Floyd Mayweather defeats Andre Berto via unanimous decision and announces retirement

September 13, 2015

In a bout that was much more of a send-off celebration than a bitter brawl, Floyd Mayweather cruised to a unanimous decision Saturday night over a game Andre Berto, and in the process tied legendary heavyweight Rocky Marciano's perfect career record of 49-0.  The judges scored the bout 120-108, 118-110, and 117-111, all for Mayweather.

After the fight, Mayweather (49-0, 26 KOs) insisted that the fight would be the final bout of his 19-year career.  Following the final bell, Mayweather dropped to his knees in the center of the ring and looked skyward, or in this case, at the roof of the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

"You have to know when to hang it up," he told reporter Jim Gray in the ring afterward. "I’m knocking at the door. I’m close to 40 years old."

To his credit, Berto (30-4, 23 KOs) gave effort and competed for all twelve rounds.  He came into the bout in good shape, displayed good speed, and was fairly active with his jab.  Despite his determination to win, he still could not breakthrough Mayweather's superior defense.

“Experience played a big part in this fight,’’ Berto said. “I was in shape for this fight, he was just difficult to hold on to. He’s slippery. I used a lot of speed but he’s real crafty. He was using little things to get me off my rhythm."

The fight produced few dramatic moments, as Mayweather did just enough to win rounds, but did not close the show in the spectacular manner that he promised to fans before the fight.

One reason for the late coasting likely was due to a hand injury he suffered in the bout's latter rounds. Mayweather was overheard during the television broadcast telling his father about the injury.

The lack of a knockout did not bother the champion, especially after racking up another win and big payday.

"Andre Berto has heart, a tremendous chin," said Mayweather.  "He wouldn’t lay down, it was a good fight. He was a tough competitor, but experience played a major role tonight. What can I say? I was the better man tonight. It doesn’t matter if I hurt my left or my right hand, my career is over. It’s official."

Due to Mayweather's choice of opponent, the fight did not garner the usual excitement from the boxing public when compared to past Mayweather bouts.  On fight night, the arena was at less than full capacity, and many have speculated that there will be a mediocre showing on pay-per-view purchases.

But for a man with such massive career earnings, a less than full live gate means little in the grand scheme of things.  Of greater importance, was the drug scandal Mayweather dealt with in the days leading up to the fight.

According to a thorough and well-researched article by Thomas Hauser, Mayweather was granted an exemption by the non-governmental drug testing body USADA.  USADA administered the drug tests during his recent bout with Manny Pacquiao.

The exemption was granted after the bout occurred, and permitted Mayweather to use an IV saline solution of legal vitamins following the fight weigh-in.  Such procedures can mask doping.

The report went on to detail several other interesting points on Mayweather, including the fact that despite his claims he does not engage in Olympic-style drug testing between fights, but rather only tests when a fight is announced.  Moreover, he typically announces his fights relatively close to the bout date, raising some eyebrows.

The article prompted an annoyed Pacquiao to ask for a rematch, as he was not allowed to receive a pain-killing injection to his shoulder before the fight.  Which leads us to the issue of Mayweather's retirement.

Boxing is notorious for fighters announcing their retirement, and then changing course for one more shot at glory.

Many have speculated that Mayweather might be tempted into one more fight -- perhaps a Pacquiao rematch -- in order to surpass Marciano, but he quickly attempted to stifle such talk.

"Now it’s time to spend time with my family and children, make sure they get the proper education," said Mayweather.  "I also want to help the fighters under the Mayweather Promotions banner.  I’m leaving the sport with all my faculties. I’m still sharp and smart. I’ve accomplished everything in this sport, there’s nothing else to accomplish."

The Undercard: Orlando Salido and Roman Martinez fight to a draw

In the most exciting bout of the evening, Roman “Rocky” Martinez (29-2-3, 17 KOs) retained his WBO Junior Lightweight title with a thrilling 12-round majority draw in a rematch against four-time world champion Orlando Salido (42-13-3, 29 KOs).  One judge scored it for Martinez (115-113), one had Salido (115-113), and the other called it even (114-114).

Picking up from their Fight of the Year candidate bout last April that Martinez won, both fighters exchanged more than 1,700 punches during 36 minutes of ferocious action.

