Berto ready to fight 'over his head', says trainer

Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:52pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Challenger Andre Berto will go into Saturday's welterweight fight against Floyd Mayweather as a heavy underdog but his trainer senses that something is brewing and that boxing fans will be treated to a real "rumble".

Berto, 32, will be aiming to end his fellow American's perfect 48-0 record and his corner man, Virgil Hunter, has promised that his boxer is capable of fighting "over his head" in a bout scheduled for 12 rounds at the MGM Grand.

"When you get two 'brothers' together ... you're going to see a fight, a real fight," Hunter told reporters while preparing Berto in his bid to claim Mayweather's WBC and WBA welterweight titles.

"I think about Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali in the 'Thrilla in Manila', when people thought Joe was done, and even Ali thought he was done. But what did we get? An epic heavyweight fight. Of course Joe was done but he fought over his head.

"Does Andre Berto have the capability of fighting over his head? Yes, of course he does. There are just nights when it happens. Andre Berto is going to take it over his head and that's what he intends to do, and that's what we have to do."

Berto (30-3, 23 knockouts) is known for his power punching and athleticism but faces a daunting task against Mayweather, a 20-1 favorite and five-division world champion who has said that he will retire from boxing after Saturday's bout.

"With Floyd's I.Q., we're not going to try to match it," said Hunter. "We can't, there are other elements that make things successful. I've just got this feeling ... there is something brewing in the air.

"There's some personal stuff going on here. Trust me, it's going to be a rumble. I've seen Floyd's Plan B. I've seen him go to war. I've seen him get hit, knocked back in a rumble with guys bigger than him.   Continued...

Aug 6, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe looks on as Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Andre Berto face off during a press conference to announce the upcoming fight on September 12, 2015 at J.W. Marriott LA Live. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports