Mayweather's best opposition was Berto?

August 11, 2015 3:04 AM
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Floyd Mayweather Boxing ChampionMany thought the undisputed No.1 pound for pound king, 5 division world champion, and 6 time ESPY “Best Fighter” Award winning boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. (48-0, 26 KO’s) was using Andre Berto (30-3, 23 KO’s) as a diversion when he was mentioned as a possible opponent for his Sept. 12 fight.

Most in the media believed it was simply a matter of time before Mayweather divulged the actual challenger to his WBA (Super), WBC, and The Ring Magazine welterweight titles. Current and former world champions like Amir Khan, Keith Thurman, Kell Brook, and Shawn Porter were anointed as the front runners for what Mayweather has announced will be the final bout of his historic career.

Berto comes into this bout off a sixth round TKO victory against Josesito Lopez, but is 3-3 over his last six fights. Those three losses came against Jesus Soto Karass, Victor Ortiz, and Robert Guerrero. Mayweather enters off what may be his most monumental win via unanimous decision vs. Manny Pacquiao.

The 11 time world champion has already beaten Ortiz and Guerrero handily. Therefore it should come as no surprise that oddsmakers listed Mayweather as the greatest chalk of his entire pro career.

Currently the betting market average shows Mayweather as a -4000 favorite with the take-back on Berto +1500. But there are a few offshore sportsbooks who have him installed even higher. In fact, as of this writing Bovada posts Mayweather at -10000. Prior to Berto the most he’d ever been favored was -2000, back in 2005 against Henry Bruseles. Mayweather was also -950 vs. Sharmbra Mitchell, -900 vs. Marcos Maidana the first time, and even -700 when he faced off with Miguel Cotto.

To put these odds into probability, at -4000 the betting market reflects a 97.6% chance of victory for Mayweather over Berto, and a 99% chance at -10000. In short, these odds make a very bold statement – it says Mayweather is a “sure thing,” or as close to one as we may ever ever see. I’ve been in the sports betting industry in one capacity or another for more than 25 years and cannot recall a fighter being this heavily favored over an opponent, not even Mike Tyson over Buster Douglas.

According to Berto, he is surprised by the criticism over being named as the opponent. He not only believes he is a fan friendly action fighter, but also sees himself as a very dangerous opponent for Mayweather.

Of Berto’s 30 wins, 23 have come by way of knockout and he was behind in the scoring on two of the three judges’ scorecards in his last fight but managed to get the finish.

Mayweather said, “I don’t feel we give Berto enough credit.” For the win against Lopez, Floyd also said, “He handled the job just like Canelo did. He gave it 100% and the grade I give him is an A.”

The champion also claims to be training even harder for his upcoming bout with Berto than he did for his last one against Pacquiao. And to those who continue to bash and chastise Mayweather for his choice of opponent, he claims, “They always tune in. They say one thing, but they do another.”

Although Mayweather had originally planned to put his final bout on a nationally televised PBC card, he’s instead opted for pay-per-view so fans will have to dish out $64.95 at home, and $74.95 for high definition.

It’s obvious from the odds that bookmakers don’t want any risk on Mayweather and since he’s cashed at a rate of 100% thus far, I can’t really blame them.

Vegas-Runner is a professional bettor/handicapper featured on CNBC, ESPN, FOX, Yahoo, CBS This Morning, The Herd, JT the Brick, & More. Follow VR on Twitter @Greek_Gamblerand at the home of the Animals, Phillygodfather.com. Contact Vegas Runner at VegasRunner@GamingToday.com.