Will Mayweather's career end with Berto bout?

Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:34pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - The 'will he, won't he?' doubting game continues as Floyd Mayweather Jr. prepares for what he has said will be the final fight of his career while most boxing pundits shrug their shoulders in disbelief.

Five-division world champion Mayweather will defend his WBC and WBA welterweight titles against American Andre Berto at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday and throughout the build-up he has repeatedly insisted that this will be his swansong.

However, Mayweather has long been a consummate self-promoter and the doubters can point to the American's unexpected U-turn when he came back from a 21-month retirement to fight Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez in September 2009.

Should Mayweather win on Saturday, as is widely expected, he would match the 49-0 record of former heavyweight great Rocky Marciano and it would seem most unlikely that he would not be tempted to return to the ring for a 50th fight.

"I came to say I'm going out 49-0," Mayweather told reporters while preparing for Saturday's scheduled 12-round bout. "I'm happy with how my career went. Number 49 is my last fight."

Asked whether he might 'get that itch' to come back for another bout, as he did in late 2009, Mayweather replied: "No, I'm going to just push the limit for this fight and see what I can accomplish.

"My health is more important. If you stick around anything too long, anything can happen. You can make a lot of money, but you still want to be able to talk, walk, and have a sharp mind."


Undefeated WBC/WBA welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. attends a news conference at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas September 9, 2015.  REUTERS/Las VegasSun/Steve Marcus