3 More Rounds

Bank or Bust: Mayweather-Berto

Photo: Esther Lin / Showtime

Photo: Esther Lin / Showtime

Welcome back to the return of ‘Bank or Bust,’ where we sit down two of our writers and throw out statements to find out if they agree or disagree and why.

With Andre Berto set to face Floyd Mayweather tonight in Las Vegas, Matt Knowles and PJ Cassidy sit down to debate about the welterweight bout.

1. Andre Berto has no chance in hell to win on Saturday night.

Patrick Cassidy: Bank, Bank, Bank. I watches Andre Berto’s career as a legitimate prizefighter end on July 27th, 2013 as I sat ringside at the AT&T Center in San Antonio. You don’t come back from a demoralizing thrashing at the hands of fringe contender Jesus Soto Karass. Now, we’re supposed to believe he’s a legitimate threat to one of the greatest pure pugilists over the last 30 years?

Team Haymon has done what they can to rebuild Berto’s image by finding him two handpicked opponents to highlight his remaining abilities, but no one in their right state of mind could believe that he’s now capable of defeating Mayweather. Mayweather is far too quick and defensively-inclined to be bullied by Berto’s brutish offensive habits nor does he have enough true power to threaten the champion. Add it all up and you have a farce.

Matt Knowles: Bust – A vicious headbutt or low-blow that the ref doesn’t see…a freak eye injury…a freak hand injury…Floyd gets old overnight…the beauty of boxing is that there are so many different ways to win, that anyone who puts on a set of gloves has a conceivable chance to attain victory. I watched Tyson-Douglas live my friends; ANYTHING can happen in that ring.

Photo: Idris Erba/Mayweather Promotions

Photo: Idris Erba/Mayweather Promotions

2. You’re convinced Mayweather will fight in 2016.

Patrick Cassidy: Bank. Well, based off all available evidence… Floyd enjoys the finer things in life (Shocking Statement). It’s hard to see him leaving tens of millions of dollars on the table by not fighting in 2016. We may see him take a protracted break, but I fully expect him back in the ring by September against another handpicked opponent with the promotion centering on him tying Rocky Marciano’s undefeated record.Again, too much money on the table and a guy who loves money too much for him not to fight again.

Matt Knowles: Bust – Convinced? Meh, not really. One thing that we can all pretty much agree on is that Floyd does what Floyd wants to do, when he wants, where he wants, and however he wants to do it. I could see him sticking to victory #49 out of spite towards the boxing machine that has attempted to diminish his accomplishments. I could also see him coming out of retirement in, say, 2017 to gun for #50 out of spite towards that exact same establishment in order to whiz on Marciano’s mark. My guess is that he will, one day, enter a pro boxing ring for the 50th time, however I’m not convinced that it will happen in any specific timeframe.

3. Despite the lack of mainstream interest, the fight will turn out to be fun to watch.

Patrick Cassidy: Slight Bank. Rugged fighters generally make a good foil for Mayweather, as evident by such fights against Maidana and Cotto. Of course, Berto is neither of those men, so you also run the risk of a glorified squash match on par with Mayweather’s encounter against Victor Ortiz. However, I feel Mayweather is feeling the burn of outrage against this mismatch and will work to make the fight slightly entertaining because, frankly, he can against this weak opponent. Expect little drama, but enough action to make for a decent scrap.

Matt Knowles: Bank – Of all the rhetoric and garbage that Floyd has tossed around at press conferences, there’s one thing that he has mentioned in the lead-up to this match that most of us would agree on: Andre Berto makes exciting fights. From the slugfest with Collazo, to the war with Ortiz, to his improbable comeback KO win in his most recent bout with Lopez (a match where IMO he had lost every second of every round), Berto has been one of the most consistently entertaining boxers of the past 10-15 years. Floyd will undoubtedly try to stink out the joint, however Berto will come to fight, and will make it a fun match for the viewing public.

Andre Berto workout

4. The PPV will crack 1 million buys.

Matt Knowles: Bank – First off, is there any way to actually verify PPV buys? Can’t the promoters just make-up any number they want to and throw it at us? With these questions as the backdrop, it’s safe to say that the honest, integrity-laced suits at the incomparable Showtime network will provide us with information roughly 7-14 days after the bout that will accurately state that the event was purchased by over 1 million homes in the United States. Whether you believe it or not is up to you.

Patrick Cassidy: Bust. Honestly, I’d be shocked if this fight cracks over 750k worth of buys. There’s a variety of factors that will make this fight a relative economic bust when compared to Mayweather’s past fights. The obvious is that this fight is just not very good and civilians are not apt to throw down $75 for a mismatch and relatively tepid undercard.

Furthermore, there are several solid college football games on the slate for Saturday and the boxing public has grown wise to the availability of illegal streams. Few are going to throw down the full money because they feel they need the full HD version of the fight. I think you’ll see many casual fans opt for streaming services.

5. Floyd will try to go for a knockout.

Matt Knowles: Bust – Floyd will be going for the knockout in a prizefight on the same day that I go for the tofu platter at supper. C’mon ya’ll, Floyd will fight the same fight that he has fought since 1996: study the opponent, find their rhythm, solve the puzzle, break ’em down, and take over the action. Are we still assuming that he’s going to somehow wake up on the day of a fight and be like, “Yo, maybe I should get my face caved-in tonight”? We’re talking about the best counter puncher in history here, people!

Patrick Cassidy: Bank. Floyd knows this is a terrible fight and perhaps that’s by design. Perhaps, it irks him that he hasn’t dusted an opponent since 2011 and this mismatch was created to rectify this fact. Then again, it’s also very possible that he just doesn’t care about the outcry from this mismatch and will coast to another easy decision victory.

003_Floyd_Mayweather

6. Mayweather will wake up on Sunday morning 49-0.

Matt Knowles: Bank – Go ahead and chalk me up for my standard prediction for Floyd fights over the past decade: Mayweather 117-111. No reason to believe otherwise.

Patrick Cassidy: Bank. Not a doubt in my mind.

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