jr has confirmed his retirement after beating Andre Berto in Las Vegas.
‘Money’ found himself having to escape some difficult moments in the tenth when Berto forced the WBC and WBA welterweight champion out of his comfort zone – but it was scant reward for the high work-rate of the challenger.
Mayweather kicked off proceedings on the front foot, jabbing Berto’s midriff frequently and demonstrating those remarkable reflexes, occasionally with his hands down but judging the range with customary skill.
In the second round, he resorted to the back foot where Berto just couldn’t find him. After three minutes of prancing away from his opponent’s best efforts, Mayweather burst into a dance as hip-hop music played in the interlude.
Out of nowhere, he switched from fun-loving to nasty and whipped a vicious right hand that connected in the early moments of the third. Berto shook his head after absorbing more shots and Mayweather took a breather on the ropes, letting the Haitian-American waste some energy. Another straight right from ‘Money’, followed by a lightning-quick escape from the pocket, indicated that he was trying to win in style.
In the fifth, Berto landed properly for the first time but it was met by a million-dollar smile. They exchanged verbal pleasantries on the ropes before Mayweather buckled Berto’s knees with a straight right.
In the sixth and seventh, Berto rallied to his best two rounds. He began to enjoy some luck when at close quarters, though it was far from damaging, and seemed to rile Mayweather. At the conclusion of the seventh they went chest-to-chest eyeballing each other until referee Kenny Bayless intervened.
In the next stanza, Mayweather’s finest escapology was on show as he jinked out of a difficult situation while landing his own punches on his exit. The crowd appreciated the manoeuvre and the man himself, who strutted up and down and lapped up the adulation.
Berto’s nastiness had an effect, though, and shook Mayweather’s pedestal most notably in the tenth. Standing at a safe distance they barked insults at each other, with Mayweather the clearer culprit, forcing Bayless to break them up then threaten to take a point away during the next break.
That perhaps brought out the master in Mayweather. In the penultimate round, his head movement was perfection and he landed a left-handed uppercut before goading his opponent with some more flashy footwork.
By the final few minutes of his illustrious career (should he stay retired), the work had been done. Aside from a brief swing of arms with 30 seconds remaining, the final bell rang with Mayweather – fittingly – posturing. He then knelt and looked skywards in the centre of the ring.
The judges’ scorecards read 117-111, 118-110, 120-108 in favour of the 38-year-old who confirmed his intentions not to return the ring for a 50th time.
In the preceding fight, Roman Martinez kept hold of his WBO world super-featherweight title after a remarkable battle with Mexico’s Orlando Salido was adjudged to have been a draw.