Tonight, Floyd Mayweather faces Andre Berto, live on Showtime PPV. Bloody Elbow will have live fight night coverage right here starting at 8:00 p.m. ET. Get ready for the fight with this Mayweather vs. Berto fight preview, as we break down the skills of each fighter.
This is never going to be Mayweather's strongest suit, though he is somewhat underrated in this area. At this stage in his career, Floyd is a more conservative puncher - one who favors throwing and landing a more minimal number of clean shots instead of throwing fast and furious. Mayweather almost always throws fewer punches than his opponents, yet lands more, connecting at roughly 40-50% in recent fights. It's been quite some time since he landed numerous serious knockdown worthy power shots on anyone though (Victor Ortiz debacle aside).
Andre Berto is that more wild, brawling type of fighter. When he gets pushed (and he does pretty much every fight), he responds by swinging hard and going for the kill. It has served him well at times, no doubt. Under the recent tutelage of expert trainer Virgil Hunter, he has tightened up his technique, particularly in his always strong uppercuts. If Berto has any chance here, it's the punchers chance with his big shots.
In the end, Mayweather is the better technical offensive fighter, Berto the harder hitter. But as we'll see in a moment, Berto won't have the chance to be that heavy hitter Saturday night, so...
Is there any doubt? Mayweather is the best defensive fighter of this era, hands down. When Mayweather and Pacquiao squared off, Pacquiao threw 429 punches and landed just 81 of them. That's a 19% connect rate. Consider that for a moment - a 19% connect rate coming from an undeniable hall of fame caliber fighter. But no matter what he did, he just could not find Mayweather. Floyd has made defense his main weapon, and he's impeccable at implementing it.
Meanwhile, Berto has always been hittable, even at his peak. He gets hit, and he comes back swinging. That makes for fun fights, but not good defensive skills. Interestingly, Berto had a phase where he flirted with using Mayweather's Philly shell style for defense, but he's moved away from that lately, and is back to being more exposed. This is a no brainer.
What frustrated so many fans about the Pacquiao fight is that they went in there expecting to see a Manny Pacquiao fight. Instead, they got a Floyd Mayweather fight. And more than anything else, that is what Mayweather does best - he forces you to fight his fight. He's done it against men far better than Andre Berto time and time again, and here, he's going to do it again. Floyd says he picked Berto because he thinks this is an exciting fighter that will bring out the best in him in a way Pacquiao could not. But that's not going to happen. Expect a total defensive shutdown, as usual, from the champ.
Prediction: Floyd Mayweather by wide unanimous decision