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Mayweather decisions Berto in last fight to remain unbeaten

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LAS VEGAS (AP) His career winding down to its final seconds, Floyd Mayweather Jr. took a victory lap around the ring, his fist raised in triumph.

After 19 years of perfection in the ring, he deserved one final bow.

Mayweather capped a remarkable career with a typical Mayweather fight Saturday night, using his defensive wizardry to frustrate Andre Berto on his way to a decision so lopsided one judge gave him every round.

The $32 million he earned was pocket change compared to what he got for Manny Pacquiao in his last fight. But the more important number was win No. 49 in the final fight of his unblemished career, tying the mark of the late heavyweight champion, Rocky Marciano.

“You gotta know when to go. I’ve had a great career,” Mayweather said. “I’m leaving with all my faculties. I feel like I’m smart and sharp.”

Mayweather wasn’t about to change what he does best in his last fight.

Both dominant and defensive, he used all the tricks learned in a pro career that began in 1996 to take a unanimous decision over Berto and retain his welterweight titles in what he insists was his final fight.

Mayweather won yet again in a fight where he was chased but never really tested. He piled up points with a sharp jab and quick counter punches, leaving Berto swinging at air most of the night.

“What can I say, I was the better man tonight,” Mayweather said

By the late rounds, Mayweather was both talking to Berto (30-4) and taunting him, secure in the knowledge he was winning big against the 18-1 underdog. In the final seconds of the fight he took a victory lap, as the crowd of 13,395 stood and cheered at the MGM Grand arena.

The ringside scorecards reflected Mayweather’s dominance, with one judge scoring a 120-108 shutout. The other scores were 118-110 and 117-111, while The Associated Press had Mayweather winning 119-109.

Mayweather added to his pay-per-view riches once again, and once again he didn’t seem to have to work too hard to make it. Berto, who had lost three of his last six fights, tried to make it a fight but his punches were wide and mostly missed their marks.

“I pushed him to the limit,” Berto said. “But he was just better.”

Mayweather did what he’s done best in his long career, fighting defensively and picking his shots against Berto. He was especially effective when Berto rushed at him, using his counter punching skills to keep Berto away.

It was a winning combination once again, just as it had been in his 48 previous fights.

Mayweather had vowed to give fans an action fight in his last bout, after being criticized for fighting defensively in his win over Manny Pacquiao. He did trade punches with Berto on several occasions, but never stayed in the pocket long enough for Berto to find his mark.

Mayweather complained to his father in the corner during the fight that he hurt his hand, but said since he is retiring it didn’t matter.

Ringside punch stats showed Mayweather’s defensive wizardry. Mayweather was credited with landing 232 of 410 punches, while Berto landed only 83 of 495.

“I was in great shape but it was difficult to fight him,” Berto said. “He was really, really slippery.”

Mayweather weighed in at 146 pounds, a pound more than Berto.

Mayweather, in his 26th title fight, controlled the action all night, now allowing Berto to land more than one punch at a time. He was never able to hurt Berto, though, and passed up chances to engage him in exchanges.

Berto was surprisingly passive early, doing little in the opening rounds but throw punches that hit nothing but air. He picked up the pace beginning in the fourth round, but Mayweather had little trouble ducking and moving away from his wild punches.

By the 10th round were talking so much trash that referee Kenny Bayless called a halt to the action and told both fighters they needed to shut up.

If Mayweather retires it will end a career that saw him become a pay-per-view star and earn more money than any boxer before him. Though most in boxing believe he will some day fight again, the 38-year-old said he had plenty of money and his health is more important than chasing records.

“I’ve accomplished everything,” Mayweather said. “I’ve done everything in my sport.”

Pacquiao wins 60th career fight with seventh-round knockout

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) Manny Pacquiao clinched his 60th victory with a seventh-round knockout Sunday of Argentinian Lucas Matthysse, his first stoppage in nine years.

Pacquiao said he worked hard but was surprised by the swift win in the World Boxing Association welterweight title fight.

Pacquiao rebounded from his disappointing loss last year to Australian Jeff Horn and his victory could extend his boxing career that had taken a backseat to his political life as a Filipino senator.

“This is part of boxing. You win some, you lose some,” Matthysse said. He hailed Pacquiao as a “great legend” and said he will take a break after his loss.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad also attended the fight, the biggest boxing match in the country since the 1975 heavyweight clash between Muhammad Ali and Australian Joe Bugner.

Duterte said: “I would like to congratulate Senator Manny Pacquiao for giving us pride and bringing the Filipino nation together once more.”

‘It’s about time’: Trump pardons late boxer Jack Johnson

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WASHINGTON (AP) President Donald Trump on Thursday granted a rare posthumous pardon to boxing’s first black heavyweight champion, clearing Jack Johnson’s name more than 100 years after what many see as his racially-charged conviction.

“It’s my honor to do it. It’s about time,” Trump said during an Oval Office ceremony, where he was joined by boxer Lennox Lewis and actor Sylvester Stallone, who has drawn awareness to Johnson’s cause.

Trump said Johnson had served 10 months in prison for what many view as a racially-motivated injustice and described his decision as an effort “to correct a wrong in our history.”

“He represented something that was both very beautiful and very terrible at the same time,” Trump said.

Johnson was convicted in 1913 by an all-white jury for violating the Mann Act, which made it illegal to transport women across state lines for “immoral” purposes, for traveling with his white girlfriend.

Trump had said previously that Stallone had brought Johnson’s story to his attention in a phone call.

“His trials and tribulations were great, his life complex and controversial,” Trump tweeted in April. “Others have looked at this over the years, most thought it would be done, but yes, I am considering a Full Pardon!”

Johnson is a legendary figure in boxing and crossed over into popular culture decades ago with biographies, dramas and documentaries following the civil rights era.

He died in 1946. His great-great niece has pressed Trump for a posthumous pardon, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., have been pushing Johnson’s case for years.

The son of former slaves, Johnson defeated Tommy Burns for the heavyweight title in 1908 at a time when blacks and whites rarely entered the same ring. He then mowed down a series of “great white hopes,” culminating in 1910 with the undefeated former champion, James J. Jeffries.

McCain previously told The Associated Press that Johnson “was a boxing legend and pioneer whose career and reputation were ruined by a racially charged conviction more than a century ago.”

“Johnson’s imprisonment forced him into the shadows of bigotry and prejudice, and continues to stand as a stain on our national honor,” McCain has said.

Posthumous pardons are rare, but not unprecedented. President Bill Clinton pardoned Henry O. Flipper, the first African-American officer to lead the Buffalo Soldiers of the 10th Cavalry Regiment during the Civil War, and Bush pardoned Charles Winters, an American volunteer in the Arab-Israeli War convicted of violating the U.S. Neutrality Acts in 1949.

Linda E. Haywood, the great-great niece, wanted Barack Obama, the nation’s first black president, to pardon Johnson, but Justice Department policy says “processing posthumous pardon petitions is grounded in the belief that the time of the officials involved in the clemency process is better spent on the pardon and commutation requests of living persons.”

The Justice Department makes decisions on potential pardons through an application process and typically makes recommendations to the president. The general DOJ policy is to not accept applications for posthumous pardons for federal convictions, according to the department’s website. But Trump has shown a willingness to work around the DOJ process in the past.

Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report.