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Mayweather solves what may be his only issue vs. Berto

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LAS VEGAS (AP) Floyd Mayweather Jr. found himself with a problem as he headed to work Tuesday to try and sell skeptical fans on what he insists will be his last fight.

It wasn’t with Andre Berto, his hand-picked opponent Saturday night for the 49th fight of his long career. It’s hard to find anyone – much less Mayweather – who thinks Berto is going to give Mayweather many problems in his final fight.

The issue Mayweather was dealing with came in a text from one of his daughters. She was in Los Angeles wondering if she had to fly commercial to come see her father or if he would send his private jet.

“I said I’d send the jet,” Mayweather said.

Just another day in the life of the highest paid athlete in the world, who pulled down more than $200 million for his fight in May with Manny Pacquiao. No need to get too hyped up for Berto, not that Mayweather gets too worked up about any of his opponents, including Pacquiao.

“This is normal for me,” Mayweather told a small group of reporters after his official arrival for fight week at the MGM Grand hotel. “I’ve been here before, met with all you guys before. And the results will be the same as before.”

There are some things, though, that are quite different than the last time Mayweather went into the ring.

The opponent is Berto, not Pacquiao. There is little hype, and little chance Berto will rise to the occasion and become the first boxer to ever beat Mayweather as a pro.

Instead of $200 million, Mayweather will settle for a reported $32 million. And instead of seats going for thousands of dollars, there were still a lot of tickets for sale for just a few hundred dollars for a fight that is getting little buzz.

Not that Mayweather seemed terribly concerned about it.

“I just try to stay positive and keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best,” he said about the slow ticket sales.

Mayweather is a 20-1 favorite in man-to-man betting to keep his titles in the welterweight fight, which will be televised on pay-per-view for a suggested price of $74.95. He said again Tuesday that this will be his last fight, and he will not be tempted to break Rocky Marciano’s mark of 49-0 or to open the new arena on the Las Vegas Strip with a big bout next spring.

“I’m not breaking that 50-0,” Mayweather said. “Don’t worry about that.”

Mayweather defended his choice of Berto as an opponent, even though Berto has lost three of his last six fights, two of them to fighters Mayweather easily beat.

“He’s a former world champion so it’s obvious he did something right,” Mayweather said.

Mayweather said he was secure in his place in boxing history and wants to step back and promote other fighters.

“I’m really ready to see another fighter at the top,” he said. “I’ve done it all. I’ve broken so many records I don’t even know all the records I’ve broken.”

Boxer LaMotta, immortalized in ‘Raging Bull,’ dies at 95

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MIAMI (AP) Jake LaMotta, the former middleweight champion whose life was depicted in the film “Raging Bull,” has died at the age of 95.

His fiancee, Denise Baker, says LaMotta died Tuesday at a Miami-area hospital from complications of pneumonia.

The Bronx Bull, as he was known in his fighting days, compiled an 83-19-4 record with 30 knockouts.

LaMotta fought Sugar Ray Robinson six times, handing Robinson his first defeat. He lost the middleweight title to him in what became known as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

In his previous fight, LaMotta saved the championship in movie-script fashion against Laurent Dauthuille. Trailing badly, LaMotta knocked out the challenger with 13 seconds left.

LaMotta threw a fight against Billy Fox, which he admitted in testimony before a U.S. Senate committee. He said he was promised a shot at a title.

On June 16, 1949, he became middleweight champion when Marcel Cerdan couldn’t continue after the 10th round.

The 1980 film “Raging Bull” was based on LaMotta’s memoir. Actor Robert DeNiro won an Academy Award for it.

Canelo and Golovkin fight to controversial draw

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Gennady Golovkin retained his middleweight titles Saturday night, fighting to a draw with Canelo Alvarez in a brutal battle that ended with both fighters with their hands aloft in victory.

The middleweight showdown lived up to its hype as the two fighters traded huge punches and went after each other for 12 rounds. Neither fighter was down and neither appeared seriously hurt but both landed some huge punches to the head that had the crowd screaming in excitement.

Golovkin was the aggressor throughout and landed punches that had put other fighters to the canvas. But he couldn’t put Alvarez down, and the Mexican star more than stood his own in exchanges with Triple G, from Kazakhstan. The two were still brawling as the final seconds ticked down and the fight went to the scorecards.

One judge had Alvarez winning 118-110, a second had it 115-113 in Golovkin’s favor while the third had it 114-114. The Associated Press scored it 114-114.

Golovkin, who has never lost in 38 fights, retained his middleweight titles with the draw. But Alvarez showed that he could not only take Golovkin’s punches but land telling punches of his own.

A frenzied crowd of 22,358 at the T-Mobile Arena roared throughout the fight as the two middleweights put on the kind of show that boxing purists had anticipated. They brawled, used sharp jabs and counter-punched at times, with neither one willing to give the other much ground.

“Congratulations all my friends from Mexico,” Golovkin said. “I want a true fight. I want a big drama show.”

There was plenty of drama late in the fight as Alvarez seemed to rally and rocked Golovkin with uppercuts and big right hands. But just as soon as he landed he often took one back from the slugger so feared that most other fighter avoided him.

“I won seven-eight rounds easily,” Alvarez said.

It was a battle from the opening bell as Golovkin tried to walk Alvarez down but often found himself getting hit from sharp counter punches.

“Today, people give me draw. I focus on boxing,” Golovkin said. “Look my belts, I’m still champion. I’ve not lost.”

Golovkin predicted before the fight that the late rounds would resemble a street fight, and in a way they did. Both fighters were willing to trade, and both had no problems landing hard shots to the head.

Golovkin had chased Alvarez for nearly two years, trying to get the signature fight that would pay him millions and make him a pay-per-view draw on his own. Alvarez finally agreed after Golovkin looked vulnerable earlier this year against Daniel Jacobs in a decision win that stopped his knockout streak at 23 fights.