By Ed Baylor: Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe thinks former IBF/WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto (30-3, 23 KOs) won’t be crying and moaning about his shoulder if he hurts it during his next fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. (48-0, 26 KOs) on September 12th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
So how does Ellerbe know that Berto won’t start kicking and screaming about his shoulder on fight night? Ellerbe knows it because in the past Berto hurt his shoulder early in his fight against Jesus Soto Karass in 2013, and Berto didn’t complain during or after the fight. He simply fought Soto Karass with his left arm until getting stopped in the 12th round.
Berto then had surgery on his shoulder after the fight and was able to rehab the injury to come back from it. Berto also suffered a ruptured bicep injury in his fight against Carlos Quintana, and he fought with the injury from the 6th round on.
“We know, in fights like that, that Berto isn’t going to sit back, and we know he isn’t going to be complaining about his shoulder,” Ellerbe said to Mlive.com. “We’ve done seen him fight with one arm.”
Mayweather’s last opponent Manny Pacquiao came into the fight with him with a shoulder injury to his right shoulder. In the 4th round, Pacquiao supposedly aggravated the injury somehow. While Pacquiao didn’t complain about the injury during the fight, he definitely brought it up afterwards and said his shoulder was only 60% of what it normally is. It looked bad the way that Pacquiao seemed to use the shoulder injury as an excuse to explain away his defeat to Mayweather.
“He’s never, ever been in a dull fight,” Ellerbe said of Berto. “He’s been in two fight-of-the-year candidates, with the Ortiz fight and the Guerrero fight. We know he’s been knocked down but he gets back up and fights his heart out.”
It’s true that Berto does always put up a good fight even when he’s injured. But the problem still remains that Berto has lost 3 out of his last 6 fights. If you’re going to fight someone with that kind of record, then you have to be prepared to take criticism from the boxing fans. You also have to be prepared for lower than normal PPV numbers. As long as Mayweather is good with him making a lot less money in this fight than he’s made in any of his other PPV fights on his six-fight contract with Showtime/CBS, then it is fine.
Mayweather has to know that by choosing Berto instead of a popular fighter like Gennady Golovkin or Amir Khan, he’s basically shot himself in the foot with this selection because fewer boxing fans are going to want to pay to see the fight. For the average person it’s impossible to understand because they couldn’t imagine throwing millions of dollars away not maximizing the amount of money you can make with the fight.
“That’s where Floyd’s been able to be very successful — he doesn’t pay attention to the naysayers and what they say,” Ellerbe said. “Floyd’s going to prepare, and he’s going to do exactly what he needs to do to get up, and come out and put on the best performance.”
If Ellerbe means Mayweather is going to be successful in terms of winning the fight, then he’s correct. Mayweather will probably win the fight because he chose a flawed fighter in Berto rather than someone with a chance of beating him like Golovkin. But if Ellerbe thinks that Mayweather is being successful for leaving money on the table by not facing a popular guy like Golovkin, then I think he’s wrong. Mayweather is being very unsuccessful by not taking the biggest money fight available to him against Golovkin.