Earlier this week a video came out of boxer Andre Berto stating that he had talked to Dana White about competing in the UFC. In the process he talks about how his brother (current Bellator fighter James Edson Berto) won his last fight by "first round knockout by ankle bar submission," admits to not having any clue about MMA weight classes and doesn't know who Jon Jones is until being reminded and saying "oh yeah, that's my man!" and expressing a desire to see Jones fight Anderson Silva (yay!) and Georges St. Pierre (what?).
I suppose what I'm getting at is that I'm not taking this video as seriously as others.
Here's the quote from Berto:
I was doing thing for a while growing up. So I know a lot of the basics. So don't be surprised...I talked to Dana White about this too the last time I seen him. Don't be surprised if I wanna get in that thing and try to win a title. Then I'd be the first fighter to win a boxing world championship and a UFC mixed martial arts world championship. So don't be surprised if that happens.
Actually Dana White told me...I seen him out here in LA about three weeks ago...you know..he told me that he loves my fighting, I'm one of the only guys in boxing that keeps it alive...and I told him don't be surprised and he smiled and said hey just give him a shout or whatever.
...but I doubt it man. Boxing...we definitely get paid handsomely.
And let's be real, aside from that it isn't ever going to happen because Berto is 29 years old with no grappling skills, the money is the real deal here.
Andre Berto is managed by Al Haymon, who does a fantastic job of getting his clients on TV, getting them big paydays and having them coast for several years before they really have to step up their competition.
Going back over his last four fights, Berto made $910,000 to beat up Freddie Hernandez on the Marquez/Katsidis undercard, an estimated $1,500,000 against Victor Ortiz, somewhere around $1,000,000 against Jan Zaveck and $1,625,000 in his last fight against Robert Guerrero. So, over those four fights, he pulled in probably more than $5,000,000. The good news being that stepping up in competition against Ortiz, Guerrero and even Zaveck has led to a great three fight stretch of performances from Berto (even if he has only gone 1-2 in them) two of which were Fight of the Year contenders.
I'd be lying if I said that the concept of Dana White negotiating with Al Haymon isn't hilarious. But there's no way this ever happens. James Toney happened because James Toney was to the point where he was no longer a player in the boxing game and wasn't able to pull in any serious money. It was a gamble by Toney to try to increase his worth -- and a quick cash grab in that moment.
Berto can still make money, especially with HBO and Showtime needing to hold on to different fighters with all the recent developments with HBO no longer carrying Golden Boy fights. Any fighter of any name is worth more in the network battle right now. Berto isn't leaving those paydays at this point.
The more interesting part of the video is probably Berto saying that his younger sister is trying out for the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter, the first to feature women. So that'll be worth keeping an eye on.