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.”

Tyson, 54, to return for exhibition match against Jones Jr.

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CARSON, Calif. — Mike Tyson is coming back to boxing at age 54.

The former heavyweight champion will meet four-division champion Roy Jones Jr. in an eight-round exhibition match on Sept. 12 at Dignity Health Sports Park.

Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion in history when he won the title in 1986 at age 20 and for a time was the most feared fighter in boxing. But his career became littered with distractions and he hasn’t boxed since 2005 after losing his second straight fight.

He has occasionally teased a return with workout videos and it’s finally scheduled to happen.

Jones, 51, won titles in the middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight before moving up to win the heavyweight title in 2003, becoming the first former middleweight champion to do so in 106 years.

The event will air on pay-per-view and the social media music platform Triller. Further matches on the card and musical entertainment will be announced in the coming weeks.

Boxer Errol Spence in ICU after Ferrari crash in Dallas

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DALLAS — Welterweight boxing champion Errol Spence crashed a speeding Ferrari in Dallas early Thursday and was badly injured but is expected to survive, police said.

The crash happened just before 3 a.m., when Spence’s Ferrari crossed a median into oncoming traffic and flipped over several times, police said.

Spence was taken to a hospital, where he was placed in the intensive care unit. Police said they’re still investigating the cause of the crash, but they noted that the Ferrari was speeding at the time.

Last month, the former U.S. Olympian added the WBC welterweight title to his IBF strap with a thrilling split-decision victory over Shawn Porter in Los Angeles.

With his rangy athleticism and virtuosic skill, Spence (26-0) has captured fans with a series of crisp victories in recent years. He won the IBF title in 2017 by stopping Kell Brook in England, and he defended it three times, culminating in a one-sided thrashing of undersized Mikey Garcia in March.

His bout with the veteran brawler Porter (30-3-1) was Spence’s biggest test yet, and he emerged victorious from a fight that featured several wild exchanges of punches and had the Staples Center crowd of 16,702 on its feet throughout the 12th round, roaring for both fighters when they embraced after the final bell.