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.”