In the third round, each fighter went down with Salido suffering the greater damage.  From that point however, Salido rallied, unleashing a brutal body attack in the middle and late rounds of the fight.  Martinez showed tremendous heart by surviving the Salido onslaught, and showed a great chin after taking several brutal shots to the face.  The fight featured multiple back-and-forth exchanges.

“I did all the work and I thought I won the fight," said Salido, who was the aggressor throughout and delivered more than 1,000 punches. "I thought the first couple of rounds were even but then I took control of the fight afterwards."

Martinez, of course, thought he was the victor.

“I definitely won the fight,’’ said Martinez, who was making the first defense in his third stint as WBO Junior Lightweight World Champion. “They counted a knockdown that wasn’t really a knockdown. He threw a lot of punches but most of them didn’t connect, they landed on my arms.”

Jack defeats Groves

In another world title fight, Badou Jack (20-1-1, 12 KOs) successfully defended his WBC Super Middleweight World title with a hard-fought, crowd-pleasing 12-round majority decision over mandatory challenger George Groves (21-3, 16 KOs).

Jack, who dropped Groves late in the first round, triumphed by the scores of 116-111, 115-112, and 113-114. The hard-luck Groves, who abruptly fled the ring in disbelief after the announcement, fell to 0-3 in world title fights.

Jack was impressive in what may have been his toughest fight to date.

“Groves has a lot of heart,’’ said Jack, who was making the initial defense of the WBC belt he took from Anthony Dirrell in April. “Body work is becoming my signature. I wasn’t effective enough because I couldn’t knock him out. I felt like after the first round I could, but I just couldn’t. I didn’t go to the body enough.

The victory was Jack’s fourth in a row since suffering the lone loss of his career on a shocking first-round knockout loss to Derek Edwards in February 2014.

“I haven’t thought about my next fight yet, but there’s a lot of big fights for me," said Jack. "I heard Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. wants to fight me. I want to enjoy this win but I will fight anyone.”

Groves, whose only other losses were in back-to-back fights against then-world champion Carl Froch, didn’t dispute the knockdown, but had a problem with the decision.

“I thought I won the fight decisively,’’ Groves said. “I thought I controlled the fight with my jab and that I was in control throughout, though, it appeared closer to the judges."

Groves also asked for a rematch.

“Congrats to Badou," said Groves. "I hope he has a successful reign as champion. I'd love to fight him again and hopefully I will do better next time. I am going to take some time to work out what's next. Losing a world title fight is the worst feeling in the world.”

Other Bouts

Puerto Rico’s Jonathan Oquendo (26-4, 16 KOs) overcame a first-round knockdown, scored a knockdown of his own, and upset former two-division world champion Jhonny Gonzalez (58-10, 49 KOs). Oquendo won the biggest bout of his career by the scores of 95-93, 98-90, and 94-94.

For Oquendo, the victory was the 12th in his last 14 fights.

"I feel very happy,’’ said Oquendo, who was dropped by a left hook with about one minute left in the first. “Jhonny Gonzalez is a great champion. I knew I had to throw a lot of punches and work to get inside to get the victory. I was able to implement that game plan tonight.”

Gonzalez, a former two-time WBC featherweight and WBO Bantamweight World Champion, was displeased with the scoring and the unintentional headbutts. He was dropped by a straight right hand at about the 2:00 mark of the second.

“The judges favored him too much,’’ Gonzalez said. “He kept head butting me. It just didn't go well. As soon as he knocked me down, nothing happened. I just got right back up.”

In a fight Saturday that aired before the pay-per-view telecast, longtime junior middleweight contender Vanes Martirosyan (36-2-1, 21 KOs), of Glendale, Calif., scored two knockdowns en route to winning a 10-round majority decision over former IBF 154-pound champion Ishe Smith (27-8, 12 KOs) of Las Vegas, by the scores of 97-91 twice and 95-95.

“I feel awesome. I worked hard and it paid off. I hadn’t seen my family in 10 weeks. I was in training in the Bay Area,’’ Martirosyan said. “Ishe was eating 100 jabs a round. I knew he was a Mayweather fighter and I was going into the fight already down five rounds."

Smith felt the fight was much tighter.

“The first knockdown wasn't serious," Smith said. "He just caught me in the back of the head. The second one was legit, but I got up ready to come back at him. Six points is ridiculous I thought it was closer to 95-95 or 95-94."

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services

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