Having bested the best opponent of his career in the so-called "Fight of the Century" against Manny Pacquiao, Mayweather seems just one short step away from matching the legendary 49-0 record of heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano. This would normally be a good time to discuss how much that record is really worth, especially considering the quality of opposition that Marciano faced relative to a few other heavyweight greats, or the equally impressive records of such men as Packey McFarland (70-0-5), Ricardo "Finito" Lopez (51-0-1), or Willie Pep (two unbeaten streaks of over 60 fights each).
But forget that! Instead let's focus on the fact that Mayweather has chosen to make Andre Berto his 49th professional opponent.
Showtime released the news via Twitter earlier today.
Berto (30-3, 23 KO) is certainly not a bad boxer, and no one can fault him for seeming like a step down from Manny Pacquiao. The fact remains, however, that Berto is 3-3 in his last six fights, with two of those losses coming to Victor Ortiz and Robert Guerrero, both of whom have lost to Mayweather, while the third was at the hands of Jesus Soto-Karass, a man who vacillates wildly between underrated and underwhelming. In his most recent ring appearance, Berto earned a comeback win over diminutive welterweight Josesito Lopez. The win was an exciting one, but not particularly promising.
Mayweather (49-0, 26 KO) has taken on dozens of very tough men throughout an undoubtedly impressive career, and at times has taken too much slack for some of his matchmaking choices. One almost gets the feeling that we shouldn't begrudge him a soft touch after having beaten Pacquiao so impressively earlier this year. Then one remembers that the fans are expected to pay for this bout, and the inevitable complaints don't seem so harsh.
So. Mayweather vs Berto. It's happening. What do you think?