Accredited media members from around the world came out to the JW Marriott at L.A. Live in Los Angeles Thursday as Floyd “Money” Mayweather (48-0, 26 KOs) and two-time welterweight champion Andre Berto (30-3, 23 KOs) officially announced their SHOWTIME PPV matchup with taking place Saturday, September 12 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Also in attendance Thursday were pay-per-view undercard fighters featured on the stacked four-fight telecast. In a rematch of their epic April 11 world-title fight Roman “Rocky” Martinez (29-2-2, 17 KOs) will defend his WBO Junior Lightweight title against four-time world champion Orlando “Siri” Salido (42-13-2, 29 KOs) while WBC Super Middleweight Champion Badou Jack “The Ripper” (19-1-1, 12 KOs) will take on his mandatory challenger “Saint” George Groves (21-2, 16 KOs). A fourth fight on the pay-per-view telecast will be announced soon.
Further undercard action features a super welterweight showdown between Ishe “Sugar Shay” Smith (27-7, 12 KOs) and Vanes “The Nightmare” Martirosyan (35-2-1, 21 KOs), who were also in attendance Thursday to announce their fight.
Promoted by Mayweather Promotions, the four-fight pay-per-view telecast will be produced and distributed live by SHOWTIME PPV and is the sixth and final fight of a record-breaking deal between Mayweather and Showtime Networks Inc. SHOWTIME Sports® will support the event with the Sports Emmy® Award-winning series ALL ACCESS premiering Friday, August 28.
Here is what the fighters and participants had to say Thursday:
FLOYD MAYWEATHER, 12-Time World Champion
“I’ve had a remarkable career. I wouldn’t change anything. We all make mistakes. We live and we learn but I wouldn’t change anything.
“My dad is a remarkable trainer, Virgil Hunter as well. But when it comes down to it, it comes down to the two fighters in the ring.
“Andre Berto is a tough competitor, a former world champion. Every time he goes out there, he gives it 100 percent.
“This is a guy I can’t overlook. He’s dedicated to the sport just like myself and he’s going to push me.”
ANDRE BERTO, Two-Time Welterweight World Champion
“It’s a long time coming. Now we’re here. Anybody that knows me has seen great things but at the same time they’ve seen me go through some real trials. What comes with that is a lot of hard work and perseverance.
“I felt like I went through what I went through for a reason. My time is now. There’s no better day than the present. Floyd is no stranger to me. We’re already deep into camp. You definitely do not want to miss this one.”
ROMAN MARTINEZ, WBO Junior Lightweight World Champion
“I’m so happy to be part of this great show. I’m preparing very well for this fight. Everybody who saw the first fight knows this was a war and this will be the same thing. I’m in great shape and I’m ready to keep my belt.
“I need to work to the body more in this fight and see if I can finish him early this time.
ORLANDO SALIDO, Four-Time World Champion
“Now I know his weaknesses, I am going to attack from the very first moment, I know what to do for the victory.
“I have to refocus mentally and physically, I’m not going to do much different other than to gain the victory this time
“There’s always a very special rivalry between Mexico and Puerto Rico and I feel it, which is why I so badly want to win this title for Mexico.”
BADOU JACK, WBC Super Middleweight World Champion
“I’ve been in camp for about two months now. It’s been a very good training camp and I’m ready right now to fight. We still have a month to go and we’re ready.
“I’ve always been strong mentally but I get some extra confidence from having that green belt. You still have to stay humble and keep working hard.
“It’s no different to me being the main event or on the undercard. There will be even more people seeing my fight which is great.
“I just have to listen to my corner, be smart and be myself. If I do that I’ll walk out of there with my belt intact.”
GEORGE GROVES, Top 168-Pound Contender
“Everything in training camp has been perfect. We’re adjusting to the time difference and the altitude, which takes a couple of days, but everything is going really well. We’re ahead of schedule.
“We’ve been training all year for this fight so I’m feeling really good. I can’t wait to get in there and start punching.
“Rust is more mental than anything. You only hear a fighter talk about ring rust after a fight because it’s an excuse. We’re in the gym performing, sparring partners are getting beat up and there’s no excuse to not take it into a real fight.
“I’m pleased to be here in America. The third time going for the title will be lucky. We’ve prepared diligently. We’re ready for action.
“He’ll have comfort being at home and with his stable mates, but that all goes away when you step in the ring and a guy is trying to take your head off.
“Since I was seven years old I’ve dreamed of becoming a world champion. I’ve had ups and downs in boxing but it’s all come full circle.
“We have ourselves in a great place in training camp and I literally cannot wait to get in there.”
ISHE SMITH, Former Super Welterweight World Champion
“I asked for the toughest fights and the toughest challenges. I just want to fight the best. No matter what people think or what people say about me, we put together good fights.
We’ve had three champions at Mayweather Promotions so we’re doing something right.
“Vanes Martirosyan is a good fighter, I have nothing but respect for him. We’re putting together the necessary work in the gym to be successful.
“This fight could probably have been a main event somewhere but I’m happy to be a part of history and Floyd’s finale. I’m looking forward to a great night of boxing.”
VANES MARTIROSYAN, 2004 U.S. Olympian and 154-Pound Contender
“This is a big fight for me. My last fight I left in the judges’ hands and it went the other way.
“September 12 I’m not letting the judges get in my way. I’m going for the knockout and you’re going to see the best Vanes you’ve ever seen.”
VIRGIL HUNTER, Berto’s Trainer
“I’m glad to be a part of this historic event. It’s these moments that I reflect on what these young men go through. I’ve seen some of the great fighters that came before us. When I see some of the negative attitudes on this event, it’s from people who don’t know what those fighters go through at the gym.
“Andre Berto has overcome a lot in his life and I’m glad to have made his acquaintance. He epitomizes what a fighter is. He’s overcome and he’s earned this opportunity based off that.
“When you look at that pack in that welterweight division there’s only one that stands out, everyone else is in that pack.
“We intend to give this the best job that we’re going to give it. I think the champ himself respects that. We come to win, but we have to respect what he’s done for the sport.
LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
“Welcome everyone to what will be Floyd Mayweather’s last kick off press conference of his amazing career. We are so excited to be working together to bring another stacked PPV card to boxing fans on SHOWTIME PPV.
“We have a great lineup with three world championships fights.
“Tickets will go on sale tomorrow at 10 am P.T./1 pm E.T. Prices range from $1,500, $1,000, $750, $500, $300, $150.
“Once again Floyd will be putting his WBC titles and WBA title on the line. He will be facing Andre Berto, who will be looking to erase the 0 off Floyd’s record on September 12.
“‘Rocky’ Martinez vs. Orlando Salido will be a rematch of the Fight of the Year candidate from April. We know that will be a war.
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, Executive Vice President & General Manager SHOWTIME Sports
“Boxing is a tough sport. It’s a tough sport to cover, it’s a tough sport to do business in and it’s a tough sport to make a living at. When you find someone who has been participating in the sport as a professional for 19 years, not just participating but practicing the sport at an elite level, one that’s rarely been seen, that’s something special.
MAURICIO SULAIMAN, WBC President
“I am very happy to once again represent my father and to see the WBC back in a great event. September 12 is a national Mexican holiday and Floyd has taken it over and represented Mexico so well. Andre Berto is a former WBC champion who will for sure bring a great challenge to Floyd Mayweather.”