Floyd Mayweather has under-whelmingly confirmed Andre Berto as his final opponent when he attempts to stretch his undefeated record to 49 in September.
The announcement is a major blow to Britain’s Amir Khan who believed he was closer than ever to meeting boxing’s ‘Pound for Pound’ king.
Khan defeated Chris Algieri on a unanimous points decision in May and had a clear path mapped out for himself to end Mayweather’s infamous unbeaten run.
He told BBC Sport in May:
"I want that next [To fight Mayweather]. I'm number one World Boxing Council [challenger]. He's the champion. So let's make it happen."
Any match up between the two had began to look unlikely after Mayweather claimed in June he intended to fight either Berto or Karim Mayfield, this was confirmed yesterday when he announced he had settled on Berto.
31-Year-old Berto's career has a solid, but unspectacular look to it with 30 wins and three losses, his last fight a sixth round knockout against Josesito Lopez.
A powerful boxer in his own right, the American will know he has done nothing to suggest he deserves a matchup with Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather.
He is purely a pawn in the celebration of Mayweather’s life, September12 will be more reminiscent of a self thrown going away party than a boxing match. It certainly has an air of ‘it’s my party I’ll do what I want, so send in the cabaret and play Kool in the Gang’.
Chosen for a reason
The Miami born boxer brings with him punching power and an Orthodox stance, sound familiar? It was Pacquiao’s lack of these two components that supposedly gave him the best chance of defeating Mayweather. So the choice of a boxer who appears a carbon copy of Mayweather’s easier match ups will have certainly turned a few heads.
That’s not to say Berto “The Beast” is an poor boxer, as a former Welterweight boxer he holds considerable pedigree, the issue is that his strengths are what Mayweather battles best against.
His last few years have not been all that successful either, all three of his professional career losses have come in his last six fights, a record off 3-3 doesn't seem comparable to that of a five division champion, less so when it’s Mayweather.
Berto is an offensive boxer who will come out to attack Mayweather with every confidence he can succeed where 48 before him have failed.
He knocked out 13 of his first 15 opponents and is known as a heavy hitter. So he will need to prepare himself for a series of counter punches against one of boxings most tactical fighters.
Mayweather’s last fight shattered pay-per-view records selling 4.4 million and this fight could yet come close, but unless you're tuning in for a party you may be disappointed.