Floyd Mayweather had one more fight under his deal with US broadcaster Showtime after beating Manny Pacquiao in May 2015.
The pound-for-pound king of boxing delivered on his promise to win the richest fight in history and intended to select a less difficult foe for his final outing.
Advance André Berto.
Berto had been welterweight champion between 2008 and 2011, then suffered three losses and was not considered a difficult task for Mayweather.
It was a fight no one was calling, but after responding to requests to face Pacquiao, Floyd didn’t care in the least bit.
In September 2015, Mayweather stepped into the ring with Berto and comfortably dispatched him for a big unanimous decision victory.
It turned out to be his last serious boxing match as he retired at 49-0 and only came back afterwards to beat Conor McGregor and take exhibition fights.
Although Berto’s fight was not memorable for many fans, it was a career defining moment for the man himself, who has since spoken beautifully about what it was like to share the ring with one of the greatest boxers of all time.
“He’s very elusive,” Berto told FightHype in a famous interview, “Very, very elusive.
“Me being there with him – I was so surprised at his age how alert he was. Very alert.
“He thinks defense first while we all think attack first.
“I was in great shape and just throwing, throwing, throwing.
“But he puts you in a place where he’s so defensive and elusive and you always punch and you keep swinging and you see him looking at you!
“He puts you in a position of, ‘Okay, if I keep swinging too much, I’m going to hang myself over there to get hit.’
“Because he sees, he sees it all.”
Berto continued, “He’s also very smart at dictating the pace.
“When I was there with him, he manages his time.
“He looks up at the clock four times during the round.
“He will move, move, watch the clock, move, move, watch the clock, grab you, tie you, watch the clock.
“Pop, pop – it will hit you two or three times, just enough to win the round, and get out of the round.
“Between each round, I can see him trying to watch – he watches to see if you are breathing hard, to see if you are tired.
“I’ve never been in there with someone who was so observant, very observant of everything that was going on.
“He kept watching if I was tired, so I jumped off my stool and went right at him.
“He’ll grab you and you’ll hear him in your ear taking deep breaths.
“He’s a veteran and he knows every part of this ring. He knows every little thing so he doesn’t have to work too hard.
“It’s crazy because I feel like he almost snuck his way through every turn.”
Concluding his comments, Berto confirmed the common assumption that Mayweather is not a powerful puncher, although he insisted his shots had more impact than many realize.
“He’s not a big hitter, but he’s a sharp hitter,” Berto said.
“He will get your attention.
“If he was that much of a soft hitter – he’s not a big hitter – but he’s not just a Paulie Malignaggi or somebody like that.
“He’s going to get your attention, he’s lively.
“He’s not a big puncher, he’s a sharp puncher.”
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